New service offers direct, efficient connection to hoof and lameness research


An innovative new monthly service aims to keep equine professionals up-to-date with the latest hoof and lameness research.

It had been launched by publisher Fran Jurga, who writes extensively on hoof science and related issues, including a popular blog.

Massachusetts-based Jurga said she developed the service, called HoofSearch, after listening to veterinarians’ frustrations with online search systems.

She said she also heard the frustration of farriers who had no knowledge of new peer-reviewed articles on foot science. Researchers and students decried the necessity of multiple database feeds, and veterinary college librarians lamented the lack of selective content awareness services commonly used in other fields of science, but which have not been offered in animal science until HoofSearch.

Jurga’s monthly service lists all new papers, conference proceedings and patents, carefully differentiating open-access papers from those requiring subscription/library sign-in by using color-coded access labels.

The service, which costs US$119 worldwide for 12 editions, targets veterinary professionals, researchers, students and horse owners with a specialist interest in the field who are determined to stay up-to-date on developments in science related to equine lameness.

“They can come out from behind their towering stacks of unread journals, delete all their outdated content alert emails, and forget the search protocols on database sites,” Jurga says.

She says HoofSearch’s monthly report aims to give subscribers a direct, efficient connection to newly published hoof and lameness research

It will focus on materials covering hoof science, equine lameness, biomechanics, imaging and related topics such as equine metabolic syndrome, footing studies, and racing, breed and sport-specific lameness research, all in one interactive document, available 24/7 across all of a subscriber’s web-connected devices.

Kentucky’s Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital’s Podiatry Clinic was an early adopter and signed up all the staff vets.

The hospital’s Scott Morrison, a veterinarian, said HoofSearch was available on staff members’ phones and laptops.

“We use it to keep up to date on all the developments in our field; it really is a great resource for all of us.”

Around 100 linked HoofSearch listings from 20 or more countries each month connect registered users to all points of the equine veterinary medicine/science publishing compass.

Jurga says subscribers can browse the list passively for general awareness, or actively click through to journal pages for more options. Unlike basic database update feeds, HoofSearch contains more than peer-reviewed journal articles. It also includes conference proceeding abstracts, Master’s and Doctorate theses, and even international patent announcements.

Professor Renate Weller, of the Royal Veterinary College in Britain describes HoofSearch as a great tool for anybody interested in staying up-to-date with what work is going on in relation to horse feet.

“It is a trustworthy source at an affordable price.”

Weller, who recently launched the college’s new Graduate Diploma in Equine Locomotor Research, continues: “I’m not the only one who appreciates HoofSearch; the farriers enrolled in our new degree in research are also using it for their work.”

RVC Structure and Motion Laboratory PhD candidate Amy Barstow, BVetMed (Hons), concurs. She says it provides a straightforward, time-efficient way to stay on top of the latest research.

Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine Professor Emerita Hilary Clayton endorses the service, saying is worth its weight in gold. “Instead of spending countless hours scouring the literature, I just go through HoofSearch each month and find all the new publications, proceedings and patents neatly classified and enough of the abstract to convey the contents of the article.”

HoofSearch can be viewed via free Google-based mobile apps for smartphones and tablets as well as via its desktop/laptop browser-based version. It can be used on the road, as well as in clinics and offices, and requires only internet access and a browser.

Jurga comments: “Everywhere professionals are involved in helping horses with foot problems, the push is on to both be able to access and build on a comprehensive, if still evolving, body of knowledge.

“These reports will be useful to track how this newly expanding field of research grew and contributed to the improved welfare, longevity and soundness of horses in the future. I can’t wait to add more editions on other equine health subjects.”

Subscription information: The quick direct subscription link for new US subscribers only is here.

Simple payment link for non-US subscribers is here. Internet access and a browser or app-equipped device are the user’s responsibility.

An introduction to HoofSearch can be found here.
The USA subscription purchase link is here.
HoofSearch is also on Facebook here.

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