User Satisfaction Feedback

In the last couple of years the editorial team at Veterinary Evidence have been conducting three surveys, targeted at our core user groups to gain valuable feedback on our systems, processes and accessibility of the journal. Here we present the ongoing results of these continuous surveys* and, based on this feedback, what we have done to improve your user experience.

 

Author Survey

In March 2018 we started asking our authors for feedback on their experience of the publication process.

 

The submission process

We scored good to very good on our submission process.

We received positive feedback on our overall submission process, specifically on our Author Guidance documents, submission templates, and the ease of use of our online journal submission system.

Improvements:

You identified the need for more updates and communication throughout the process as a main area for improvement. Based on this feedback we have now:

  • updated our online journal submission system – not only can authors now clearly see what stage of the process their paper is currently in but there is also a discussion section which enables seamless communication between authors and editors;
  • audited our email notifications – now authors will be kept informed at every stage of their paper’s journey;
  • and since receiving this feedback our email updates to authors have increased from 16 to 22.

 

The review process

84% of you said that the quality of the reviewer comments are good to very good, with only 16% stating they were satisfactory.

Our Associate Editors pick reviewers who they believe have the specific skill set to properly assess and critique the level of evidence discussed in a Knowledge Summary. Each AE has their own specific area of expertise and, together with the editorial team, work hard to ensure that the same level of review is carried out across all our papers.

Improvements:

One thing you fed back to us was that although the reviewer comments were of a high quality it took a long time to receive them.

Just under half of our authors said the time it took to receive reviewer comments was above satisfactory.

Based on this feedback we have:

  • improved our guidance to reviewers to ensure our authors continue to receive high quality feedback;
  • reduced our turnaround times in other stages of the process to improve the overall speed to publication – a paper submitted to us in 2019, assuming it is accepted, will spend an average of 6 months in the submissions system, compared to 2018s 10 months. In this respect Veterinary Evidence matches most other veterinary journals in terms of speed of publication;
  • and in 2019 the average time a paper spent in Round One of review was 5 months. 2020 so far has significantly improved, with the average Round One timeframe being just under 3 months.

 

Turnaround times

Whilst the time taken in peer review seems long, the time a paper spends in the submissions system has actually shortened. 60% of you said our time to final decision was good to very good, however VE is always looking at ways we can improve our turnaround times, for example:

  • we now publish papers according to their search date and not based on when they were accepted;
  • we aim to invite reviewers no more than two days after their acceptance into the system.

 

The copyediting process

92% of you said that the quality and timeliness of our copyediting was good to very good.

Here at VE, we pride ourselves on publishing high quality evidence-based literature and helping our authors published papers be the best that they can be. We are ecstatic that you feel the same too and with that would like to share some of the lovely feedback comments we have received.

'The copyediting was very thorough.'

'Great communication and understanding.'

'Turnaround time very quick on copyediting […] Very flexible with adjusting timeline[s].'

 

100% of you said:

  • you like or strongly like the final look of the paper online;
  • the journal is well managed by the Editors;
  • and the Editors respond quickly to queries in a timely and professional manner.

Of the 60% of authors who have published papers with other journals, 81% said that they agree or strongly agree that the submission experience with VE is comparable to other journals.

Together with the 40% of authors who had never published a paper in a journal before, overwhelmingly 100% said they would submit to Veterinary Evidence again, and that they would recommend us to their colleagues.

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our authors for submitting to our journal.

For those who would like to submit to VE or get involved visit our website.

 

Reader Survey

In May 2018 we created our Reader Feedback survey. The aim of the survey was to find out how our readership engage with the content of our journal.

To take part in our Reader Feedback Survey please click here

 

‘One of the most useful resources on EBVM.’

 

We asked what functions would you most like to see in Veterinary Evidence. Here they are rated by most popular:

  1. Links to related papers published in Veterinary Evidence

68% of you said you would like us to link our published content to similar papers published by VE. This is something we intend to implement, and hope we will be able to do so with our upgrade to our new OJS 3 viewer.

  1. Improved search function allowing you to search content by population, intervention and/or topic area

78% of you agreed it is easy to navigate issues and browse content, and 82% of you said you agreed that the search function allows you to easily find specific topics or papers. Since our upgrade to OJS 3, we have added categories by species to our papers, which allows all papers to be listed by population. It is our intention to extend this search further to include important and/or common conditions such as epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, harm/improvement, prognosis, control and prevention.

  1. Improved PDF viewer

Since our website upgrade, you can access PDFs of our papers directly in the Adobe viewer in the browser, where it can be read immediately.

  1. Increased metrics at article level

We have just implemented Altmetric which enables us to show how many views, downloads, shares, citations, etc. an article has had. This is displayed by the colourful doughnut on a papers abstract page. Altmetric enables you to view a papers statistics at the article level.

  1. Content alerts

We are currently looking into ways in which we can alert readers to newly published content, with 63% of you saying that the way you keep up-to-date with content from VE is by visiting the website itself. We currently use social media, Twitter and Facebook, to alert followers to new content, however according to our survey these only notify 17% of you. Most of you keep up-to-date with our newly published content by visiting Veterinary Evidence online directly. All our most recent papers are listed on our home page.

