From the Editor

No manuscripts are perfect

My major purpose as the Executive Editor of the Journal of Swine Health and Production is to continually improve the quality of science published in our journal. Submitted manuscripts are critiqued by six people: a member of our editorial board who is knowledgeable in the area, three known experts in the subject matter (the reviewers), Dr Judi Bell (the Associate Editor), and me. The reviewers, the editorial board member, and I evaluate the manuscript for the strength and validity of the study design, the statistical analyses, the interpretation of findings, and the potential of the work to increase our collective knowledge. Dr Bell summarises the reviewer's comments in an expository summary and ensures that all components of the manuscript are included, complete, described sufficiently, and located in the correct sections of the manuscript. Dr Bell is also responsible for the fine details of editing the manuscript, to ensure the consistency of published manuscripts and to enable our readers to understand the message of the author.

But that is just one side of the coin. What is the other side? No research paper is perfect. Ask any researcher and they will tell you that if they were to do the very same project over again, they could improve their work.

Recently, a colleague asked if we still accept letters to the editor. YES, we certainly do. Why do we not receive letters from our readers? Your guess is as good as mine. I can only surmise that people are busy, nothing they read prompts them to write, nothing they read bothers them sufficiently to tell us about it, when something bothers them they discuss the issue with their co-workers, our group is small and they do not want to offend the authors, and (or) people do not have time to read the journal critically.

Please feel welcome to send us letters when you are so moved. None of us is perfect, nor is any manuscript the final truth about a subject. If we generate dialogue about the research, we may raise our collective understanding. However, I do not think we should lace the journal with solicited letters to the editor. The published manuscripts have undergone rigorous review. I appreciate the time, work, and dedication of our editorial board and the reviewers. Each manuscript does add to our collective body of knowledge. Personally, I am very pleased with the quality of the work published in our journal, and I am thrilled by the calibre of the researchers who choose the Journal of Swine Health and Production for their manuscripts. Thank you to each of our authors for supporting our journal in this way.

New staff member at the Journal of Swine Health and Production

It is with great pleasure that I welcome Ms Karen Richardson as the managing editor of the Journal of Swine Health and Production. Karen has a Diploma in Animal Science from the University of Guelph. She was a successful swine barn manager for 15 years. For the past 2 years, she has worked as a research technician at the University of Guelph. She is a very organised, detail-oriented person who interacts well with research co-operators. These strengths will definitely be an asset in her new position. The period of personnel transition is difficult in any business. I would like to ask for your patience during this time. Please help me to welcome Karen when you have a chance to meet her, either through e-mail or via the telephone. Karen can be reached at, by phone at 519-856-0349, or by fax at 519-763-3117. The AASV office has moved to the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. The new address is listed on the inside front cover of each issue of the journal. Please ensure that adequate postage is used for mail to Canada.

Cate Dewey