- to ensure that information published in European specialist health care journals concerning completed, ongoing, and planned RCTs is contributed to an international register of controlled trials
- to ensure that this register is made easily accessible to those preparing systematic reviews to inform health policy decisions, so that effective forms of care can be promoted, and ineffective forms of care discouraged
- to ensure that this register is made easily accessible to those planning new research, so that unnecessary and costly duplication of research within the European Union can be minimized, and to highlight those areas which could benefit from further research
Specialized health care journals will be handsearched to identify reports of trials. To assist the participants in identifying the relevant journals published in the group of countries for which they are responsible, the Project Co-ordinator will prepare a list of journals, derived from a number of bibliographic and other databases. In order to prioritize the work, the list of journals provided to each participant will be ranked according to the likely yield of reports of trials. The journals with the highest expected yield of reports of trials will searched, from cover to cover, from the current issue backwards in time, according to yield. Articles identified which meet the Cochrane Collaboration eligibility criteria for inclusion in the register of trials will be sought on MEDLINE and/or EMBASE, and those which are found will be downloaded as an ASCII file by the participant. For those references not found in MEDLINE or EMBASE, bibliographic references will be created by the participant, using ProCite or other reference management software. These records, together with the MEDLINE/EMBASE records will be sent periodically to the Project Coordinator, for forwarding to the register. There are 6 participants in the project. Each will be responsible for co-ordinating searching specialized health care journals published in their own country, together with some other countries, as outlined below. The responsibility for Belgium and Switzerland will be split according to the language of the publication. Reports of trials identified will be submitted for inclusion in CENTRAL, the central register of studies which may be relevant for inclusion in systematic reviews within the Cochrane Collaboration. Where appropriate, reports will also be included in The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, published quarterly as part of The Cochrane Library.
Bibliographic databases, cochrane collaboration, controlled clinical trials, evidence-based health care, journals, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, trial registers.