From the Executive Editor

Cate Dewey The impact of the Journal of Swine Health and Production

What is the ultimate purpose of research? Well-conducted research advances our scientific knowledge. It begins with a scientific mind fertilized by an avid curiosity, follows with a well-designed and thoroughly executed project, results in a scientific article published in a peer-reviewed journal, and ends with an application in the field.

What if Guglielmo Marconi had told no one about his wireless signals and the world did not have the telegraph or the radio?1 What if Alexander Graham Bell had kept his research to himself and we, as a society, did not have telephones? Just imagine swine practice without a telephone! Apparently, Alexander Graham Bell was “driven by a genuine and rare intellectual curiosity.”2 He also believed in the team approach to scientific work. Together with two associates, he invented the photophone, a device that carried sound on a beam of light. This was the precursor of laser and fiberoptic communications.2 Imagine if they had kept that information to themselves.

The purpose of the research published in the Journal of Swine Health and Production is to provide new scientific knowledge to advance the industry that we serve. The aim of the journal is to publish applied scientific and translational research for swine researchers, swine veterinarians, and those servicing the swine industry in major swine-producing countries in the developed world. The broad veterinary and animal-science topics include diagnosis, treatment, management, prevention, and eradication of swine diseases, and production management, including reproduction, growth, systems flow, economics, facility design, public health, welfare, and biosecurity. In addition to original research, the journal publishes case studies describing new clinical problems or novel approaches to solve clinical problems, and production tools describing useful veterinary practitioner techniques.

In the past 3 years, the journal has published peer-reviewed manuscripts from researchers in the United States (57), Canada (17), India (two) and Spain (two), and one each from Australia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kenya, Korea, and the United Kingdom, with co-authors from Australia, Argentina, France, Germany, and Spain. The abstracts from the scientific papers are printed in English, Spanish, and French to enable persons from around the world to gain access to the journal. The abstracts are available on the AASV website on the first day of the month of publication.

The journal uses a rigorous review process beginning with an initial review by two to three peer reviewers and followed by a review by one of the editorial board members and finally by the executive and associate editors. The editorial board includes 10 lead reviewers who are supported by an annual panel of 80 to 100 peer reviewers.

The journal is distributed to all members of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV). The membership includes 825 people from the United States and 469 from 43 other countries. Practitioners make up 49% of our membership, while 20% are industry people, 16% are in education and research, and 15% are retired. We have 220 veterinary student members. Additional subscriptions go to 38 libraries of veterinary medical schools in North America and 123 paid subscribers who are not AASV members.

The Journal of Swine Health and Production is the only North American journal published in English with a focus on the pig. It is THE place to publish new scientific information if the author hopes that veterinarians in North America will have access to the information. Many key, ground-breaking manuscripts on biosecurity, porcine circovirus type 2, and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus have been published in the past few years.3-7 Of the 128 veterinary science journals listed in the ISI Web of Knowledge journal citation reports, the Journal of Swine Health and Production is ranked 79th. Manuscripts from the Journal of Swine Health and Production can be found through the CAB abstracts, ISI, and Focus on: Veterinary Science and Medicine reference search engines.

I believe the ultimate purpose of research is to provide new scientific knowledge that will advance our society, and for us, that often means advancing the industry that we serve. Research must be published using a rigorous peer-reviewed process in a journal that is readily accessible to the veterinarians who will put the research results into practice. That is the role of the Journal of Swine Health and Production.

References

1. Nobelprize.org. Guglielmo Marconi. The Nobel prize in physics 1909. Available at: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1909/marconi-bio.html. Accessed 13 September 2007.

2. About.com. Inventors. Alexander Graham Bell – Biography. Available at: http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bltelephone2.htm. Accessed 13 September 2007.

3. Amass SF, Schneider JL. Evaluation of the efficacy of a truck-mounted tire sanitizer system during winter weather. J Swine Health Prod. 2006;14:101–104.

4. Harding JCS, Clark EG, Strokappe JH, Willson PI, Ellis JA. Postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome: Epidemiology and clinical presentation. Swine Health Prod. 1998;6:249–254.

5. Harms PA, Halbur PG, Sorden SD. Three cases of porcine respiratory disease complex associated with porcine circovirus type 2 infection. J Swine Health Prod. 2002;10:27–30.

6. Otake S, Dee SA, Rossow KD, Dean J, Joo HS, Molitor TW, Pijoan C. Transmission of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus by fomites (boots and coveralls). J Swine Health Prod. 2002;10:59–65.

7. Lager KM, Mengeling WL, Wesley RD. Evidence for local spread of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. J Swine Health Prod. 2002;10:167–170.

-- Cate Dewey