Spinal cord injury (SCI) research is at a crossroads for progressing into legitimate science for discovering a cure. To do this, the interventions designed by basic scientists must be applied by translational processes that are planned and performed with systematic standards. Any proposed intervention should be examined under the scrutiny of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. To support this requirement, the National Institutes of Health has specifically defined the components of a properly run clinical trial. Furthermore, all investigational results should be published according to the Consolidated Standard of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) group, which specifies reporting guidelines for researchers to use. Finally, when it comes to designing and reporting randomized clinical trials for SCI research, unique characteristics of this patient population must be considered to adhere to valid study investigation. © 2006 Thomas Land Publishers, Inc.