Faculty of 1000, the publisher of a range of services for life scientists and clinicians, has launched F1000Trials, a database designed to enable rapid discovery and understanding of articles about clinical trials. The database is a continually updated, comprehensive database of articles on randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews, drawn from more than 300 general and specialist medical journals.
As randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews in healthcare have grown in number and influence, there is an increasing need to identify those studies that should change how physicians treat their patients. F1000Trials extends the system of peer-nominated experts identifying research in biology and medicine pioneered by F1000Prime. The F1000 faculty members provide expert assessment of newly published trial articles and write short reviews, recommending the most noteworthy by assigning star ratings and highlighting those that change clinical practice.
“There is an increasing amount of information about clinical trials being shared online, but it can be difficult to search, compare and understand,” said Anne Greenwood, Faculty of 1000 managing director. “F1000Trials will help many different users of the medical literature—including practicing clinicians, clinical researchers, health policy makers, librarians, pharmacists, regulators, patient organizations and the pharmaceutical industry—to find out which clinical trials matter most and where all the key publications can be found.”
Clinical trials can produce numerous publications about the same trial, scattered and disconnected across different journals and databases. F1000Trials helps users find clinical trials by providing links to all publications known about a particular trial that are included in the life science database PubMed. Links to trial registration databases are also included, helping to create an electronic “threaded publication trail” about clinical trials.
“This alerting mechanism will also facilitate prompt updating of systematic reviews of trials,” said professor Peter Sandercock, University of Edinburgh.
F1000Trials allows users to search instantly across all known generic names and brand names of particular drugs, as well as search for specific studies, diseases and conditions. F1000Trials identifies and tags articles that report negative or null results.
“We need more transparency around clinical trial results to avoid negative results being withheld,” said Dr. Ben Goldacre. “But we also need more engagement by clinicians and the public with all trials research. Tools like F1000Trials are an important part of that movement, away from the days of trial results being entirely inaccessible or sitting in long technical documents that clinicians may not have time to read.”
F1000Trials currently is in its public “beta” phase, and is free to access to anyone who registers on the web site.