It costs nothing for an organisation to issue vague statements in favour of transparency and integrity. This time, a World Health Organization joint statement on clinical trials transparency, signed by 15 major non-industry research funders (see box), gives unusual grounds for optimism. Where previous documents have been shapeless, this one makes clear commitments to transparency, with timelines; it promises unambiguous outcomes where compliance can be easily assessed; it gives technical details around implementation; and crucially it includes a commitment for open self-auditing, so progress can be monitored.