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New style and new content for ClinicalTrials.gov.
On August 13, 2012, visitors to the ClinicalTrials.gov Web site and the accompanying Protocol Registration System (PRS) Information Web site (designed for data providers) saw a link to a beta site including a new integrated homepage and updated graphic design for the site (http://clinicaltrials.gov/beta/). (The last major redesign of ClinicalTrials.gov was introduced in September 2007. For more information, see New Look for ClinicalTrials.gov.) Visitors will also have access to new and reorganized written content about clinical research, background information about the site, searching for studies, and maintaining study records. However, core functions of the site — including the basic and advanced search, search results options, and the study record data – will remain the same. The new site interface will run in parallel with the previous version for approximately four weeks after launch. After appropriate testing and additional minor changes it will permanently replace the previous interface.
ClinicalTrials.gov is the NLM-developed Web-based registry and results database of clinical research studies. The Web site provides patients, clinicians, researchers, and the public with access to information about interventional and observational studies. As of August 2012, ClinicalTrials.gov contained over 130,000 clinical research studies in all fifty states and in 179 countries. Since it was launched in 2000, ClinicalTrials.gov has expanded in terms of scope, features, and intended audiences in response to the evolving policies and laws promoting the registration of clinical trials. For example, Congress enacted legislation in 2007 that added the first public results database. As a result, summary information about clinical trials of FDA-approved medical products would be freely available, whether or not the results were published in the medical literature. To accommodate the results database, new user interface features in ClinicalTrials.gov were launched in 2008 to display the results data tables and allow for searching of studies with results (for more information, see ClinicalTrials.gov to Include Basic Results Data). Over time the Web site has featured the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey tool to collect feedback from users and usability evaluations have been conducted. The results of this user feedback as well as the changing nature of the Web site provided the motivation for redesigning ClinicalTrials.gov.
This article introduces the new site navigation features, new appearance, and new content for the public, patients and families, clinicians, researchers and study record data providers.