The objective of this work was to describe requirements for inclusion of soluble biomarkers in osteoarthritis (OA) clinical trials and progress toward OA-related biomarker qualification. The Guidelines for Biomarkers Working Group, representing experts in the field of OA biomarker research from both academia and industry, convened to discuss issues related to soluble biomarkers and to make recommendations for their use in OA clinical trials based on current knowledge and anticipated benefits. This document summarizes current guidance on use of biomarkers in OA clinical trials and their utility at five stages, including preclinical development and phase I to phase IV trials. As demonstrated by this summary, biomarkers can provide value at all stages of therapeutics development. When resources permit, we recommend collection of biospecimens in all OA clinical trials for a wide variety of reasons but in particular, to determine whether biomarkers are useful in identifying those individuals most likely to receive clinically important benefits from an intervention; and to determine whether biomarkers are useful for identifying individuals at earlier stages of OA in order to institute treatment at a time more amenable to disease modification.