Engaging emerging voices—breathing fresh life into your journals

Lisa A. Fortier Editor-in-Chief, JAVMAand AJVR, Division Director of Publications, AVMA

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Lisa A. Fortier DVM, PhD, DACVS

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 261, 5; 10.2460/javma.261.5.619

Dear members and readers,

Last year marked the inaugural Student, Intern, and Resident (SIR) Author Awards for JAVMA and AJVR. Nominations for our second SIR Author Awards close on June 15, 2023—information on how to submit a nomination is detailed below. Please consider nominating a deserving early-career professional!

Associate Editor Dr. Sarah Wright and I interviewed the majority of the 2022 award winners for Veterinary Vertex, the journal’s podcast. You can listen to the interviews at https://veterinaryvertex.buzzsprout.com—it was a truly inspiring experience! The primary goal of the SIR Awards is to recognize our colleagues for their early experiences with writing scientific manuscripts. At the same time, we hoped that winning an award would motivate them to pursue continued participation in the scientific process. We were paid back in spades! Here are some quotes from 2022 winners:

When you do clinically-based research the impact that it can have and how gratifying it can be is really something amazing. —Briana Domenegato

This award was a really good reminder of what I’m really interested in. —Brenna Pugliese

It really helped me realize I can do a lot more things not just clinical work. I started a podcast because I got the award, I decided I could definitely do a lot of other things, so I started a podcast for veterinary clients. —Tyler Sugerman

It’s solidified my enthusiasm for the field of veterinary medicine in general. —Nicole Mikoni

It’s really help to solidify my dedication to research and 3-D printing specifically. —Christina de Armond

It gives me a lot of confidence in myself as a researcher and as a clinician capable of contributing meaningfully to the literature that’s out there. —Ashley Iodence

Winning this award made me realize how much I enjoy research. —Corey Fisher

Getting published and winning this award has definitely been a confidence booster. —Brendan Nagler

I hope you are as encouraged by their enthusiasm for our profession as we were. We look forward to following the career trajectories of these amazing emerging authors.

The SIR Awards are not the only student-oriented program we are pioneering at JAVMA. Let me take a moment to emphasize our Student Associate Editor (SAE) program. Jacqueline Chevalier was our first SAE. We learned a lot from Jacqueline through the fresh lens of a student, and here’s what she had to say about the position:

As a student associate editor, I’ve come to further understand the peer review process and have gained a tremendous amount of respect and gratitude for all scientists who contribute to this process as reviewers and editors. This experience has improved my scientific writing and inspired me to stay dedicated to the scientific process by continuing both my research and acting as a reviewer.

We wish Jacqueline all the best as she moves on to an internship position. Our experience with Jacqueline was so mutually rewarding that we have expanded to now have 3 SAEs. Associate Editor, Dr. Jason Stull is providing individualized training for each of them, including how to select reviewers, what to look for in a scientific paper, how to compose a balanced review, and how to communicate appropriately with authors about their papers.

You might recall that the topic of my January 2023 Editorial was “Reviewing is rewarding!” (https://jav.ma/Reviewing) We continue to receive positive responses from many of you, and several students also volunteered their time and expertise to serve as reviewers. We now have 9 student reviewers for JAVMA and AJVR! To be honest, this was primarily initiated as a mentorship program to help teach the art and science of providing a constructive review, but I can’t tell you how much our entire Publications Division is enjoying the infusion of the students’ infectious energy.

We hope to inspire other journals to engage and educate veterinary students, interns, residents, and PhD students in the editorial process. Over the coming months, we’ll be looking into ways to further expand our journal-related mentorship of the amazing young veterinarians who are the future of our profession.


Dr. Lisa A. Fortier DVM, PhD, DACVS

Editor-in-Chief, JAVMA and AJVR

Division Director of Publications, AVMA


Contributor Notes