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Trials to Publications tool: Linking clinical trial data on registries with journal publications

A free online tool promises to make the process of finding medical evidence more efficient and effective for systematic reviewers, health technology assessment experts and metascientists.

The Trials to Publications tool allows users to search journal articles for any trial listed on the American registry. Working from a trial’s registry number, it uses a statistical model to automatically identify PubMed articles likely to report the trial’s outcomes.

Potential publications are then displayed together with a probability matching score.

Users can upload batches of up to 10,000 trials for publication searches. They can also use an advanced search option to manually refine search queries.

The tool’s designers, Neil Smalheiser and Arthur Holt, told TranspariMED that they would like to hear from potential collaborators and partners interested in further developing and expanding the tool.

“We would like to make our dataset available for bulk download,” explained Smalheiser. “That would enable users to generate search results instantaneously.”

“Going forward, we would love to adopt this tool for other clinical trial registries as well,” Holt told TranspariMED. “However, some registries do not allow users to download complete XML datasets. The API was really useful for us when we developed this tool.”

Trials to Publications is the latest tool to emerge from a ten-year effort by the team to develop useful tools for the medical community.

“All our tools are oriented at people working in evidence-based medicine,” Smalheiser said. For example, they also developed an “Automated RCT tagger for identifying human randomized controlled clinical trial articles”.

For overviews of their complete suite of tools, see here and:

TranspariMED would like to thank Tiago Machado for bringing this tool to our attention.


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