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Veterinary Record Case Reports
  1. A. MacMillan
  1. Alistair MacMillan, BVSc, FRCPath, MSc, Phd, MRCVS, Editor, Veterinary Record Case Reports, Pointers, West Chiltington Road, Pulborough, West Sussex, UK, RH20 2EE
  1. Correspondence to Alistair MacMillan, brucella{at}clara.co.uk

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Welcome to Veterinary Record Case Reports, an exciting new addition to the expanding group of BVA journals published by the prestigious BMJ with its long heritage of excellence in medical publishing.

Until now there has been limited opportunity to publish veterinary case reports, as most journals, including Veterinary Record, will only publish large and notable case series or single cases of exceptional novelty or significance. Thus, this initiative presents a real opportunity for colleagues outside large specialist referral centres, universities and research institutes to launch their publishing careers. Indeed, we will be encouraging reports of cases from first-opinion practice, less usual areas of practice and from the extramural studies of veterinary students. Colleagues writing up cases as part of their studies leading to a Certificate or Diploma are particularly encouraged to submit their reports for publication in this journal.

Veterinary Record Case Reports will be delivering a focused, peer-reviewed, valuable collection of cases in all disciplines so that veterinary professionals, researchers and others can easily find clinically important information on both common and rare conditions. We will be publishing cases with clinically valuable lessons. Therefore, common cases that present a diagnostic, ethical or management challenge, or that highlight aspects of mechanisms of injury of disease are deemed of particular educational value. We want to publish cases worthy of discussion, particularly around aspects of differential diagnosis, decision making, management, clinical guidelines and pathology. The advantage is that we learn from real cases.

Veterinary Record Case Reports will be an online-only journal, which brings the advantage of rapid publication so that authors can see the fruits of their labour soon after submission without the need to wait months for an issue date. Topics will gain content over time as more articles are added, leading to the more rapid growth of knowledge based on this additive effect. Authors will also benefit from the realisation that their work is available to a global audience on a number of databases. Veterinary Record Case Reports will not judge reports on the basis of its novelty, importance or breadth of appeal, and reviewers will only be asked to consider quality and educational value.

In order to submit to the journal authors must become a subscriber, the annual fee is just £99 until the end of 2013. The subscription rate will increase to £125 in 2014 but BVA members will receive a discount and continue to pay £99. The first 50 authors can submit a case report with no charge. By being a subscriber you can submit as many cases as you like over 12 months, access all published content within Veterinary Record Case Reports and reuse any published content without further permission.

Publishing your first paper can be a confusing and intimidating process and many prospective authors have been deterred from submitting articles, or have been left feeling humiliated following a bruising peer-review experience. To help, we've created templates – one for full case reports and one for ‘Images in’ – so that cases are published in an easy to read format, and there is also a step-by-step guide on how to complete the template. So here is a real opportunity for all of you, whether you work in the most modest first-opinion practice or are a student or new graduate just starting out to launch your publishing career in a safe and straightforward environment. Go on, rise to the challenge.

About the Editor

As a veterinary surgeon, I have had wide ranging experience in practice, research, government service, academia and in the charity sector. I have worked abroad quite extensively too from Azerbaijan to Zanzibar, largely through my interest in brucellosis. After a spell in mixed practice, I started my career working at the Central Veterinary Laboratory, Weybridge (now AHVLA) at the height of brucellosis eradication in the days when government readily funded large disease control programmes. They were exciting times and the eradication campaign was a remarkable success bringing the disease incidence down in cattle and consequently in man. Increasingly I travelled abroad working with brucellosis and other zoonoses in all farmed species in developed and developing countries. My interests expanded and in my government service I have worked on or been exposed to virtually all the major animal health and welfare issues of the recent past.

Throughout this time, I also worked ‘out of hours’ in a local small animal practice keeping me grounded and in touch with the realities of private practice. Latterly, I was appointed Chief Veterinary Officer of the RSPCA, which included responsibility for their veterinary hospitals and other veterinary services to the public. Occupying this role was certainly a most enlightening experience as it gave me exposure to the most common and the most important animal health and welfare issues facing us today.

I am truly looking forward to editing this new journal as I believe that it opens up unprecedented opportunities for a much wider group of potential authors than have been served by traditional research based publications.

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