The 'Consolidation of the standards of reporting trials' (CONSORT) statement was published in 1996. From that time on all manuscripts reporting randomized controlled trials (RCTs) submitted to JAMA, The Lancet or the British Medical Journal, must include a flow diagram and all the information in the CONSORT checklist. The Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde (Dutch Journal of Medicine) will follow suit. The manuscripts must be accompanied by this checklist together with the page numbers where each item may be found. The completed checklist will be sent to the editors and the reviewers but will not be published. This method of publication is also applicable to longitudinal or cross-sectional studies. By making the process of publishing trials controllable it is hoped that the quality of these manuscripts will improve and with it their use and the quality of scientific research.