Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Veterinary Evidence is an online, open access, peer-reviewed journal owned and published by RCVS Knowledge. It publishes content relating to evidence-based veterinary medicine (EBVM) and its application in veterinary practice. The journal is aimed at veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, paraprofessionals and allied professions in the international veterinary community.

It is a platform for a wide range of veterinary topics from economics to clinical practice and teaching; anything that may help a clinician in practice. Papers considered are:

  • Knowledge Summaries
  • Research articles
  • Commentaries
  • Clinical audit
  • Guidelines
  • Systematic reviews
  • Systematic review protocols
  • Case studies
  • Teaching articles  

Submissions should benefit veterinary science; e.g. papers on in vivo experimentation on laboratory animals which exclusively benefit human science should not be submitted.

The final decision on publication of a paper rests with the Editorial Board and ultimately with the Editor-in-Chief.

Any submissions not adhering to the journal’s aims and scope will be rejected outright.

 

Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare for Veterinary Journals

All material published in Veterinary Evidence must adhere to high ethical standards concerning animal welfare.

 

Animal ethics-based criteria for manuscript consideration

Manuscripts will be considered for publication only if the work detailed therein:

  1. Follows international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for humane animal treatment and welfare, and complies with relevant legislation;
  2. Where ethical review is expected, has been approved by an internal or external ethics review committee;
  3. For studies using client-owned animals, demonstrates a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care and involves informed client consent;

Prior to acceptance of a manuscript, to verify compliance with the above policies, the authors must:

  1. Confirm in writing that legal and ethical requirements have been met with regards to the humane treatment of animals described in the study;
  2. Specify in Materials and Methods the ethical review committee approval process and the international, national, and/or institutional guidelines followed.

 

Animal ethics-based criteria for manuscript rejection

  1. Manuscripts and authors that fail to meet the aforementioned requirements;
  2. Studies that involve unnecessary pain, distress, suffering, or lasting harm to animals;
  3. The Editor retains the right to reject manuscripts on the basis of ethical, public health or welfare concerns 

 

Section Policies

Erratum

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Bright Veterinary Idea

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Multimedia

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Book Review

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Commentaries

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Articles

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Knowledge Summaries

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed
 

Peer Review Process

Manuscripts submitted to Veterinary Evidence undergo an open peer-review process and are sent to a minimum of two reviewers. The names of the reviewers are published alongside the paper with the aim that this will encourage an unbiased and transparent critique of papers. 

The Editor shall ensure that the peer review process is fair, unbiased, and timely. Reviewers are invited to review only if they have suitable expertise in the relevant field.

Authors can provide names, affiliations and contact details of potential reviewers. Suggested reviewers will be used at the editor’s discretion, and if their contact details can be verified from an independent source.

All disclosures of potential conflicts of interest made by reviewers are reviewed by the Editor in order to determine whether there is any potential for bias. 

Peer reviewers

Peer reviewers provide their comments via our open source article submission system, OJS. We ask that peer reviewers remain objective and constructive when providing their review and ensure they are aware that the peer-review process is open and that their names will be available online alongside the published paper.   

 

Publication Frequency

Veterinary Evidence publishes content using a continuous publication model. A new online issue will become available every quarter (March, June, September, December) and articles will publish directly into the current issue. Instead of page numbers each paper has an article ID that is related to its digital object identifier (DOI) number – making everything citable upon publication. At the end of each quarter, the respective issue will close. 

Continuous publication will allow Veterinary Evidence to have a fast and efficient turn-around time; authors won’t have to wait for the next available issue in order to get their work published. It will enable content to be available to the veterinary community quickly; allowing readers to download, share and put their findings into practice.

 

Open Access Policy

Veterinary Evidence is an online only, open access journal which publishes continuously. Accepted articles are made open access immediately upon publication on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

This means all content published within Veterinary Evidence can be read by anyone, anywhere for free. 

Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. The content must be credited appropriately. In all cases, the requirement to link to the journal's website is designed to protect the integrity and authenticity of the scientific record.

License

We offer the CC-BY 4.0 license.

CC-BY 4.0: This license allows others to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. Remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

Copyright and permissions

Upon submitting their article authors are asked to sign a declaration agreement and a non-exclusive license to publish. Authors retain the copyright of their article and retain publishing rights.

