The COMET (Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials; www.comet-inititative.org) initiative brings together people interested in the development and application of agreed standardised sets of outcomes, known as ‘core outcome sets’. These sets represent the minimum that should be measured and reported in all clinical trials of a specific condition, and are also suitable for use in clinical audit or research other than randomised trials. The existence or use of a core outcome set does not imply that outcomes in a particular trial should be restricted to those in the relevant core outcome set. Rather, there is an expectation that the core outcomes will be collected and reported, making it easier for the results of trials to be compared, contrasted and combined as appropriate; while researchers continue to explore other outcomes as well. COMET aims to collate and stimulate relevant resources, both applied and methodological, to facilitate exchange of ideas and information, and to foster methodological research in this area.