Ultimately, the most important benefit in creating a fully transparent research platform and promoting a culture of transparency in biomedical research organisations is in protecting patients as partners in research. Patients, clinicians and clinical trial researchers deserve full disclosure of prior research findings to enable this to be incorporated into a process of best informed research design and consent.
It is unethical to recruit patients into trials where similar molecules are known to have failed but the reason is unknown.
To Improve Research Opportunities
The design and optimisation of biomedical research is enhanced by researchers having access to all previous studies and data. This way, previous studies, methodologies and outcomes whether positive or negative can be considered and incorporated to enhance biomedical research design and efficient use of the research dollar, avoiding expensive replication of studies which may not have proceeded in the same way if prior data were available to be reviewed during the study design phase.
The online biomedical research index (BMRI) enables researchers to upload a summary of their research results, even when these results are not suitable for publication. This allows other researchers to connect and potentially apply to share data and experience by mutual agreement for research purposes. The BMRI will invite researchers to upload abstract summaries, keywords, data samples and contact details for all biomedical research results, including biomedical laboratory science, pilot studies, as well as preclinical trials, clinical trials and post-marketing studies.
To Rebalance Biomedical Publication Selection Bias
The publicly available body of scientific literature becomes skewed when there is an emphasis on publication of studies with positive outcomes above those with negative outcomes. We believe that all research outcomes are of equal value in achieving transparency. This improves understanding of the true clinical and biological picture in the development and monitoring of existing as well as new therapies and devices.
Where there is effectively a selection bias towards publication of positive findings, and a higher degree of difficulty (whether real or perceived) in publication of studies that “don’t work”, researchers and clinicians will not be confident that they have access to the full spectrum of results in their field. If researchers and clinicians are not given access to all previous study results and are shown a biased selection of positive findings, they can be falsely reassured of the likely success of a particular intervention.
Research funding is finite, whereas scientific possibility is expanding, and the facilitation of transparent biomedical results reporting gives the best basis for ongoing informed research design.