Sunday, 30 October 2011

Review Process

Reviewing Process on WikiVet for the OVAL Project
by Helen Dirrig

WikiVet aims to have all articles reviewed by an expert in the appropriate field. For the OVAL project,
disease datasheets from CABI and self-assessment books from Manson were used. The role of expert
reviewers was to check the information but most importantly to provide updates for any newly
discovered strains, new diagnostic methods or treatments. This would ensure that the most up-todate
information was available to the online veterinary community.

Reviewer recruitment
Reviewers were recruited by the WikiVet team and by CABI. The WikiVet team asked staff members
from the RVC, experts in farm animal virology, bacteriology and large animal clinical medicine.
CABI were able to contact experts from a wider range of backgrounds, including scientists from
Brazil, Egypt, Denmark, Germany, the USA and the UK.
An introductory email was sent to any prospective reviewers explaining the OVAL project and the
role of reviewing. It was explained that the articles were aimed at the undergraduate veterinary
student body and that they did not have to be comprehensive reviews of the pathogens or diseases.
A financial incentive of £30 per article reviewed was offered.

The reviewing process
Reviewers that accepted the task were sent Word documents of the articles from WikiVet. One
reviewer was already experienced in editing WikiVet and thus did not require the word document
and could make any necessary changes.
The response time from reviewers found by CABI was usually in the range of 2-3 weeks. RVC
reviewers tended to take a little more time and needed several reminders.
Reviewers were generally responsible for reviewing several articles from the OVAL list, as many as 19
for one expert.
Reviewers generally tracked any changes made using Word. Some people preferred making
annotations on a printed document, and one reviewer preferred to discuss changes in person.
Alterations generally concerned minor details and formatting. Diagnostic methods and treatments
were often supplemented. Reviewers also offered more up-to-date references for certain articles.
A considerable number of articles required no alterations at all.
Their recommendations were collected by a member of the WikiVet team and transcribed onto
The flashcards , which are question-and-answer pages associated with each article, were also altered
accordingly if any changes had been made.

Reviewer acknowledgment
The reviewer’s involvement with the article was acknowledged at the bottom of each article with a
box giving details of the reviewer’s name, qualifications, and the date the article was reviewed. A
follow-up email sent by the WikiVet team gave the reviewers the opportunity to provide a link to an
external page they may have about themselves, or offered to set up a page on WikiVet about their
Most reviewers already had external links or university staff pages, and a few WikiVet reviewer pages
were created.
Reviewers were sent a link to the finished article on WikiVet and encouraged to contact the team
with any comments.
Several reviewers provided positive feedback on the concept of the site and recommended other
diseases of importance that should be added to the database.
Reviewers were also sent an invoice form to claim for their work. Overall, they were quite efficient at
sending back the forms which were then forwarded on to the payroll team at the Royal Veterinary

Monday, 24 October 2011

Current Developments

We have more content released now, some of which can be accessed below.

Manson books:
Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care Q&A
Cytology Q&A
Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery Q&A

CABI pages:
Amoebic Gill Disease
Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia

Another development has been the creation of a French WikiVet site to host all the pages from CABI datasheets that have been translated into French. It is just a basic site for now but it is a start! Have a look for yourself:

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Released Content and Update

We have more released content, 24 questions from Feline Medicine Manson Q&A book and several reviewed pages:

        Avian Pneumovirus
Spring Viraemia of Carp
Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis
Sea Lice
Edwardsiella ictaluri

Don't forget to check out the flashcards that are created from each of the page's content. You can find the link to them at the bottom of the page text.

More content is being released as we go. 

We also really appreciate that we have been granted a project extension till the end of the year. We are sure we can deliver what we have promised, and lots more, but so far it is taking longer than expected. We have only minor issues with the Manson book, like quality of images and the fact that some of the pages on WikiVet that the questions link to still need to be checked. We are almost there with them though.

The CABI datasheets have all been re-written into WikiVet format but the bottle neck is with the review process now. We had approximately half of the pages returned but are still waiting on the rest. That means that the extra resources we hope to produce are also being held back. Once the pages are reviewed, they get translated into French and Spanish and podcasts are recorded from them in all three languages. Obviously, we do not want to do all this work if we then would have to change something!

We are also linking to the pages from Wikipedia. This work is nearing its completion too and we are already seeing some increase of traffic. The most obvious influence so far has been the links advertised via Twitter though!

Friday, 7 October 2011

ALT-C conference 2011

Thoughts for the OVAL group – Liz Mossop

I attended the ALT-C conference on behalf of OVAL and Wikivet, which was held in Leeds during September 2011. There were several themes of interest to us.

1.    Next steps with OER – this was a key area of discussion, and one of the best attended sessions was delivered by JISC. There was discussion about where OER will go next, what happens to institutions who don’t engage, and where we go when the money runs out. It was clear that some individuals feel that OER should never have been funded – i.e. institutions should have wanted to release material anyway. However, this appeared to be quite a short sighted view, as many presentations discussed JISC funded projects which had helped in some way – whether through direct funding or just by raising awareness. The consensus seemed to be that the projects have been necessary to get the concept going in the UK HE environment, but that it will not last much longer and we need to be looking at long term sustainability. I think we have already been applying much thought to this matter within the Wikivet steering group, and the OVAL project has realised the potential of working with publishers. We need to apply further thought to see where we go with this. We should aim to be a leader in this field and demonstrate that it is possible to produce a sustainable OER model.
2.    Learning through gaming – I thought this would mean technology, but actually there are several teams looking at more basic game based learning, often involving board games. I wondered whether a Wikivet board game could be produced to introduce new students to the usefulness of the site?
3.    Social networking – Anne Marie Cunningham, a GP in Cardiff, presented about developing a social media presence and the uses and pitfalls of this. She discussed developing a digital identity. This is going to be key for Wikivet as an organisation. We also need to think about our individual identities as members of the steering group, and how we use this to publicise Wikivet.
4.    Use of QR codes – again a prominent conference feature was the use of QR codes and smartphones. These can easily be produced to link to webpages via a simple scan. There may be applications of this to help promote Wikivet on posters, or a video of the month scenario.
5.    Copyright issues – this came up quite a lot, and one aspect I hadn’t considered previously was how you can safely create a resource with differing levels of C-C licenses. The Web2Rights group presented a really useful session on this issue and their powerpoint is here. We need to think about this as an issue for Wikivet and ensure we are sticking to the rules!