Calls for greater transparency and ‘open data access’ in clinical research are widespread, from sources including the Executive Office of the President, which in 2013 called for increased access to the results of federally funded research. In 2015, The Institute of Medicine issued a report advocating for a multi-stakeholder effort to foster responsible data sharing, and there are many others. Open science is good for researchers, good for innovation, and good for patients. The question at the center of the open-science efforts for clinical trials should not be whether data should be shared, but rather how we can usher in responsible methods for doing so. Unfortunately, there remain numerous perceived barriers to complete transparency around clinical trial data. This paper reviews the current status of data disclosure, the barriers to achieving it and a suggestion for the future.
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