Friday, November 25, 2016

Referencing Q&A: Referencing Vetstream

We've had a question about referencing Vetstream for assignments, and it's a bit of a tricky one so we thought it was worth a longer answer here on the blog.

What's Vetstream?

To start with, if you're a Vet Sciences student or staff member and you haven't been using Vetstream, you should do yourself a favour and take at look at that database. It's one of the best resources for vets that we've seen.  It's kind of like a cross between a text-book, an encyclopedia, a suite of videos, a best-practice/current awareness service and a drug database.

Yes, that's right, it has drug database information for vets (look at the "Pharmacology and Therapeutics" section under each animal).

It currently only focuses on dogs, cats, rabbits and horses, but most of our students and academics will work with at least three of those animals, and it's worth exploring (remember folks, these things cost money and budgets are tight, so use it or lose it).

Referencing Vetstream
Vetstream Vetlexicon is essentially
four "books" bundled together
(Equis is missing from this logo)

Anyway, on to referencing.

Vetstream is one of those databases that are many, many things, and sometimes it can be difficult to figure out how to cite it in your assignment. It doesn't help that the name of the product we use has "Vetstream" written all over it, but it's actually called "Vetlexicon", and there are actually four segments which kind of are separate "books", but are all part of the same product...

The best advice we can give you is to treat it like an electronic encyclopediaActually, you should treat it like four electronic encyclopedias - Vetstream Vetlexicon CanisVetstream Vetlexicon FelisVetstream Vetlexicon Lupis, and Vetstream Vetlexicon Equis.

Then treat each entry based on what you can see.

If the entry has authors, use authors.  If it doesn't, skip straight to the title of the entry.

To help make things clearer, put a brief description of what type of thing (format) the entry actually is in square brackets after the title of the entry.

For example, here are two drug entries, the first one has an author, and the other one doesn't:

Senior, M. (2014). Pethidine [drug product summary]. In Vetstream Vetlexicon Equis. Retrieved from

→ In text this would look like this:  (Senior, 2014) OR Senior (2014).

Chloramine [drug product summary]. (2014). In Vetstream Vetlexicon Equis. Retrieved from

→ This one, in text, would look like this: ("Chloramine", 2014) OR "Chloramine" (2014).

The same goes for descriptions of breeds, images, procedure descriptions or anything else.

Robertson, H. (2014). Cesarean section: holding the cat [Image]. In Vetstream Vetlexicon Felis. Retrieved from

→ In text: (Robertson, 2014) OR Robertson (2014).

'Walking dandruff' (Cheyletiellosis) [Factsheet]. (2014). In Vetstream Vetlexicon Canis. Retrieved from

→ In text: ("Walking dandruff", 2014) OR "Walking dandruff" (2014).

Lofstedt, R., & Godfrey, D. (2014). Ovariohysterectomy [Procedure description]. In Vetstream Vetlexicon Felis. Retrieved from

→ In text: (Robertson, 2014) OR Robertson (2014).

So, it's actually quite easy to cite if you do it this way:

  1. treat each entry like an entry in an electronic encyclopedia, 
  2. give a brief description after the title, and
  3. treat each of the animal "books" as separate encyclopedias.

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