Our research policies

Our research policies on the use of animals in medical research, and open access publishing.

Position statement on the use of animals in medical research

Target Ovarian Cancer would like to see future advances made without research involving animals, but currently work with animals continues to be essential in some aspects of medical research. Target Ovarian Cancer therefore supports such work where no alternative exists and where it is carried out according to best practice as laid down in legislation. 

Research using animals has made an important contribution to advances in medicine and surgery, which have brought major improvements in the health of human beings and animals. 

Much basic research on physiological, pathological and therapeutic processes still requires the use of animals in experiments. Such research has provided and continues to provide the essential foundation for improvements in medical and veterinary knowledge, education and practice.

Research using animals will continue to be essential for the conquest of many unsolved medical problems, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, other infectious diseases and AIDS; and genetic, developmental, neurological and psychiatric conditions. Target Ovarian Cancer will support research using animals in the UK only if:

  • it is fully compliant with current Home Office legislation
  • it has been approved by a local ethics committee 
  • animal welfare is ensured
  • it has been successfully independently peer reviewed
  • due consideration has been given to the refinement, reduction or replacement of the animals in the experiment and no viable non-animal alternatives exist.

Target Ovarian Cancer believes that a dialogue on the use of animals in research is healthy and should be supported, and that the research community should explain the methods and aims of its research.

Target Ovarian Cancer fully endorses the Association of Medical Research (AMRC) position on animal testing.

Position statement on supporting research in universities

Target Ovarian Cancer fully endorses the AMRC position statement on supporting research in universities.

Position statement in support of open and unrestricted access to published research

The mission of Target Ovarian Cancer is to support the brightest minds in cancer research. 

The main output of this research is new ideas and knowledge, which Target Ovarian Cancer expects its researchers to publish in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals. 

Target Ovarian Cancer believes that maximising the distribution of these papers – by providing free, online access – is the most effective way of ensuring that the research we fund can be accessed, read and built upon. In turn, this will foster a richer research culture. 

Target Ovarian Cancer therefore supports unrestricted access to the published output of research as a fundamental part of its charitable mission and a public benefit to be encouraged wherever possible. 

It is a condition of funding that all original papers published from research that is wholly or substantially funded by Target Ovarian Cancer are deposited in the open access repositories PubMedCentral (PMC) and its linked sister repository EuropePMC within six months of publication. This policy does not extend to reviews, book chapters, editorials or conference proceedings. 

Step-by-step guide to open access publishing

Step 1

Prior to submission, check that the journal you wish to publish in offers an open access policy that is compliant with our conditions of funding.

The Wellcome Trust holds a comprehensive list of the open access arrangements of journals. If you're unable to determine the journal's open access policy, please contact us prior to submission: info@targetovariancancer.org.uk.

Step 2

Determine which of the following actions is required to achieve open access. This will depend on the journal's policy.

Automatic deposition into PMC

This is the preferred option for Target Ovarian Cancer grantholders. No action required; the publisher automatically deposits the journal's full content into PMC at the point of publication or after a short embargo period (this must be no longer than six months).

Author pays for deposition into PMC

Several traditional publishers now offer to deposit individual papers into PMC upon payment of a fee. This is sometimes offered along with deposition into the journal's own online archive. Target Ovarian Cancer will consider paying a proportion of open access fees on behalf of authors for papers that qualify, if the author's institution does not have its own open access funding arrangements.

Publish in an open access journal

Publishers who provide this option include dedicated open access publishers such as BioMed Central and the Public Library of Science. These deposit the final published version of the paper into PMC and make it freely available on the day of publication. An article processing fee is charged for publishing in these journals; Target Ovarian Cancer will consider meeting a proportion of these costs only if the author's institution is unable to.

Author self-deposits the manuscript into EuropePMC 

If the journal does not offer one of the open access options above, it may still be possible to comply with our open access policy by personally depositing a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript into PMC's sister repository EuropePMC. The manuscript must be deposited within six months of the journal's official date of final publication. The version of the paper that should be archived is the final version that is accepted for journal publication (not the publisher's pdf version) and includes all modifications from the publishing peer-review process. Manuscripts self-archived in EuropePMC will be mirrored to the PMC repository. No fee is charged to authors for making papers open access in this way. Authors should first contact publishers directly to clarify whether this option is available, and the procedure required.

Publisher deposits manuscript on author's behalf

A few journals will deposit an author manuscript into EuropePMC free of charge, on the author's behalf. Authors usually have to opt into this service during the submission process. The Nature Publishing Group supports this model.

No open access option offered

A small number of journals remain non-compliant with Target Ovarian Cancer's open access policy. If a researcher wishes to publish a paper in a journal that does not allow open access within six months of publication via one of the routes described above, a case must be made in advance to Target Ovarian Cancer. The request will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.

Step 3

Ensure that the paper is attributed to Target Ovarian Cancer funding and that the grant reference number is accurately cited. This allows both the grantholder and Target Ovarian Cancer to link papers to grants in UKPMC.

If the journal does not provide a template for this information, the following wording is recommended:

'This work was supported by Target Ovarian Cancer [grant number xxxx]'

Step 4

Email us to request open access funding if required: info@targetovariancancer.org.uk. You may apply at any time during or after the completion of a grant. Funding decisions would be on a case-by-case basis and we would only consider providing funding in proportion to the Target Ovarian Cancer-funded author's contribution to the work.

Step 5

Inform us directly as soon as a paper is accepted for publication: info@targetovariancancer.org.uk.