The Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education

Register Your Clinical Trial – Important FAQs


Spectrum Operations, Training and Compliance (OTC) serves faculty and clinical research personnel at Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

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Should you register your research project with

1.  YES, if you want your study listed in the Stanford Clinical Trials Directory and on your CAP profile.

If you want your study to appear in the Stanford Clinical Trials Directory (v.2) then you must register your study at the NIH website, Stanford’s CT Directory only displays studies that it can pull from

2.  YES, if you want to publish the results of your study.

If you wish to publish your study in a peer-reviewed journal, then it is highly likely that that journal will expect your study to have been registered with Over 1,000 journals have adopted the policy of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) that requires registration in a publically available register. The list of journals is at this link:

ICMJE requires registration for a wider range of studies than what we traditionally think of as “clinical trials” at Stanford. Here is their definition. Please note that almost any prospective study of medical or health interventions in human beings qualifies, including “observational” research.

“The ICMJE believes that it is important to foster a comprehensive, publicly available database of clinical trials. The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or concurrent comparison or control groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Medical interventions include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, process-of-care changes, and the like.”

The ICMJE does not require posting of results for studies that are not otherwise required by law to do so.

3.  YES, because in some cases, IT’S THE LAW.

A smaller subset of studies are required by law to be registered with The FDA Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA) required that most prospective studies involving regulated drugs, biological products, and medical devices must be registered on The law also requires reporting of “basic results” and adverse events for a subset of these studies. If you would like to determine if your study is required by FDAAA to be registered, you can follow the flowchart at this link or contact Spectrum or CCTO for assistance.

4.  When do I have to register my study?

ICMJE requires that you register prior to enrollment of your first study participant.

The law requires that a study be registered within 21 days of enrollment of the first participant. You must also update your ClinicalTrials.govrecords at least every 12 months, or within 30 days of a change in recruitment status.

5.  When do I have to post basic results?

The law requires that a subset of basic information be posted on for any study in which the study product is approved for any use. For example, if you are studying an approved drug for a new use, you must register basic results. You must post this information within 12 months of the “Primary Completion Date” – defined by as the final data collection point for the primary endpoint. Please note that you may not wait until complete data analysis of your project is completed to post basic results, if such completion falls outside the required time frame.

6.  What are the consequences if I don’t register?

The consequences for non-compliance can include rejection for publication in top journals (even for studies not required by law to register), fines from FDA or NIH, or the withholding of grant funds — for you individually or for the entire institution.

Questions about registrations?