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The Basics of Using the Veterinary Literature
The flow of knowledge & information in the science of veterinary medicine is shown by black arrows.
Blue arrows show the flow of knowledge & information into veterinary web sites.
- Original research published in scientific journals; reaches a wide audience rapidly.
- Most current source for information on diagnosis and therapy.
- Journals produced by national professional associations, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) or the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), contain more material of interest to practicing veterinarians.
- Examples: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, Veterinary record.
- Associations and veterinary specialty organizations also produce journals containing reports of basic or specialized research.
- Examples: American journal of veterinary research, British veterinary journal, Avian diseases, Equine veterinary journal, Veterinary parasitology.
- Organize and summarize new information drawn from journal articles as well as earlier review articles and books.
- Bridge the gap between the original research published as journal articles and the more formal presentation of current knowledge in textbooks.
- Commonly deal with topics in great depth.
- Usually contain extensive bibliographies of earlier journal articles, book chapters, and books.
- Acquiring needed information in unfamiliar fields.
- Updating one's knowledge of a subject.
- Examples found in:
- Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian
- Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small animal, Large animal, Equine, & Exotics sections.
- In practice [British]
Textbooks and Monographs/Books:
- Compile, organize and summarize information found in journal and review articles as well as earlier monographs/books and textbooks.
- Are only as current as two to three years prior to the date published.
- Veterinary medicine's scope is so wide that textbooks in the field frequently are multi-authored and focus either on:
- Medicine and surgery of particular groups of animals, or
- Examples: Rebhun's Diseases of Dairy Cattle, Mader's Reptile Medicine and Surgery.
- Specific veterinary specialties:
- Veterinary specialty textbooks and monographs/books usually emphasize either:
- Basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, histology, cytology, microbiology, pathology,immunology, parasitology, etc.) or
- Example: Dyce's Textbook of Veterinary Anatomy
- Clinical sciences (surgery, radiology, clinical pathology, ophthalmology, dermatology,oncology, etc.).
- Example: Morrison's Cancer in Dogs and Cat
Reference books are resources for concise/quick [not usually comprehensive] information, such as:
- Dictionaries define words or terms used in specific disciplines such as medicine or veterinary medicine.
- Example: Blood and Studdert's Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary.
- Single volume reference books provide an overview of major fields of practice as well as diagnosis
- Example: Tilley's 5-Minute Veterinary Consult: Canine and Feline.
- Drug books provide information on pharmacology, uses, adverse effects, drug interactions, etc.
- Example: Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook
- Current therapy books provide brief articles on clinical problems, approaches to diagnosis, and treatment.
- Example: Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy [Small Animal]
Veterinary Web Sites on the Internet:
- Publish either original material or compiles or summarizes print formats (e.g. journal articles, textbooks, reference books) into web pages to reach a wide audience instantaneously.
- Web sites of professional veterinary organizations, societies, or colleges as well as those of the government or universities provide the most accurate information.
- Examples: American Animal Hospital Association, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, US Animal and Plant Heath Inspection Service.
- Always check the currency and authority of the information provided in web pages.
- Example: NetVet/Electronic Zoo http://netvet.wustl.edu/