Clinical studies and related research have been undertaken by independent groups, but the quality of research varies considerably. Acceptable results should be brought together for comparison and conclusions. It has proved difficult to apply and integrate the basic principles and methodology of modem science that ensure the reliability of research subjects to clinical studies on acupuncture. Application of basic principles and methodology of modem science, i.e. design, conduct, statistical analysis, interpretation and reporting, were not properly understood by acupuncture researchers. In 1989, a WHO scientific group which met in Geneva recommended that WHO play a role in consolidating guidelines on research methodology so as to ensure the acceptable quality of results.