Why Journals Resist
Drug Trial Registration


Although publication bias is known to be a serious problem that public drug trial registration is meant to address, only a fraction of journals require registration. A British Medical Journal study published this week finds that editors and publishers may not understand the requirements or benefits of registration, fear that such a policy places them at a competitive disadvantage, and reluctance to reject submissions from developing countries.

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Note from the Editor:
The writers of this article have expressed an interest in responding to comments (and, I assume, questions), and also in writing something for Mad in America if they “get a burst of inspiration/free time.”
Let’s hope we inspire them.

Wager, E., Williams, P.; “Hardly worth the effort”? Medical journals’ policies and their editors’ and publishers’ views on trial registration and publication bias: quantitative and qualitative study. British Medical Journal. Online September 6, 2013. BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5248

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].