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FEATURED ARTICLE
 
Modern biology and medicine are founded upon logic, the value of observation and/or experimentation, and the application of the scientific method to advance knowledge.

The elements of sound experimental design, accurate observation recording and data analysis by appropriate statistical tests of probability (P values) will usually yield useful and publishable information. The process culminates in the presentation of data, and the conclusions derived from it, to the scientific public in many forms, including publication in peer-reviewed scholarly journals.

The peer-review process, while not error proof, has elevated Western medicine and biology, including veterinary medicine, to serve as the world's model. However, the phenomenon of open or web-based publishing threatens to dismantle this carefully constructed paradigm by publishing manuscripts of questionable quality.

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Some of these articles create an illusion of credibility despite a lack of statistical analysis, a lack of support for the conclusions by the data itself and/or flawed experimental design. This issue is particularly true in clinical trial -- like studies wherein investigator bias is neither controlled nor acknowledged. These flaws can be corrected by rigorous peer review, something that appears unreliable within the open journal publishing community.

In the following commentary, the scientific method is used to critically evaluate a recent article on the protective immunity provided by different routes of the Canine Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccines.

Read the full commentary here.

This SmartBrief was sponsored by Zoetis Inc.
 
 
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