By signing the non-exclusive license to publish, the author gives RCVS Knowledge permission to edit, adapt, translate, publish, reproduce, distribute and display the article in printed, electronic or any other medium and format whether now known or yet to be developed.

 

Publication Charges

It is free to publish in and read Veterinary Evidence.

There are no submission fees or article processing charges (APCs). Accepted articles are published open access immediately upon publication.

 

Archiving, Indexing and Listing Services

Portico

Veterinary Evidence archives its content in Portico. Portico ensures our content is preserved in perpetuity.  

Sherpa Romeo

Veterinary Evidence is registered with the deposit directory SHERPA/RoMEO. You can see our policy here: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/search.php 

Self Archiving

Authors are free to deposit the published or accepted version to their institution's repositories or personal websites immediately on publication. Please place a link to the URL of the published article on the journal's website – doing so protects the integrity and authenticity of the scientific record.

DOAJ

Veterinary Evidence has been awarded the DOAJ Seal in recognition of its publishing standards, adherence to best practice and high level of openness. Alongside the award of the Seal, VE has also been accepted into the directory, meaning volumes and articles are fully indexed on the DOAJ website.

CAB Abstracts

Veterinary Evidence is indexed in the bibliographic database CAB Abstracts.

Google Scholar

Veterinary Evidence is indexed in Google Scholar.

 

Conflict of Interest Policy

Declaring a conflict of interest

Veterinary Evidence strives to uphold the principles of best practice in scholarly publishing. We therefore aim to be transparent when it comes to any conflicts of interest that may arise during the publication process.

To make the best decision on how to proceed with a submission or peer-review process, Veterinary Evidence asks authors, reviewers and Editors to declare any competing interests, so that Veterinary Evidence can make informed decisions regarding submissions and reviews.

What is a conflict of interest?

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) states that:

The potential for conflicts of interest can exist whether or not an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion.

Authors, reviewers and Editors should therefore ask themselves if there is anything that may bias their judgement when performing the task required of them and to state this within their declaration of interest.

All disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are reviewed by the Editor in order to determine whether there is any potential for bias. 

Declaring conflicts of interest: Authors

Potential conflicts of interest must be declared. These include relevant financial, personal, political or intellectual interests that may bias the work, as well as disclosing:

  • How the article is funded
  • Comprehensive explanation of the role of the sponsors in article preparation (if the article is sponsored in part or whole).
  • Disclosure of any assistance with the preparation of the article

Authors are required to fill in the conflict of interest section within the article submission template (there is a link in this section of the submission template to this policy), as well as within the submission system for every author. The corresponding author must ensure that all authors have been asked to disclose any conflicts of interest.

Authors can provide names, affiliations and contact details of potential reviewers. Suggested reviewers will be used at the Editor’s discretion, and if the reviewers contact details can be verified from an independent source.

All disclosures of potential conflicts of interest made by authors are reviewed by the Editor in order to determine whether there is any potential for bias. 

Declaring conflicts of interest: Reviewers

Upon invitation, reviewers are asked to declare any conflicts of interest or to decline the request to review should they not have the relevant expertise. Reviewers will be sent the article to review along with the author’s declaration of interest. We ask reviewers to remain objective and constructive in their review. Reviewers are notified that should the article be accepted their names will be published alongside the article. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they’re reviewing before its publication to further their own interests.

Recent collaborators, defined as people who have co-authored a paper or were a principal investigator on a grant with any of the authors within the past 48 months, must be excluded as a reviewer.

There is a link in the reviewer invitation to this policy.

All disclosures of potential conflicts of interest made by reviewers are reviewed by the Editor in order to determine whether there is any potential for bias. 

Declaring conflicts of interest: Editor-in-chief and the editorial board

Editors who make final decisions on manuscripts exclude themselves from editorial decisions if they have conflicts of interest related to articles under consideration.

If an editorial board member or Associate Editor submits to the Veterinary Evidence journal they are excluded from the publication process for their paper.

Where the Editor-in-chief submits a paper to the Veterinary Evidence journal, an Associate Editor will act as the Editor-in-chief and manage the open peer-review process and make the overall final decision. The name of the Associate Editor who acted as the Editor-in-chief will be published on the paper for transparency along with the reviewers.

All disclosures of potential conflicts of interest made by the author are reviewed by the Editor in order to determine whether there is any potential for bias.

