Information for researchers

How do I list my study on the UK Clinical Trials Gateway?

Clinical trials and studies listed on UKCTG are pulled from two databases - the ISRCTN (International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number) registry and the U.S. database ClinicalTrials.gov.

For your trial or study to be included on UKCTG, you must create a listing on one of these two databases. The listing will be automatically be pulled to the UKCTG website once this has been done. This will happen one week after you have added your study to the databases. There is no other way to list your trial or study on UKCTG.

More information on how to put your trial on ISRCTN is on the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) portfolio page.

Please be aware that there is a fee to register your trial or study on ISRCTN. However, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) may be able to fund ISRCTN registration for eligible NIHR CRN Portfolio studies. Read more about the ISRCTN registration and studies eligible for DHSC funding.

Information on how to register your trial or study on ClinicalTrials.gov is available on the organisation’s website.

Information about the NIHR portfolio

UKCTG draws its studies from ISRCTN and ClinicalTrials.gov and some of those studies are from the NIHR portfolio.

Studies that are on the NIHR portfolio are not automatically added to UKCTG. To add your study to UKCTG please follow the instructions above.

Why do you need a lay summary?

UKCTG is a service that allows patients and members of the public to search for clinical trials and studies they are suitable for, and then contact you directly about the trial. People visiting our website are primarily  patients and members of the public who are not familiar with scientific and medical terminology.

It’s therefore essential that when registering your study, the information is communicated in a lay-friendly way.

The clearer and more accessible your registration entry is, the more likely it is that a suitable trial participant will understand what you are trying to achieve in your trial, and contact you via UKCTG with a view to taking part.

For an idea of how to write for a lay audience, NIHR INVOLVE’s plain English summaries page acts as a great guide and stepping stone to communicating your trial well.

Additionally, below is some guidance on how to include lay-friendly information in the two databases, ISRCTN and ClinicalTrials.gov

It is also important to add your contact details into ISRCTN and ClinicalTrials.gov so that people can easily get in touch with you. Please make sure that any contact details you input into the system are up-to-date and accurate, and update them as soon as you can so it is reflected on UKCTG in a timely manner.

ISRCTN lay summary guidance

If you register a new trial with ISRCTN, you will be asked to supply a ‘Plain English Summary’ of your trial; see the definition of this on the ISRCTN site for more information.

An editorial team will review this summary, and you may be asked for clarification.

We then use this information in the summary section on the UKCTG site.

Because the ISRCTN team works with you in this way, trials registered here tend to have good lay information on UKCTG.

But if your trial has already been registered and you do not feel that the plain English summary is easy enough to understand, you can contact ISRCTN’s editorial team at info@isrctn.com; they will amend the details as you request.

ClinicalTrials.gov lay summary guidance

If you register a trial with Clinicaltrials.gov, you should enter lay-friendly information into the field called 'Brief Summary'. We then use this summary in the 'summary' section on the UKCTG site.

If your trial has already been registered and appears on UKCTG, but the information in this field is too technical, you can correct it by following ClinicalTrial.gov’s instructions on How to Edit Your Study Record.               

ISRCTN is the preferred partner of the Department of Health and Social Care / NIHR

ISRCTN has been collaborating with the Department for many years to help UK researchers meet 3 registration objectives:

ISRCTN has an agreement with the Department of Health to facilitate registration from the NIHR Central Portfolio Management System (CPMS). Please view the criteria for more information. After studies are listed in ISRCTN, researchers receive regular reminders at certain milestones to ensure that records are kept up-to-date.

By registering with ISRCTN, you will comply with national and international guidelines, benefit from editorial help, ensure information is up-to-date and bring your research to a wider audience.

Why does UKCTG show different records for the same study?

In order to contain as many high quality study records as possible, UKCTG uses data from multiple registries.

In some cases, studies may be registered on more than one of these sources at a time, if for example the trial’s main site is outside the UK.

You can check whether two (or more) records are for the same study by looking at the reference given on each record on the right side above the heading ‘Primary Trial ID Number’. A trial ID number is the unique identifier allocated by a registry to a study and necessary for publication.