Land of open glory: widening access to veterinary research


This week saw the eighth annual Open Access Week, in which academics and researchers from around the world shared expertise on open access publishing while campaigning for it to become the norm.

Since its inception in the 1990s, the online open access movement has made significant headway. There are now hundreds of fully open access journals (including Veterinary Record Open), the contents of which are absolutely free.

Print journals have also seen a significant change; nowadays, many academic journals are ‘hybrid’, offering both subscription and open access options. Veterinary Record falls into this category and has published a range of influential open access articles this year alone, including a review of TB vaccination and a study of antibiotic use in animals across Europe.

Open access publishing has been shown to increase the impact of research. Studies (for example, here, here and here) have shown that open access research is cited more often. Advocates of open access suggest that making the results of studies freely available can have a beneficial impact on patient care as well. If practising vets have the latest information at their fingertips, this could lead to new and better treatment options being adopted more quickly. The fact that studies published in this way are available to anyone in the world with an internet connection means that vets working in developing countries, who may otherwise not have journal subscriptions, have access to cutting edge research and can implement this to improve animal health.

To celebrate Open Access Week and promote open access publishing in the veterinary sector, Veterinary Record and Veterinary Record Open are offering a 15 per cent discount on article processing charges for any articles submitted before November 20, 2014.

If you’re thinking of submitting a manuscript to Veterinary Record or Veterinary Record Open, consider making it open access. Full details of the offer can be found here.

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