How will the OpenTrials platform be used around the world?
We are looking to build a centralised database where everyone can access relevant information related to trials more easily, whether they are researchers, systematic reviewers, doctors, patients, campaigners, or patient groups. Having all the information on clinical trials in one place – and having this information openly accessible to all – is an exciting starting point to address the many challenges facing clinical research today, such as misreported research, unreported trials, shortcomings in trial design, and more.
The OpenTrials index and database is built for a number of different uses. This section provides an overview of our primary user groups. We will continue to work with our users to ensure the database is accessible and relevant for groups and individuals interested in the state of clinical trials around the world.
The database is still in its beta phase: for those who aren’t technical, this means it’s a preliminary release of an early prototype, with much more to come. We are releasing this early build because your feedback at this stage is incredibly useful for us. If you have questions on how the database works, if there is something you would like to see, or if you would like to share your own testimonial of how you’ve used even this early version of OpenTrials, then please get in touch!
Public health researcher
I’m a public health researcher who wants to find out as much information about emerging health crisis X as possible. Using OpenTrials, I’m able to see what trials have been conducted on this epidemic, including other important information relating to the trials such as patient information sheets uploaded by OpenTrials users.
I’m a systematic reviewer and want a quick overview of other sources of information relating to a trial, beyond the journal article. I went to OpenTrials and discovered a statistical analysis plan, a Case Report Form, and a trial protocol had been uploaded – this helped answer some questions I had relating to how the data had been collected and later analysed.
I’m a junior doctor who’s interested in critical appraisal of research papers and want to find if sources of bias have already been assessed by experts, and if my assessment fits with theirs. I searched for some trials on schizophrenia and found their risk of bias had been scored by Cochrane – I discovered that my assessment matched the expert assessment quite well, though I missed a couple of important points.
I work as a clinical trialist/researcher and have lots of data and documents from work we’ve conducted that isn’t in the public domain; in particular there’s a trial protocol I want to share with other trialists and researchers, and a blank consent form. I found the relevant trial on OpenTrials, I uploaded the data and the trial protocol and received a notification the following week that it had been approved.
A top ten pharmaceutical company used OpenTrials during its development and by finding trial discrepancies using the OpenTrials advanced search, they realised there were some internal processes relating to how they store and structure clinical trials data which could be improved. They have subsequently implemented these changes and passed their thanks to OpenTrials.
I have a chronic disease, which has been hard to manage with first and second line treatments. I used OpenTrials to search for clinical trials relevant to my condition, and found one. Now that it’s finished, I used OpenTrials to see if the company had published the results of the trial. It turned out that they hadn’t published anything a year after completing the trial, so I contacted my patient group and we wrote to the company asking that they report the results immediately.