BMJ is one of the first medical journals and now known as a global brand with a worldwide audience. It aims to help medical organisations and clinicians tackle today’s most critical healthcare challenges by publishing new academic research, providing professional development solutions and creating new information-analysis tools.
In January 2013, BMJ came up with a data sharing policy which made the medical journal one of the first with such regulation. This initial policy was focused mainly on sharing of individual patient data for trials of drug and devices specifying that such trials would be considered for publication only if the authors agreed to make the relevant anonymised patient level data available on reasonable request.
As the movement to make data from clinical trials widely accessible has achieved enormous success, BMJ has decided to expand their requirements. From the 1 July, BMJ started applying their data sharing policy to all submitted clinical trials, not just those that test drugs or devices.
Making anonymised patient level data from clinical trials available for independent scrutiny will allow other researchers to replicate key analyses, reduce the possibility that studies will be unnecessarily duplicated, and maximise the use of the information from trials. An initial investment of time and money would definitely be needed to prepare trial data for sharing, but after those first steps are taken, the value of the data would increase immensely.
Read the editorial from BMJ here: The BMJ requires data sharing on requests for all trials