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Stage 2: Developing the Search: Searching Trial Registries

Searching Trial Registries

Clinical trial registers (or registries) provide a public record of the existence of a clinical trial.

A trial registry record typically includes (but is not limited to):

  • The name and purpose of the trial
  • Contacts and sponsors
  • Brief methodological information (e.g., details about intervention; outcomes that will be measured)

Why are Trial Registries Important?

Trial registry records can help identify and possibly minimize two kids of bias that might be introduced into a synthesis review:

There are many trial registries, and choosing which ones to search heavily depends on your topic.

Trial registries should be searched for systematic reviews depending on the efficacy of interventions, conduct, and reporting guidelines. The Cochrane Handbook recommends searching, at a minimum, the two sources below (click on internet icons for direct link):