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Time to publication for NIHR HTA programme-funded studies


Previous work has shown that 98% of NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme projects publish in Health Technology Assessment (the peer reviewed journal for the NIHR HTA Programme). 68% of clinical trials funded by the US NIH publish, with 46% publishing within 30 months of trial completion. This study aimed to assess the time-to-publication of HTA Programme primary research (trials, diagnostic studies, surveys and modelling projects) and compare this with other funding bodies.

Study design and setting

A retrospective cohort study of HTA Programme primary research, completing between 1993 and 2011, publishing in Health Technology Assessment and any associated publications in other peer-reviewed journals. Time-to-publication was determined by calculating the number of months from when the study concluded (end of follow-up) to the online publication date in Health Technology Assessment or external journal.


92.3% of HTA Programme primary research projects in this cohort (n=155) published and the median time to publication was 22 months. 88.4% of primary research studies published in Health Technology Assessment, with 62.6% publishing in another peer-reviewed journal. 93.7% of HTA Programme trials (n=126) published, 67.5% by 30 months and the median time to publication was 23 months.


HTA Programme research publishes promptly and the importance of Health Technology Assessment was highlighted, as publication rate for primary research was considerably higher in this than for other peer-reviewed journals. HTA Programme trials also have a considerably higher publication rate and publish more promptly than trials funded by the US NIH and those sponsored by industry.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Chinnery, F., Young, A., Goodman, J. et al. Time to publication for NIHR HTA programme-funded studies. Trials 14 (Suppl 1), P69 (2013).

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