 

Publication Process

Please refer to our Author Guidance before preparing your submission:

After submission

After submitting your paper it will be screened by the Editor-in-chief to ensure it fits with the Focus and Scope of Veterinary Evidence. If so, your paper will then be assigned to an Associate Editor who will manage the peer-review process. Your paper will be sent to experts in the same field of research for their evaluation.

Once your paper has been peer-reviewed the Editor will then decide whether it should be revised, accepted or rejected. You will be sent the reviewer comments along with the editorial decision. Final decisions are made by the Editor-in-chief.

Revisions required

Where revisions are required, instructions will be emailed to you along with the editors' and reviewers’ comments. Once your revision has been uploaded it will undergo round 2 of the peer-review process, where the same reviewers will give their recommendation for your revised paper.

Acceptance

All accepted submissions are then copyedited by our in-house editors. This stage is vital in the publication of papers in Veterinary Evidence as copyediting ensures that language is clear and precise and ensures the structure of the paper is logical and free of any ambiguities or anomalies. Along with other queries, authors may be required to provide further detail within their paper or rewrite sections of text for clarity. The paper is then proofread to ensure there are no grammatical or production errors.

This proof will then be sent to you review the copyeditor’s queries. This is also your opportunity to make any edits you feel are necessary to your paper. The paper will not be published until this quality control step is completed. 

For multi-author papers we recommend that all authors check and correct the proof, but request that a single set of corrections is coordinated by the corresponding author.

Before publication

Your paper will then be typeset and finalised for publication. If you would like to see the final version before publication please request this at the copyediting stage.

For guidance throughout any stage of the publication process please contact the Managing Editor.

 

Publication Ethics

Revenue Source

Veterinary Evidence is owned and published by RCVS Knowledge. RCVS Knowledge is the charity partner of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). The journal’s revenue source is through organisational support from the RCVS. 

Misconduct cases

In the event that the editorial office is made aware of any allegation of misconduct relating to either an article under consideration or to a published article, then we will follow COPE’s guidelines (Committee on Publication Ethics) in dealing with the allegations.

Upon agreement with the Editor the Publisher will issue corrections, retractions or other suitable sanctions when required.

Reader author involvement 

Readers who disagree with or would like to expand on published papers or statements can express their opinions as a letter to the editor

Correcting a published article

If a published article requires correcting then an erratum will be published. The article will link to the erratum, and vice versa. Corrections are made by following the guidance of COPE and ICMJE. 

Authorship criteria

All authors listed must meet the following four criteria recommended by the ICMJE:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

More information can be accessed on the ICMJE website.  

Where all criteria are not met, individuals should be acknowledged in an acknowledgements section at the end of the main text.

Adding, removing or changing the author order

The editorial office must be made aware of any changes to the author list at proof stage. The corresponding author must contact the editorial office and state why the change is taking place and provide written confirmation from all authors, including the author(s) being added/removed, that they agree with the change. The corresponding author must also confirm that all authors meet the four ICMJE criteria detailed above.

ORCID

ORCID is a system of identification for authors. An ORCID identifier is unique to an individual and acts as a persistent digital identifier to ensure that authors (particularly those with relatively common names) can be distinguished and their work properly attributed.

Our submission system supports ORCID, allowing authors to enter their unique identifier.

 

 

Disclaimer

Knowledge Summaries:

Knowledge Summaries are a peer-reviewed article type which aims to answer a clinical question based on the best available current evidence. It does not override the responsibility of the practitioner. Informed decisions should be made by considering such factors as individual clinical expertise and judgement along with patient’s circumstances and owners’ values. Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help inform and any opinions expressed within the Knowledge Summaries are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the RCVS Knowledge. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the content. While the Editor and Publisher believe that all content herein are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication, they accept no legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to material contained within.

For further information please refer to our Terms of Use.

 

All other content:

Any opinions expressed in articles and other publication types published in Veterinary Evidence are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the RCVS Knowledge. Veterinary Evidence is a resource to help inform, and the content herein should not override the responsibility of the practitioner. Practitioners should consider factors such as individual clinical expertise and judgement along with patient’s circumstances and owners’ values. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the content. While the Editor and Publisher believe that all content herein are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication, they accept no legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to material contained within.

For further information please refer to our Terms of Use.

