Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Laminitis Research: BEVA's Equine Veterinary Journal Grants Free Public Access to New Findings

Temporary open access to a group of laminitis research papers is available to students, professionals and horse owners.
This doesn't happen every day.

The Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) has announced that it is giving the public open (free) access to a collection of important new research papers on equine laminitis.

Normally, non-subscriber access to these articles would be as much as US$40 per view.

The papers include practical advice as well as the latest research. The initiative has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Trust.

Professor Celia Marr, BVMS, MVM, PhD, DEIM, DipECEIM, MRCVS, and editor of the EVJ explains: “In view of the growing public interest in high quality science, there is increasing demand for easy, open access to journal articles via the internet, particularly on topics such as laminitis.

"In recent years, there has been an explosion of knowledge and new thinking about this devastating condition. We have also recognized that some of the old-fashioned remedies, such as standing in cold water, have sound science behind them. I hope that horse owners who are unfortunate enough to have come across laminitis will find this new online resource valuable.”

Laminitis is an equine health crisis whose time has come. The British Equine Veterinary Association Foundation recognized the need for open access to the latest research, and responded by opening a special edition of its journal to the public. (BEVA image)
The EVJ laminitis virtual issue, comprising 15 original research articles on topics including the role of insulin, the effects of cryotherapy and the regulation of epidermal stem cells in affected horses, is available at

In addition, the issue contains several articles from international experts commissioned by the EVJ on important aspects of laminitis including causes, treatment, prevention and future research projects.

Contributors to this special issue include world-leading equine veterinary and research experts on the subject of laminitis: James Belknap, Ray Geor, Samuel Black, James A. Orsini from the USA, Andrew van Eps from Australia and Nicola Menzies-Gow from the UK.

Subjects covered include the present state and future of laminitis research, endocrinological aspects of the pathophysiology of equine laminitis, sepsis-related laminitis, supporting limb laminitis and progress towards effective prevention and therapy for laminitis.

The EVJ has a long history of promoting laminitis research. In 2004, the publication produced a special issue dedicated to laminitis and since that time significant numbers of articles on laminitis have been published every year.

Professor Marr concludes: “We hope that this special laminitis virtual issue will provide the rigor and quality of information that many horse owners are now seeking, to help them to understand and deal with this condition as effectively as possible.”

The landscape of academic publishing is changing as "open access" becomes the zeitgeist.

Open access in scientific publishing is a growing controversy in the academic and professional publishing world. New peer-reviewed journals are appearing that offer the public free viewing and sometimes downloading of new research and educational content, while others continue to restrict access to individuals and libraries that purchase subscriptions. These new journals both challenge the traditional model of restricting access to research while also expanding exposure for researchers.

Logo for the open access system.
Authors and researchers desire more access for their papers, but the traditional model restricts access, and the fees do not go to the authors and researchers. Journal publishers, on the other hand, have the high cost of editing and printing journals and of maintaining web sites.

The debate over open access is a fascinating one. EVJ's opening of this special issue to the public is evidence that the British Equine Veterinary Association recognizes the benefits of at least occasionally opening a few papers to the public, who often donate to the research that is detailed in the papers, but are often asked to pay to read what they have already funded.

To learn more:

Click to purchase and/or review the contents of the 2004 special print edition with Dr. Pollitt's papers
Click to view ordering information for your own copy of Professor Denoix's valuable reference on the horse's foot.
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