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Third-Year OSU Veterinary Student Listed as First Author in Scientific Publication

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Rachel Maranville

Rachel Maranville of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is doing more than earning her DVM degree at Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Maranville recently completed a research project under the guidance of associate professor of zoological medicine Dr. Nicola Di Girolamo, and her hard work is about to pay off. Just a third year veterinary student, Maranville will be listed as the first author when the research is published in JAVMA, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

“I’ve been involved in a couple of other research projects that are in similar journals but never as the first author so it’s exciting,” said Maranville. “I think it’s good for my resume. I want to move on to do an internship and residency so I think having some publications of my own will really be beneficial for that.”

Maranville’s research project, “Reporting quality of abstracts of veterinary randomized controlled trials,” involved doing an abstract review of abstracts published in five leading veterinary journals in 2013 and in 2018.

“There is a checklist of items that should be included in the abstracts of randomized control trials,” she said. “I read through all the abstracts to see how many of those items were included in each because the abstract is the first part of a paper that a lot of readers view; and for a majority of readers, it might be the only part that they have access to. So it’s important for the abstracts to have a good qualify of reporting if we’re going to base our medical decisions off of the information presented in these abstracts.”

Maranville discovered that the quality of reporting for abstracts is surprisingly low.

“There are about 16 items that are supposed to be included in an abstract,” continued Maranville. “We found on average that five that were included in most abstracts. The highest number recorded in any abstract was eight and the lowest was two. It kind of points to an underwhelming quality of reporting in abstracts and a lot of papers in human medical journals have proven a similar thing.”

According to Maranville there were 213 abstracts included in the trials which required a lot of reading with plenty of information to gather.

“There were trials for pig vaccines and different medical treatments for different canine diseases. You name it. I liked that it wasn’t based on any one particular species. I got to read abstracts for many papers that I wouldn’t have otherwise and I learned some pretty neat things that way,” said Maranville.

Maranville says she has wanted to be a veterinarian for as long as she can remember. Following graduation in 2021, she hopes to pursue a small animal rotating internship followed by an exotics internship and then a residency in zoo medicine.

“Hopefully, someday, I’ll be a zoo veterinarian,” said Maranville. “I’ve been involved in a couple of research projects in vet school and I’ve loved each one of them. I learned different things. I don’t think you need to want to pursue a career in research to be involved in research. I think it’s important to all of us, even general practitioners. We could all benefit from knowing how research is done, how to be involved in it, and knowing how to evaluate others’ research. I think it’s beneficial and important.”

Others working on the project were third year veterinary student Andrea Popken, Dr. Joao Brandao, assistant professor of zoological medicine at the veterinary college, and Dr. Reint Meursinge Reynders, an orthodontist with expertise in systematic reviews from Milan, Italy.

“I am especially happy because research on published research is often overlooked by our students who desire hands-on projects,” said Di Girolamo.  “This project taught Rachel and Andrea how to critically look at published research. This is a skill that is hard to develop during the standard curriculum. Also, having a first-author paper in JAVMA will make a difference when Rachel applies for internships.”

Published twice monthly, JAVMA is a leading peer-reviewed veterinary journal that provides reports of clinical research, feature articles and regular columns of interest to veterinarians in private and public practice.

MEDIA CONTACT: Derinda Blakeney, APR | OSU College of Veterinary Medicine | 405-744-6740 | derinda@okstate.edu

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