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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Making randomised trials more efficient: report of the first meeting to discuss the Trial Forge platform
Authors: Treweek, Shaun
Altman, Doug G
Bower, Peter
Campbell, Marion
Chalmers, Iain
Cotton, Seonaidh
Craig, Peter
Crosby, David
Davidson, Peter
Devane, Declan
Duley, Lelia
Dunn, Janet
Elbourne, Diana
Farrell, Barbara
Gamble, Carrol
Gillies, Katie
Hood, Kerry
Lang, Trudie
Littleford, Roberta
Loudon, Kirsty
McDonald, Alison
McPherson, Gladys
Nelson, Annmarie
Norrie, John
Ramsay, Craig R
Sandercock, Peter
Shanahan, Daniel R
Summerskill, William
Sydes, Matt
Williamson, Paula
Clarke, Mike
Keywords: Randomised controlled trials
research waste
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: Treweek S, Altman DG, Bower P, Campbell M, Chalmers I, Cotton S, Craig P, Crosby D, Davidson P, Devane D, Duley L, Dunn J, Elbourne D, Farrell B, Gamble C, Gillies K, Hood K, Lang T, Littleford R, Loudon K, McDonald A, McPherson G, Nelson A, Norrie J, Ramsay CR, Sandercock P, Shanahan DR, Summerskill W, Sydes M, Williamson P & Clarke M (2015) Making randomised trials more efficient: report of the first meeting to discuss the Trial Forge platform, Trials, 16, p. 261.
Abstract: Randomised trials are at the heart of evidence-based healthcare, but the methods and infrastructure for conducting these sometimes complex studies are largely evidence free. Trial Forge (www. trialforge. org) is an initiative that aims to increase the evidence base for trial decision making and, in doing so, to improve trial efficiency. This paper summarises a one-day workshop held in Edinburgh on 10 July 2014 to discuss Trial Forge and how to advance this initiative. We first outline the problem of inefficiency in randomised trials and go on to describe Trial Forge. We present participants' views on the processes in the life of a randomised trial that should be covered by Trial Forge. General support existed at the workshop for the Trial Forge approach to increase the evidence base for making randomised trial decisions and for improving trial efficiency. Agreed upon key processes included choosing the right research question; logistical planning for delivery, training of staff, recruitment, and retention; data management and dissemination; and close down. The process of linking to existing initiatives where possible was considered crucial. Trial Forge will not be a guideline or a checklist but a ‘go to' website for research on randomised trials methods, with a linked programme of applied methodology research, coupled to an effective evidence-dissemination process. Moreover, it will support an informal network of interested trialists who meet virtually (online) and occasionally in person to build capacity and knowledge in the design and conduct of efficient randomised trials. Some of the resources invested in randomised trials are wasted because of limited evidence upon which to base many aspects of design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials. Trial Forge will help to address this lack of evidence.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: Available under the Creative Commons Attribution License. License text at:
Affiliation: University of Aberdeen
University of Oxford
University of Manchester
University of Aberdeen
James Lind Alliance
University of Aberdeen
University of Glasgow
Medical Research Council
University of Southampton
National University of Ireland - Galway
Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit
University of Warwick
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
University of Oxford
University of Liverpool
University of Aberdeen
Cardiff University
University of Oxford
University of Dundee
HS - Management and Support
University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
Cardiff University
University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
University of Edinburgh
BioMed Central
The Lancet
Medical Research Council
University of Liverpool
Queen's University Belfast

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