Registration of systematic reviews is of great interest to CIHR, as it provides a mechanism to coordinate and capture the breadth of activities taking place around the globe. As a public funder, having a registry assists us and the research community in avoiding duplication so that our limited research funds can be deployed effectively and efficiently. A registry assists the research community in identifying pre-existing systematic reviews, avoiding duplicate work, and hopefully encouraging work to fill in identified gaps in knowledge. PROSPERO is an example of such a registry, and can be accessed at http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/.
Furthermore, a registry that captures the current activities and has a minimum dataset of registry elements can help to avoid publication bias and selective reporting. This is achieved by having a permanent record that allows users to compare the methodologies and outcomes with those identified in the protocol. In addition,, in the event that a review is terminated, the reasons for termination and details of the review's unpublished results could be made available.
From a knowledge-translation perspective, not only does registration benefit researchers and funders, but there is immense potential for people who can use the results of syntheses to inform their decision-making. PROSPERO will be an invaluable way of assisting knowledge users to identify the latest version of a synthesis, access up-to-date, scientifically sound, summaries of the evidence, and identify researchers in key topic areas with whom it may be beneficial to establish future collaborations.