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Recognising research that changes practice
  1. Suzanne Jarvis, BSc
  1. Managing Editor, Veterinary Record, BMJ, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR, UK
  1. E-mail: sjarvis{at}

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FOR many years Veterinary Record awarded the William Hunting Award. The only criteria were that that the authors had to be practitioners and the paper had to have been published in the journal; from these papers the best was selected. However, as the profession changes, so does the research submitted to the journal, and the award has not been given over the past five years as the number of papers written by practitioners has dwindled.

However, for Veterinary Record, publishing research that really makes a difference to practitioners has always been important, and now, under the direction of the journal's Veterinary Editor-in-Chief, Lord Trees, this aspect of research is being highlighted as we aim to publish more research that adds to the evidence base to allow practitioners to make informed choices on the treatments they offer.

The rejection rate of the journal is between 70 and 75 per cent and the inclusion criteria for consideration for publication are tougher than ever; however, Veterinary Record is keen to publish research that is of interest to practitioners and promote how it may, now or in the future, affect clinical practice or vets' professional lives. One way to encourage these practical submissions is to reward the very best of those that we publish. So, as the journal itself continues to develop, it would seem timely to relaunch the William Hunting Award.

With this in mind, from 2014, the award will be made each year to the paper published in Veterinary Record in the previous 12 months that is considered to have made the most useful contribution to practice. The award will consist of a medal and £500.

What might this research look like? Some research papers can have a very obvious immediate recommendation for practitioners, be they first-opinion …

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