In September 2004, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) issued a Statement requiring that all clinical trials be registered at inception in a public register in order to be considered for publication. The World Health Organization (WHO) and ICMJE have identified 20 items that should be provided before a trial is considered registered, including contact information. Identifying those scientifically responsible for trial conduct increases accountability. The objective is to examine the proportion of registered clinical trials providing valid scientific leadership information.
We reviewed clinical trial entries listing Canadian investigators in the two largest international and public trial registers, the International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) register, and ClinicalTrials.gov. The main outcome measures were the proportion of clinical trials reporting valid contact information for the trials' Principal Investigator (PI)/Co-ordinating Investigator/Study Chair/Site PI, and trial e-mail contact address, stratified by funding source, recruiting status, and register. A total of 1388 entries (142 from ISRCTN and 1246 from ClinicalTrials.gov) comprised our sample. We found non-compliance with mandatory registration requirements regarding scientific leadership and trial contact information. Non-industry and partial industry funded trials were significantly more likely to identify the individual responsible for scientific leadership (OR=259, 95% CI: 95–701) and to provide a contact e-mail address (OR=9.6, 95% CI: 6.6–14) than were solely industry funded trials.
Despite the requirements set by WHO and ICMJE, data on scientific leadership and contact e-mail addresses are frequently omitted from clinical trials registered in the two leading public clinical trial registers. To promote accountability and transparency in clinical trials research, public clinical trials registers should ensure adequate monitoring of trial registration to ensure completion of mandatory contact information fields identifying scientific leadership