Research Data Publication Policies in Veterinary Medicine

Erin E. Kerby, MS

Veterinary Medicine Librarian; Assistant Professor, University Library, Veterinary Medicine Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Many professionals working in the field of veterinary medicine have recognized the need to improve the quality and reliability of published research, but little progress has been made on this front in the past decade. While the researchers themselves could do much to improve the situation, there are other stakeholders involved who need to step up to the plate.

This presentation puts forth the idea that veterinary journal publishers and editors need to be more clear and rigorous with their policies and author instructions, specifically with regards to research data. An article recently published in BMC Veterinary Research suggests that “wider adoption of reporting guidelines by veterinary journals would improve the quality of published veterinary research.” Such an improvement would allow for more effective appraisal of the literature and accordingly increase the quality of evidence available and used in veterinary practice.

These reporting guidelines could be further strengthened by a policy for the inclusion and/or sharing of research data. Several recent governmental mandates and initiatives at the federal level have caused entities such as NSF (National Science Foundation) and NIH (National Institutes of Health) to begin creating policies requiring grant applicants to create research data management plans. Despite this, there has been little incentive so far for veterinary researchers to create data management plans or to make their data more widely available because many grant recipients do not reach the funding threshold for the NSF and NIH requirements.

Although a handful of veterinary journals currently have some sort of research data policy, wider adoption would create more incentive for the researchers and authors, improve the peer review process, and contribute to better quality published research

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