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How to Read a Study Record


Study Record Details

At the top of a study record page, you will find the study's brief title and the following information:


  • Studies with an open recruitment status, such as Recruiting, Not yet recruiting, or Available for expanded access, display their status in green text.
  • Studies with a closed recruitment status display their status in red text. This status includes studies that have been Completed and studies that are ongoing but not recruiting participants (Active, not recruiting).
  • Studies with an Unknown status display their status in brown text.

See Recruitment Status in the glossary for more information.


The sponsor is the organization or person (see also Sponsor-Investigator) who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.


A collaborator is an organization other than the Sponsor that provides support for a clinical study. This support may include funding, design, implementation, data analysis, or reporting.

Information Provided By (Responsible Party)

The contents of the study record are provided by this organization or person. This sponsor, sponsor-investigator, or sponsor-designated principal investigator is responsible for submitting information about a clinical study to and updating that information. Identifier

A unique identification code given to each clinical study registered on The format is "NCT" followed by an 8-digit number (for example, NCT00000419). This identifier is also known as the NCT Number.

You can quickly find a record on by entering this identifier in the search box located at the top of each page or on the home page.

First Received

The First Received date is the date on which summary clinical study protocol information was first submitted to There is typically a delay of a few days between the First Received date and when the study information is available on

Last Updated

The Last Updated date is the most recent date on which changes to a study record were submitted to There may be a delay between the Last Updated date and when the updated study information is available on Also, this date may be different from the Last Verified date.

Last Verified

The Last Verified date is the most recent date on which all of a clinical study's information on was confirmed as accurate and current by the responsible party. This date may be different from the Last Updated date. If a study with a status of Recruiting; Not yet recruiting; or Active, not recruiting has not been confirmed within the past 2 years, the study's Recruitment status is shown as Unknown.

History of Changes

A study record can be modified at any time by the sponsor or investigator. If no changes have been made, "No changes posted" appears in this field. If changes have been made, earlier versions of the record can be accessed by clicking on the History of Changes link. See Historical Views of Records for more information.

Study Record Tabs

You can view information about a study by using the Full Text View, Tabular View, or Study Results (or No Study Results Posted) tabs:

Study record page tabs

Full Text View

The Full Text View is the default view. It provides complete information about a study, including the following:


This section explains what the researchers will do during the clinical study and why they are conducting the study, and it specifies what condition is being studied and the questions that the researchers want to answer. General information, such as estimated enrollment and study start and completion dates, is also provided. You can find out what type of intervention participants receive, what the dosage is for drugs, and how long the participants receive the intervention. Details such as phase, study type, study design, and official study title are also provided.


This section explains who is allowed to participate in the study. The most common criteria are listed first: ages eligible for the study, sexes eligible for study, and whether the study accepts healthy volunteers. A list of additional inclusion and exclusion criteria is also provided in this section.

Contacts and Locations

This section contains the study's Identifier (NCT Number) and contact information for the study investigators when the study is recruiting participants. The study location is shown below the study sponsor's contact information. If the study is being conducted in many locations, click on the Show Study Locations link to see a complete list of locations. The recruitment status appears next to each location.

More Information

This section contains information on references and links to Web sites that are relevant to the study. The study sponsor may provide citations for publications that are related to the background or results of the study.

Tabular View

The Tabular View displays complete study information in a table. The information is organized as follows:

  • Tracking Information (for example, Start Date, Primary Outcome Measures)
  • Descriptive Information (for example, Brief Summary, Study Design)
  • Recruitment Information (for example, Recruitment Status, Eligibility Criteria)
  • Administrative Information (for example, NCT Number, Responsible Party)

Study Results

If results for a study are available in the results database, the Study Results tab provides summary results. Study results include the following information:

If no results have been posted on, the results tab is labeled No Study Results Posted. See About the Results Database for more information.

Search Term Highlighting

If you are viewing a study record that appeared in your search results list, your search words will be highlighted in the text of the study record. Search words will be highlighted in pink, and synonyms for search words will be highlighted in yellow. For example, if your search words are heart attack, the words "heart" and "attack" will be highlighted in pink wherever they appear in each record. Synonyms for heart attack, such as myocardial infarction, will be highlighted in yellow.

Highlighted search term and synonym

Historical Views of Records

Historical views of all records are available on the archive site. Historical views show you when a record was updated and how it was changed. You will need the Identifier (NCT Number) for the record in order to view its history. The NCT Number can be found at the top of every study record. You can also click on the History of Changes link at the top of a study record to see its earlier, archived versions.

Advanced: Viewing Study Records in Extensible Markup Language (XML) Format

When viewing a study record, you can add the URL parameter "displayxml=true" to the end of the URL to display XML in your browser.

See Downloading Content for Analysis for more information on displaying search results in XML.

Learn More

  • About Studies: Learn about how and why clinical research is conducted.
  • How to Search: Learn about finding studies on
This page last reviewed in June 2017