A timeline for conducting your clinical trial

This year, in celebration of International Clinical Trials Day on 20 May, BioMed Central has put together a timeline of the stages of conducting a clinical trial. We’ll reveal more stages throughout the week, in the lead up to the day itself. We’ve invited some of the greats in the field to comment on why the stage is important to a trial, what should be considered and why it should be considered at that point in the trial timeline.

It all began with James Lind in the 1740s, and his observation that British fleet scurvy caused more deaths than in French and Spanish fleets combined. He hypothesized that the citrus fruit on board the latter were minimizing their risk so on May 20, 1747, took 12 patients on board the British Salisbury and tested whether these fruit would alleviate their scurvy symptoms.

This gave rise to one of the first ever recorded clinical trials and why we celebrate International Clinical Trials Day globally on May 20.

Since Lind’s pioneering work 269 years ago, medical research has come a long way.

This year, BioMed Central has put together a clinical trial timeline; new stages will be added throughout the week, many with comments from those within the field, so that by International Clinical Trials Day (on Friday) the full timeline will be available.


The timeline is now complete! We hope you enjoyed following the steps day-by-day and hope this is a useful resource for you now.

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