  1. Social media share buttons on papers

We now include social media share buttons at the top of all article papers.

  1. A forum to engage with other readers

Our readers did not think a forum to engage with others would be useful.

 

‘It provides actual reviews on sometimes presumed facts.’

 

Almost 94% of you agreed that our content is of high quality, that there is a good spread of content across each species area and that an appropriate amount of content is published at an appropriate frequency.

In 2019 we have been able to publish an average of 3 papers per month. This is an increase of 14% on the previous year’s content, but a massive 52% increase in content published since our first Volume back in 2016. In 2020 we aim to deliver new content to you on a weekly basis.

 

‘Really impressed with RCVS EBVM effort.’

 

By far the most promising news is that 66% of our readers are actually putting the findings we publsh in our articles and Knowledge Summaries into practice. This means that in a very real way VE is contributing to the evidence-based discussions you and your colleagues are having, and on average 93% of you agree or strongly agree VE is evidence-based, trustworthy, relevant, up-to-date and engaging, with 60% of you recommending us to others.

 

‘Informative, relevant and current evidence based scientific information.’

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our readers for engaging with Veterinary Evidence in this way, and hope you will continue to use the journal as a source for evidence-based veterinary medicince.

 

Reviewer Survey

In October 2019 Veterinary Evidence created a reviewer survey to get feedback on our peer review process.

 

100% of our reviewers agreed that they are asked to review papers within their area of interest

A lot of time and research goes into selecting the right individuals to review specific topics, so if we invite you to review for us you know that we have carefully matched your expertise with the content of the paper. Knowledge Summaries are formulated around very specific PICO questions, and this helps to narrow down the best individuals who have the correct expertise to evaluate the evidence.

 

Our reviewers are motivated to accept our invitation to review

‘I consider it a professional responsibility as a subject specialist to contribute to the development of the literature in this way.’

‘I am interested in what people are researching and writing on in my subject area.’

‘I like to keep up to date with the literature in my subject area and be aware of the research that is taking place.’

‘The desire to make a contribution to the field.’

It appears that reviewing creates a symbiotic relationship with the author of the respective field.

 

97% of you agreed or strongly agreed that you are given clear instructions on the peer review process

97% of you agreed or strongly agreed that you are provided with guidance and resources to conduct a confident review

Our editorial team try to make reviewing for VE as easy as possible. We provide each reviewer with a link to our guidelines and every reviewer is supplied with a simple form to submit their comments.

Improvements:

One reviewer mentioned that ‘new reviewers should be sent advice on how to review a paper to improve consistency’. We are working to provide webinars and tutorial videos from seasoned reviewers on how to conduct a review. Until then we have created a Q&A blog for advice from past reviewers.

 

‘Enjoyable process.’

 

96% of reviewers said they were not asked too often to review

We do not want to overwhelm our reviewers; the majority (55%) are happy to review more than twice a year.

 

‘I think it works as well as most other reviews in which I am involved.’

 

‘I am given enough time to review’ 90% of you agreed the review dead line dates were achievable

We are flexible and will work with you to fit your volunteering around your other commitments, to make it as easy as possible for you to contribute to your scientific field.

 

‘I like the system as it is; it is clear and concise.’

 

60% of our reviewers did not realise reviewing for VE can count towards their CPD

For 47% of our reviewers it takes on average 2–4 hours to complete a review for Veterinary Evidence. That is 2–4 hours of CPD earned!

 

‘My overall impression of the review process is positive.’

 

72% of reviewers said that they would prefer double blind peer review

You may or may not be aware that there are different types of peer review. These are normally separated into three categories:

Double-blind – the author does not know who the reviewers are and vice versa

Single blind – the reviewers know who the author is but the author does not know who the reviewers are

Open – the author knows who the reviewers are and vice versa

Up until now VE has been operating an open peer review model, the premise being that it offers a clear and transparent critique of our content. You can read more about the pros and cons of peer review models in our recent blog.

With the debate surrounding peer review always up for discussion we decided to ask our reviewers what model of peer review they prefer.

Overwhelmingly, 72% of reviewers said that they would prefer a double blind type of peer review.

 

‘It was surprisingly easy and smooth.’

 

100% of reviewers agreed or strongly agreed that the system is easy to use

To continually improve – we have upgraded to OJS 3.

 

‘I enjoy reviewing and helping authors publish their research.’

 

Improvements:

‘It would be nice to receive notification when a paper in which I have reviewed is published.’ – We now send out a reviewer acknowledgement email, which not only tells you the paper you reviewed has been published, but provides you with a link to that paper, gives you information on how you can contribute more to VE and provides you with the necessary information that you can log with Publons. We like to keep our entire process as transparent as possible, with this in mind we have increased our overall communication from 16 emails to 22.

Veterinary Evidence has a roster of reviewers that review for 58 other leading international journals; Vet Rec, JAVMA and Journal of Small Animal Practice to name a few.

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our reviewers for giving up their time and expertise to contribute to evidence-based veterinary medicine.

 

* These survey results are accurate as of December 2019. This page will be updated annually.