3.3 Using the CRS to maintain a specialised register

The CRS can be used to maintain either a study-based register, or a reference-based register, which includes reports of studies (see 2.7 Types of Specialised Registers for more information on how these differ).

Study reports are added by importing references from databases such as CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO etc, or can be entered by hand. Records can be imported in a number of formats. CRS has built-in import filters which can be modified if needed. 

CRS checks for duplicate records at the import stage but duplicate checking can also be carried out at any time. Users can create their own deduplication filters.

The formatting of the fields within a Register is important, Information Specialists should use the HarmoniSR guidance for any records they intend to submit to CENTRAL, to ensure that records are consistent. This guidance can be found on the Information Specialists' Portal in the "Specialised Register" section. Records added to the CRS that will be published in CENTRAL are automatically edited in accordance with this guidance, which ensures consistency in record formatting and output. However, some manual editing will still be required.

The CRS allows for storage of core bibliographic data and any other study information a Group thinks is appropriate.  You can also store the full text of references in the CRS, but this should be done with compliance to local copyright laws and arrangements.

The CRS allows linking together of reports of the same trial. It has dedicated study fields for addition of information that relates to the study – for example, study name, study registration number, number of participants, method of randomisation, blinding, intervention etc.

It has a ‘Studification’ feature – this uses a number of methods to try and match references to studies automatically.

You can search ClinicalTrials.gov from within the CRS by going to the Trial Registries tab, and import study records directly from the database.