Just had a notification that one of our papers is now available early on-line (pre-formatted version). There was a delay is this coming out as our specialty journal, veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia has recently migrated publishers, from Wiley to Elsevier. I have very mixed feelings about the change of publisher (our paper was submitted months before the change came in to effect) as Elsevier has received considerable criticism for its business model, where libraries have limited ability to subscribe to single journals titles but rather, must subscribe to large (expensive) packages of titles that include the title they are interested in. This is better and more completely explained here, here and here. I am not (yet) a signatory on The Cost of Knowledge Website as Vet Anaesth Analg remains the most efficient way to reach our target audience for most of our clinical research papers. This is a difficult position: support colleagues in other fields, notably mathematics, who are more directly affected by these business practices by publishing elsewhere and risk missing our target audience (or at least slowing the time for our papers to be “found”), or continue as usual to ensure the visibility of our research? I have little doubt that our recent move to publishing more frequently in open access journals has had a negative effect on who sees our work. I have tried to offset this by sending links to papers to colleagues who I think might be interested, though this form of self-promotion feels a little odd.
Of course, Elsevier is not alone in its practices. It just happened to be the first publisher to face a large scale, organized response from scientists.
Back to the paper…we used a very nice demeanor (behaviour) assessment scale, published by Gareth Zeiler, to show that demeanor can interfere with pain assessment. Essentially, cats that are timid or aggressive tend to have inflated pain scores. This is not a justification to not administer analgesia (pain relief) but another indication that, sadly, pain assessment is more complicated than we’d like to believe.