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What's new on the ISRCTN registry?

February 01, 2024

ISRCTN is required under the WHO standards for study registration to obtain written third-party confirmation that a study exists. Acceptable evidence includes letters from ethics committees, funding agencies or government regulatory authorities. 

You can now upload this document to your application form, instead of emailing it later. This means that if the application form is filled in correctly, your study can be made ready to publish as soon as it has been checked by our editorial team.

We record that this information has been provided and store the document, but the evidence will not be publicly displayed.

September 29, 2023

Two updates this month:

When completing the application form ('Register your study') it is now a requirement to add one of each type of study contact (Principal Investigator, Scientific contact, Public contact). The same person can be more than one type of contact. We encourage adding more than one person to the contacts.

It is now possible to export a PDF of your application form, update form, or any published record by clicking the [Preview PDF] or [Export PDF] button on the page. The PDF filename will include the date that the record was last saved for your reference.

June 13, 2023

We have changed the way that ethics approval information is entered into the application form ('Register your study') and the 'Update your record' form. There are now separate fields for 'Ethics approval required', 'Approval status', 'Status date', the ethics committee name, address, telephone number, email address, and 'Reference number'.

If you are using the 'Update your record' form and you do not need to update the ethics approval details, you do not need to edit the ethics fields as the previously entered data will be used. 

May 17, 2023

We have changed the language in our submission form and guidance to refer to studies rather than trials to make it clearer that all study designs can be registered.

For sponsor organizations ISRCTN now uses the Research Organization Registry (ROR) community-led registry of open persistent identifiers: @ResearchOrgs

We have added new fields for participant upper and lower age limits to make searching for studies open to particular ages possible on other platforms such as

We have added a new field for pharmaceutical study types and also added safety and efficacy options to the study types field to help with searching and understanding pharmaceutical trials.

We have added more options for participant types and you can now select more than one option if applicable.

If you are using our API to gather data, we have now added links to the additional files hosted on the record to the Internal API format.

February 20, 2023

The transparency tracker has been upgraded to include charts that highlight prospective registration, regular updating of ongoing records and posting protocols, statistical analysis plans (SAPs), and data links to the record. 

For any search click on 'View in tracker' to view the results in the transparency tracker. Here is an example of the transparency tracker for a search where the condition category = Cancer.

Do you think these new features are useful? We are keen to know what you think! Please complete our feedback form.

January 27, 2023

Does your study take place in several settings? The 'study settings' selection in the application form has been expanded to include more options, and you can select as many settings as appropriate for your study.

The expanded list is below:

Built environment/local authority
Care home
Charity/Voluntary sector
Dental clinic
Fitness/sport facility
GP practice
Medical and other records
Other therapist office
Pharmaceutical testing facility
Retail/food outlet
Telephone or other remote access
Training facility/simulation
University/medical school/dental school

January 3, 2023

The ISRCTN registry welcomes our new ISRCTN non-executive Chair Andrew Freeman and Director Derek Stewart. We also thank the previous Chair Marc Taylor. Please see the announcement for more information.

June 20, 2022

The ISRCTN registry wants to encourage trialists to follow research openness and transparency recommendations.

Registry records now display green badges to highlight prospective registration, regular updating of ongoing records and posting protocols, statistical analysis plans (SAPs), data links and results to the record. The BEEP trial is an example that has several of the green badges.

The transparency tracker provides a visual display of the transparency achieved by a set of records, found by a search of the registry. The first stage of this is to track ‘Study results reporting’ for studies that have been completed. Further charts will be added in the future, based on the transparency badges shown on each record. For any search click on 'view in tracker' to view the results in the transparency tracker.

Do you think these new features are useful? We are keen to know what you think! Please complete our feedback form.

December 16, 2021

If you have study sites in the United Kingdom, you can now enter them more easily in the Trial Participating Centres section of your application. Simply enter the first few characters of the address and choose from the list of suggestions. We have 265285 sites to choose from!

November 11, 2021

We now have videos to explain how to apply for an ISRCTN, how to update your record, and how to add results. See the playlist here.

September 13, 2021

You can now see the UK regions (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) where recruitment is taking place for studies recruiting in the United Kingdom.

Sponsor organizations that are UK region-specific (such as hospitals and universities) now have the UK region added to their address details.

July 29, 2021

Trial outputs such as results, protocols, participant information sheets, data files are now displayed as a table in the 'Results and Publications' section of a study record. (If you have any feedback please contact the ISRCTN editorial team).

May 25, 2021

Want to come back to that draft ISRCTN application you started last year? No problem, all draft applications will remain on your account for 12 months.

February 26, 2021

As well as using the Advanced Search and downloading the results as a CSV file, you can now retrieve data using the ISRCTN XML API. Please see the API documentation here for more details (note this is a draft document, if you have any feedback please contact the ISRCTN editorial team).

January 25, 2021

In the first half of 2021 we plan to make some significant changes to the website:

  • Trial outputs (such as publications, data links, patient-facing materials etc) will be consolidated in a table in the record, making it easier to track research outputs
  • Transparency best practice badges will be added to study records that have met transparency targets (registered prospectively, regularly updated, published or posted results within 1 year etc) to encourage transparency
  • It will be possible to explore the registry using a dashboard style view, to filter search results and get a more visual understanding of the records (see the prototype here)
  • UK-based studies will display the nation(s) of the UK where recruitment is taking place. This will make it easier for potential participants to find studies, particularly on the NHS Be Part of Research website, which uses data from ISRCTN to display information for studies in the UK.
  • The section on plans for sharing raw data will be updated to include more information 

In 2020, a number of updates were made to the website:

  • Pages containing information on trial registration in French, Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic were added to promote international registration
  • Software was added to allow editors to make changes to site content, including banners that can be used to deliver up to date information about the registry, for example, our response to COVID-19
  • Pages were added for trialists to make updates and add results to their records directly via the website
  • A new flag was added to records that have been completed for over 1 year and have not had any results added (‘Results overdue’), which can also be filtered for in the search results
  • The name of each sponsor organisation given in the records was associated with the GRID database making it easier to search for study records from the same sponsor