 

Letters to the Editor

Submission: 

Letters to the Editor should not exceed 500 words, have no more than 5 references, and have a maximum of 3 authors.

Letters should be on published articles or on the author’s response.

Letters should be succinct, objective, constructive and courteous.

Submit your letter to the Managing Editor

Process:

The Editor-in-Chief will read and send all letters to the author for their response. Letters and responses are published at the same time.

Submitters will not receive the author’s response before publication, and can respond only by submitting a further letter.

Letters will not be censored but they may be edited by the in-house editorial team to ensure clarity or grammatical correctness.

Veterinary Evidence encourages balanced and respectful debate and will not be a forum for individual grievances. 

Policy:

All letters are read by the Editor in Chief and may be sent to independent referees. If the letter is deemed inaccurate or misleading then it will be returned to the submitter. Submitters will either be given the opportunity to revise their letter, or the Editor-in-Chief will decide that the matter is closed.

 

Book Reviews

If you are interested in writing a Book Review for Veterinary Evidence then please email the Managing Editor with the title of your book along with a description of your background and experience in relation to the book’s subject area. Reviewers will then be provided with a submission template and more information. 
 

 

Reporting Guidelines

 

Authors must adhere to published reporting guidelines when structuring their manuscripts: 

 

Complaints

Veterinary Evidence strives to uphold the principles of best practice in scholarly publishing. Therefore, should Veterinary Evidence fall short of our readers’, authors’ or reviewers’ expectations then we want to hear about it, so that we may improve our policies and/or processes.  

If you would like to raise a complaint, whether about our policies, processes or staff, then please email the Managing Editor with factual details, as soon as is reasonably possible.

Complaints will be dealt with by the Managing Editor, or assigned by them to an appropriate member of the editorial team. Complaints will be dealt with on a case by case basis and escalated accordingly to either the Editor-in-chief or Executive Director.

We aim to acknowledge the complaint within 3 days and to have investigated within 4 weeks. 

 

Reviewer Guidelines

Why review?

As a peer reviewer you are helping to advance science within your subject area by providing crucial feedback to authors. Your review is vital to improving the quality and scientific standard of papers submitted to and published in Veterinary Evidence, and so you are playing a very real part in progressing your area of research.

By taking on this role not only are you sharing your expertise with others, but you will have the opportunity to read and critique new and emerging evidence and research, which will help you to improve your own writing and research skills.

Your review will also help authors improve their own writing as well as helping editors to make informed decisions on papers – and by conducting a review you are also gaining CPD!

Peer-review model

Manuscripts submitted to Veterinary Evidence undergo an open peer-review process. The name of the author(s) is revealed to the reviewers and the reviewers’ names are published alongside the paper - with the aim that this will encourage an unbiased and transparent critique of papers. Reviewer comments are not published.

How to become a reviewer

To give back to your area of expertise and to help it progress, you can become a reviewer for Veterinary Evidence by registering here, don’t forget to include your reviewing interests: https://veterinaryevidence.org/index.php/ve/user/register

How and why were you invited to review a paper?

Papers are submitted to Veterinary Evidence via our OJS PKP submission system. All submissions are initially screened by the editorial team to ensure they fit within our submission criteria. The Editor-in-chief will then check each submission to ensure the paper is within the aims and scope of Veterinary Evidence and is of a quality which warrants being sent out for formal peer-review. If papers do not meet this initial quality control step then these papers are rejected.

Papers which progress through the process are then assigned to an Associate Editor who invites a minimum of two reviewers per paper.

Associate Editors search our pool of registered reviewers within our OJS system. If you have been invited to review a paper for Veterinary Evidence then you were selected from this pool by our Associate Editors based on the subject expertise that you included when you registered.

Should you review the paper?

Before accepting an invitation to review, you should ask yourself the following 3 questions:

1. Is the paper within your field of expertise?

The abstract of the paper, along with reviewing instructions, is within the invitation email so that you can decide whether you have the necessary expertise to conduct an insightful and useful review of the paper. Please decline to review should you not have the relevant expertise.

2. Do you have a conflict of interest (COI)?

Upon invitation, reviewers are asked to declare any conflicts of interest.

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) states that:

The potential for conflicts of interest can exist whether or not an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion.

As a reviewer you should therefore ask yourself if there is anything that may bias your judgement when performing the task required. If so, you need to state this within your declaration of interest.

If you are currently employed at the same institution as any of the authors or have been a recent collaborator (defined as people who have co-authored a paper or were a principal investigator on a grant with any of the authors within the past 48 months) then please decline to review the paper.

You should not agree to review a manuscript just to gain sight of it with no intention of submitting a review, or agree to review a manuscript that is very similar to one you have in preparation or under consideration at another journal.

If you are unsure about a potential competing interest that may prevent you from reviewing, do raise this with the Managing Editor.

All disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are reviewed by the Editor-in-chief in order to determine whether there is any potential for bias. 

3. Do you have the time to review it?

Veterinary Evidence will be very grateful for a prompt response, even if it is to decline the invitation, as this means we can then send out a new invitation and avoid delays.

Veterinary Evidence requests that reviewers try and meet the deadline, but we also understand busy workloads. If you are interested in conducting a review but are unable to meet the due date, please accept the invitation and request an extension.

If you can’t – do you know someone who can review it?

If you are unable to accept the invitation to review based on any of the above reasons, then Veterinary Evidence would be grateful if you could suggest an alternative reviewer.

Ethical peer-review

As a peer reviewer you have a responsibility to conduct your review ethically. Please take the time to read through the information below as well as the ethical guidelines recommended by the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE): https://publicationethics.org/files/Ethical_guidelines_for_peer_reviewers_0.pdf

Reviewers must not:

  1. Deliberately delay the reviewing process
  2. Contact the author directly
  3. Impersonate someone else in order to conduct the review
  4. Use knowledge of the work they are reviewing before its publication to further their own interests
  5. Agree to review a manuscript just to gain sight of it with no intention of submitting a review
  6. Agree to review a manuscript that is very similar to one a reviewer has in preparation or under consideration at another journal

Conducting your review

Peer reviewers provide their comments via our open source article submission system, OJS.

Within the invitation email you will receive instructions on how to submit your review.

First steps:

  1. Read the invitation email and decide whether you can review the paper
  2. Accept or decline the invitation to review
  3. Read through these ethical guidelines  https://publicationethics.org/files/Ethical_guidelines_for_peer_reviewers_0.pdf
  4. Read through the paper in its entirety

The reviewer form

You are required to fill in the reviewer form provided by Veterinary Evidence. This is to help you format and write your review. 

Track changes on document

You are also given the option to edit the paper itself using track changes and to upload this to the system along with the form and your recommendation.

We ask that you:

  1. Raise any suspicions of plagiarism or ethical misconduct with the editorial office  
  2. Provide appropriate feedback in a language and style that is sensitive, objective and unbiased
  3. Exhibit good judgement and provide a fair assessment of both the paper’s strengths and weaknesses which the author can use to improve their paper
  4. Provide feedback on the science of the paper – you do not need to focus on the grammar as the paper will be copyedited and proofread by the in-house copy editors should the paper be accepted
  5. If you feel the paper should either be rejected, revised or accepted please back up your recommendation with reasons why
  6. Refrain from one word answers and provide feedback that you would be happy to receive and that will help the editors in making their overall assessment of the paper

What happens to the paper after you submit your review?

The assigned Associate Editor reads through all of the reviews and reviewer recommendations and makes their own informed recommendation based on these comments. If the Associate Editor recommends that the paper requires a revision then the author is sent the reviewer comments for them to revise their paper.

When the author uploads their revised version the same reviewers are invited for round two. This is when we ask the same reviewers to look over the revised version to see if the author has adequately amended their paper as per their original review.

If the Associate Editor recommends ‘accept’ or ‘reject’, then the paper and reviewer comments are sent to the Editor-in-chief for their final decision on the paper. If a further revision is needed then the process starts again.

After a paper is accepted

All accepted submissions are copyedited by our in-house editors. This stage is vital in the publication of papers in Veterinary Evidence as copyediting ensures that language is clear and precise and ensures the structure of the paper is logical and free of any ambiguities or anomalies. Along with other queries, authors may be required to provide further detail within their paper or rewrite sections of text for clarity. The paper is then proofread to ensure there are no grammatical or production errors.

If a paper which you review is accepted, then your name is published alongside the paper. Your review is not published.

 

Made possible through a project grant from the RCVS Council.

RCVS