The Birthday Year

2018 is set to be a big year for Knowledge. Find out how we’re celebrating and what’s in store for you and the whole veterinary community.

Five years ago we did something radical: we put our trust in knowledge. And by turning our attention to bigger things than just funding ad-hoc bits of veterinary research – instead championing and instigating it – we also put our Trust in Knowledge.

When we announced our change of name and accompanying mission back in 2013, we laid out our three core areas and the eras they represent. The Library would cover present knowledge; our Historical Collections would uncover, naturally, historical knowledge; and the then newly-formed evidence-based veterinary medicine project would discover future knowledge.

In one way not much has changed since then, while in another many things are different. The Historical Collections have gone digital, the Library’s inFOCUS journal watch is an industry first, Veterinary Evidence (VE) has become the flagship riding the waves of EBVM, and the latter is now much more than just an acronym. In short, the future has made itself present.

This year, 2018, may as well be called the ‘birthday year’, because, like the trains at Waterloo, a number are coming all at once. The RCVS Trust is 60 years old, the RCVS Knowledge years hit five, Veterinary Evidence marks its second anniversary, the Digital Collections and inFOCUS their first, and Mick Jagger turns 75.

Now, at Knowledge, we aren’t ones to shout loud and wide every time we achieve something small. Bridget, VE’s Managing Editor, doesn’t go around chanting ‘we’ve cracked it’ whenever a Knowledge Summary surmises that more evidence is needed (well, only on Fridays), but we do feel it’s worth celebrating not just the collection of anniversaries this year, but also the successes that have gone into reaching them.

To that end, we are planning a summer of celebration (someone in the office even muttered the word ‘soirée’) during which we will recognise the huge strides VE has made at bridging the gap between research and practice, and the important role the Digital Collections have played at highlighting the history of the profession. At the same time we will be celebrating the milestone anniversaries of the charity, with Lorna, our Archivist, on hand to get us hands on with exhibits of our history.

Alongside the festivities, we will be producing a booklet demonstrating the impact Knowledge – and particularly the Digital Collections and Veterinary Evidence – has had. On that note, please do get in touch if you’ve witnessed the practical benefits of anything we’ve produced, be it the bottom-line of a Knowledge Summary successfully changing a treatment or diagnosis, or one of our other provisions inspiring someone to follow their dream of becoming a vet.

But looking back is just one way of making a mark; we also want to tell you what’s to come in 2018.

The veterinary community is just that: a community. Any scientific or medical field is built on collaboration – collaboration between academics, practitioners and organisations like ourselves.

Creating a platform for that is at the core of what we do, so what we are doing is creating a platform for it. Currently dubbed the ‘Veterinary Evidence Community’, the microsite will bring everyone, and everything, together. Profiles, forums, groups broken down by expertise and more features designed to allow researchers and those at the forefront to work together will underpin the service, meaning the latest knowledge gets to where it is most needed and guides the care we give to our animals.

We are also going to launch a site where veterinary and animal experts, of all forms, can write opinion pieces on a topic of interest to them and the veterinary community. Interspersed amongst your commentaries will be features of our own, in which we delve into key or challenging topics as well as discuss the most interesting titbits from the Historical Collections – did you know the Veterinary Service stationed at Flanders during WWI (itself celebrating 100 years of peace this November) maintained a fleet of five canal barges just for the evacuation of sick or injured animals?

It’s sure to become a fascinating and informative area for discussion and insight, and in tandem with the Veterinary Evidence Community, a vital cog in our quest to make the dissemination of knowledge a thing we can all trust.

When Clare, our long-serving Head of Library and Knowledge Services, pronounced “this is just the beginning” as RCVS Knowledge was reborn, she wasn’t just channelling her inner Bond villain, she was right. And we’re only just getting started.

We can’t wait to reveal what we’ve been working on for the future and we hope you’ll join us as we celebrate the past.

Stay tuned for more information by keeping up-to-date with our news, signing up to intheKNOW and following us on Twitter and Facebook.

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