Essential and core books for veterinary medicine

Heather K. Moberly, Jessica R. Page


Objectives:This study defined core and essential lists of recent, English-language veterinary medicine books using a data-driven methodology for potential use by a broad audience, including libraries that are building collections supporting veterinary sciences and One Health initiatives.

Methods: Book titles were collected from monograph citation databases, veterinary examination reading lists, veterinary college textbook and library reserve lists, and published bibliographies. These lists were combined into a single list with titles ranked by the number of occurrences.

Results: The methodology produced a core list of 122 monographs and an essential list of 33 titles. All titles are recent, edition neutral, English language monographs. One title is out of print.

Conclusions: The methodology captured qualitative and quantitative input from four distinct populations who use veterinary monographs: veterinary practitioners, educators, researchers, and librarians. Data were collected and compiled to determine core and essential lists that represented all groups. Unfortunately, data are not available for all subareas of veterinary medicine, resulting in uneven subject coverage. This methodology can be replicated and adapted for other subject areas.


Veterinary Medicine; Veterinary Librarianship; Collection Development

Full Text:



Raw ME. Survey of libraries in veterinary practice. Vet Rec. 1987;121(6):129–31.

Pelzer NL, Leysen JM. Use of information resources by veterinary practitioners. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1991 Jan;79(1):10–6.

Wales T. Practice makes perfect? vets’ information seeking behaviour and information use explored. Aslib Proc. 2000 Sep;52(7):235–46. DOI:

Huntley SJ, Dean RS, Massey A, Brennan ML. International evidence-based medicine survey of the veterinary profession: information sources used by veterinarians. PLOS ONE. 2016 Jul 26;11(7):e0159732. DOI:

Nielsen TD, Dean RS, Massey A, Brennan ML. Survey of the UK veterinary profession 2: sources of information used by veterinarians. Vet Rec. 2015 Aug 15;177(7):172. DOI:

Drake MA, Woods LA. An information service for practicing veterinarians. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1978 Oct;66(4):437–40.

Carrigan E, Moberly HK, Halling DT. ARCIVAL: annual report on changes in veterinary academic libraries [Internet]. OAKTrust [cited 11 May 2018]. .

One Health Initiative. One World One Medicine One Health [Internet]. The Initiative [cited 11 Dec 2017]. .

Thompson LL, Higa ML, Carrigan E, Tobia R, eds. The Medical Library Association’s master guide to authoritative information resources in the health sciences. New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers; 2011.

Doody’s core titles in the health sciences: veterinary medicine [Internet]. Oak Park, IL: Doody Enterprises; 2016 [cited 11 May 2018]. .

Johnson RC, Mason FO, Sims RH. A basic list of recommended books and journals for support of clinical dentistry in a nondental library. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1997 Jul;85(3):233–8.

Crawley-Low J. Veterinary medicine books recommended for academic libraries. J Med Libr Assoc. 2004 Oct;92(4):473–88.

Carrigan E, Ugaz A, Moberly HK, Page J, Alpi KM, Vreeland C. Veterinary medicine: all collections great and small. In: Holder S, ed. Library collection development for professional programs: trends and best practices. Hershey, PA: IGI Global; 2013. p. 248–68. (Advances in Library and Information Science). .

National Agricultural Library (US), Library of Congress. Joint collection development policy: veterinary science and related subjects [Internet]. National Library of Medicine [cited 29 Dec 2016]. .

Bishop D. Veterinary medicine and the medical school library. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1969 Jul;57(3):275–80.

Roy DE. The selection process for veterinary books in the general medical school library. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1984 Jul;72(3):314–5.

Hill DR, Stickell HN. A history of the Brandon/Hill selected lists. Brandon Hill Selected Lists.

Brandon AN, Hill DR. Selected list of books and journals in allied health sciences. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1984 Oct;72(4):373–91.

Shedlock J, Walton LJ. Developing a virtual community for health sciences library book selection: Doody’s Core Titles. J Med Libr Assoc. 2006 Jan;94(1):61–6.

Contributors to Doody’s core titles (DCT) [Internet]. Doody Enterprises [cited 13 Dec 2017]. .

Dan Doody. Doody’s question. 2017.

Olsen WC. The literature of animal science and health. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press; 1993.

Kerker AE, Malamud J. The literature of veterinary medicine [Internet]. CE 360, courses for continuing education. