Letters to the Editor, and appeals and complaints policy


Letters to the Editor

What is a Letter to the Editor?

Veterinary Evidence encourages critiques of published papers as it provides a forum for readers to raise concerns, seek clarification, and engage in continued scholarly dialogue. Critiques may provide an alternative interpretation of the original content. Veterinary Evidence will consider critiques for publication if they are found to present a constructive exchange on issues important and useful to the veterinary professions.

‘Through publication of such commentary and exchanges, readers can also be made aware of further developments and arguments that advance a field of research.’ COPE

Critiques may be sent to the corresponding author of the article for a response, and both may be peer-reviewed and revised, and, if accepted and published, are indexed by bibliographic databases.

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

What is the process?

The Editor-in-Chief will read through the critique and consider if the content is in line with journal policy: if the content focuses on the substance of the article; provides evidence or data to support the claims made; or if it is deemed defamatory or libellous.

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.

If the content is in line with journal policy, then the Editor-in-Chief will decide whether to invite the corresponding author of the critiqued article for a formal response.

Once the response is received, the Editor-in-Chief may consult with board members or send the critique and response to independent referees, at their discretion. They will then determine whether there are errors that need correcting, and / or if there is a difference of opinion. This will then inform the next steps of the process.

The decision will be based on the severity of the errors in line with the Veterinary Evidence corrections and retractions policy.

Veterinary Evidence follows the guidelines of the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE) of which Veterinary Evidence is a member.

How should they be written and submitted?

Before formal submission, the author(s) should contact the journal with a pre-submission enquiry. If approved for submission as a Letter to the Editor, the article should then be submitted through the Editorial Manager submission system.

Letters to the Editor should not exceed 600 words, have no more than five references, and have a maximum of three authors. Word count does not include words in tables, figures or references.

Letters should be on manuscripts published in Veterinary Evidence.

New evidence is allowed, but a maximum of two tables OR figures can be included. All comments and discussion points must relate to the original published article. 

Letters should be succinct, objective, constructive, courteous and evidence based.

Letters and responses are published at the same time and may be published alongside an Erratum. All relevant material will be bidirectionally linked.

Only one letter may be submitted by any single author or group of authors on any one published paper.

Submitters will not receive the author’s response before publication.

Letters will not be censored but proofs will be sent to the submitter prior to publication.

Appeals process

Knowledge Summaries and articles published in Veterinary Evidence undergo a thorough peer-review process where a minimum of two referees review each paper. The Associate Editor makes a recommendation to the Editor-in-chief, who makes the overall decision. Veterinary Evidence aims to provide a fair and objective critique of papers. (For more information on the review process please see our Guidelines for reviewers).

If your paper has been rejected it may be because:

  • It is not within the focus and scope of Veterinary Evidence
  • The paper is incomprehensible
  • The science is flawed


If you feel your paper has been unfairly rejected by Veterinary Evidence then you can appeal the decision by writing a one-time appeal letter.

In order to dispute the decision please provide the following within your appeal letter:

  • Explain clearly and objectively why you disagree with the decision
  • Provide the editors with new information and evidence that you would like them to consider as part of your submission
  • Respond to any specific reviewer and/or editor comments that you disagree with by writing a polite and scientific rebuttal as to why



Please ensure your appeal letter is a respectful, objective explanation which provides new evidence.

Please email your appeal letter to the editorial office. Appeals may take several weeks, if not longer, to resolve.

All letters are read by the Editor-in-chief. The Editor-in-chief may decide to send the paper to additional referees to help inform their decision, and the Associate Editor of the paper in question may also be requested to assist. The Editor-in-chief’s decision is final.

All communication surrounding the appeal will be through the editorial office.

Veterinary Evidence hopes authors of rejected papers will not be discouraged from submitting to the journal in the future.


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 against Veterinary Evidence, whether about its policies, processes, staff, Editorial Board or RCVS Knowledge, then please email the editorial office 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 to the Executive Director of RCVS Knowledge.

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


View all Editorial policies