International register of ongoing systematic reviews
In response to growing concern about reporting biases, and advocacy of registration for systematic reviews, the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) is leading an initiative to establish an international register of ongoing systematic reviews. The register will use the existing IT platform and infrastructure that supports production and provision of the CRD databases, and work in a similar way to clinical trials registers, allowing researchers to record key features of their systematic reviews prospectively.
The web-based register will offer free public access, be electronically searchable and open to all prospective registrants. Registration will require a minimum data set, which is currently being formulated through an international Delphi consensus exercise. The completeness of the information supplied will be ensured before registration. Accepted protocol details will be loaded on the database as a permanent entry and a unique identifi cation number will be issued. A public audit trail for amendments and updates to the information will be available and links to resulting publications will be added. Registration will be free of charge. Details of the background and development of the register have been published in The Lancet. The register, to be launched later this year, will offer a free, simple, user-friendly registration process on a proven and appropriate open access platform that is easily searchable. We believe the register will promote research transparency, reduce the potential for bias and should lead to improved quality of systematic reviews and the decisions that rely upon them. It should also help avoid duplication and support the effi cient use of research funding. For further information, visit york.ac.uk/inst/crd/projects/register.htm or contact Alison.
 Booth A, Clarke M, Ghersi D, Moher D, Petticrew M, Stewart L. An international registry of systematic review protocols. The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 13 July 2010:
Alison Booth and Lesley Stewart, Centre for
Reviews and Dissemination
Mike Clarke, UK Cochrane Centre
Davina Ghersi, International Clinical Trials
Registry Platform, WHO
David Moher, Bias Methods Group
Mark Petticrew, Campbell and Cochrane Equity