Improving publication rates in a collaborative clinical trials research network
Archer, S. W., Carlo, W. A., Truog, W. E., Stevenson, D. K., Van Meurs, K. P., Sanchez, P. J., Das, A., Devaskar, U., Nelin, L. D., Huitema, C. M. P., Crawford, M. M., Higgins, R. D., & Eunice Kennedy Shriver Natl Inst (2016). Improving publication rates in a collaborative clinical trials research network. Seminars in Perinatology, 40(6), 410-417. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.semperi.2016.05.003
Unpublished results can bias biomedical literature, favoring positive over negative findings, primary over secondary analyses, and can lead to duplicate studies that unnecessarily endanger subjects and waste resources. The Neonatal Research Network's (NRN) publication policies for approving, reviewing, and tracking abstracts and papers work to combat these problems. In 2003, the NRN restricted investigators with unfinished manuscripts from proposing new ones and in 2010, urged authors to complete long-outstanding manuscripts. Data from 1991 to 2015 were analyzed to determine effectiveness of these policy changes. The NRN has achieved an overall publication rate of 78% for abstracts. For 1990-2002, of 137 abstracts presented, 43 (31%) were published within 2 years; for 2003-2009, after the manuscript completion policy was instituted, of 140 abstracts presented, 68 (49%) were published within 2 years. Following the effort in 2010, the rate increased to 64%. The NRN surpassed reported rates by developing a comprehensive process, holding investigators accountable and tracking abstracts from presentation to publication.