Standards for design and measurement would make clinical research reproducible and usable

Kay Dickersin, Evan Mayo-Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We find standards useful in everyday life and in science, although we do not always follow them. Adopting new standards can be expensive, so there May be a strong incentive to maintain the status quo rather than adopt new standards. The scientific community has many standards encompassing both doing clinical research and reporting it, including standards for design and measurement. Although existing research standards have improved both research and its reporting, we need to unify existing standards and to fill the gaps between steps throughout the research process. Existing gaps include implementation of standards and links between standards for study registration (to know about all studies undertaken), study protocols (to identify the preplanned study design and methods), data collection (to assess outcomes that are important and comparable across studies), dissemination of findings (to know the results of previous studies), data sharing (to make best use of existing data), and evidence synthesis (to draw appropriate conclusions from the body of evidence). The scientific community must work together to harmonize existing standards, to ensure that standards are kept up to date, to check that standards are followed, and to develop standards where they are still needed. A unified system of standards will make our work more reproducible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2590-2594
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 13 2018


  • Clinical trials
  • Data sharing
  • Open science
  • Scientific standards
  • Systematic reviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Standards for design and measurement would make clinical research reproducible and usable'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this