New F1000Research gateway to maximise the 3Rs impact of NC3Rs-funded research

Launching today, the NC3Rs Gateway is a new publication portal on the F1000Research publication platform dedicated to the 3Rs – replacement, refinement and reduction of animals in research, featuring methodology articles, reviews and source data. All articles will be published almost immediately and then undergo invited open peer review.

The NC3Rs has previously described a 3Rs “valley of death” between the development of new 3Rs technologies and approaches and their subsequent uptake into practice. This lag is influenced by a range of factors including a lack of information in the published literature on 3Rs approaches such that awareness of their utility can be poor.

The collaboration with F1000Research and its open and rapid publication model, is part of the NC3Rs strategy to tackle the “valley of death” for the research it funds. This is by ensuring that the outputs of its investment in 3Rs R&D are not only widely available but that they contain sufficient technical detail to enable others in the scientific community to make an informed decision as to whether the new models and tools are appropriate for their purposes. To ensure that the scientific literature is complete, the NC3Rs will be working closely with their grant holders to identify gaps in information that could be filled by publishing in the NC3Rs portal.

The NC3Rs is the UK’s major funder of 3Rs research, committing around £8 million each year in grants and early career awards. The portal (one of F1000Research’s Gateways) will ensure that its grant holders have an opportunity to publish the full extent of their work, avoiding publication bias. The primary focus will be on providing a format where NC3Rs grant holders can describe the method development, its performance characteristics and steps taken to validate it as well as a full exposition of the 3Rs impacts. This information is relevant to a wide range of stakeholders including scientific peers and collaborators as well as ethics committees and regulators who are charged with ensuring the 3Rs are put into practice.

Dr Vicky Robinson, Chief Executive at the NC3Rs welcomed the launch of the new NC3Rs Gateway:

“This is an exciting new collaboration for the NC3Rs and we are really pleased to be working with F1000Research to ensure all of the outputs from the research we fund are in the public domain. The scientists we support have great track records in publishing the scientific findings obtained using the new models and tools we have funded the development of. But, often, the papers don’t include much detail on the impacts of the work in terms of minimising the use of lab animals or the suffering they may experience. This is a missed opportunity and the NC3Rs Gateway will ensure greater transparency and ultimately the shift in animal research that we are committed to delivering.”

Dr Rebecca Lawrence, Managing Director of F1000, the publisher of F1000Research, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with NC3Rs to launch a new Gateway on their behalf that will be dedicated to showcasing the 3Rs research that they fund. By publishing method and review articles in an immediate and transparent manner, and by ensuring that they include any underlying data and associated methods information, others will be able to build upon this work. In making a central point for researchers to publish and access this information, NC3Rs are ensuring new advances and discoveries can become common practice much sooner than before.”

Further commentary in guest blog from Vicky Robinson in blog post here: