The WikiVet project has just received £ 100,000 to support a new initiative to publish commercial content on the site. The Opening Veterinary Access to Literature (OVAL) project involves the repackaging of currently restricted-view veterinary educational resources into an open format, which will then be made freely accessible to an international audience of veterinary online learners.
Veterinary students and graduates have become increasingly confident in using web based resources to supplement or replace traditional approaches to learning. Whilst the convenience of e-learning has obvious attraction, there are also concerns with the academic quality of online information and how to search for it amongst the numerous other less reliable sources. The OVAL project will help to address these issues by adapting quality peer reviewed articles and datasheets provided by our commercial partners and integrating these in to the widely used WikiVet veterinary educational portal.
Currently, there is an extensive range of veterinary literature produced by private sector publishers which has a limited readership due to the prohibitive costs. However, with the significant market changes associated with e-publishing, there is now a good business case for making some of these resources free to view. The OVAL project intends to use this opportunity to develop an innovative model for repurposing online journals and text books as Open Educational Resources (OER).