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Medical journals to make sharing trial data compulsory

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors has said it plans to make the sharing of underlying data a requirement of clinical trials publication in its journals.

In an editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the committee says that there is an ethical obligation to share data generated by interventional clinical trials, because participants have put themselves at risk.

The committee is proposing that authors who want to publish clinical-trial reports in member journals, which include The Lancet and PLOS Medicine, will have to share the de-identified individual patient data underlying the results presented in the article no later than six months after publication. This, it says, should include tables, figures, and appendices or supplementary material.

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