Read through my blog categories and you’ll notice that the research category is one of the largest. What can I say? I’m a bit of a science geek. I trained and worked in environmental science for over 20 years and so I understand the value of research – it creates new knowledge and underpins new developments that can help us and our dogs.
But research comes at a price – and that’s not just the cost of doing the research. Research quality is often judged on the basis of whether or not the research has been peer-reviewed. And like any system, the peer review and publishing system has become a money-maker for some journals. Academic staff are judged on their production of papers which show not only their name, but also the name of their employing institution. When I worked at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, this system was commonly referred to as ‘publish or perish.’
There are journals that scam researchers into paying to be published when there is no real peer behind the peer review and the journal is one that may look reputable, but isn’t.
Professor Mike Daube of Curtin University in Australia thought it would be a good idea to challenge the system in a tongue-in-cheek way. He offered the services of his Staffordshire terrier, Olivia Doll, as a peer reviewer with expertise in subjects like “avian propinquity to canines in metropolitan suburbs” and “the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines.”
Olivia was approached to peer review at least one article. The Global Journal of Addiction & Rehabilitation Medicine appointed her as an Associate Editor (no job interview required) and a journal called Psychiatry and Mental Disorders listed her as a member of its editorial board. At last count, Olivia served on the editorial board of seven journals.
I hope I’m a bit more discerning in selecting the dog-related research that I share on this blog; and wherever possible I include a link to the original source to respect copyright.
Source: Science Magazine
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand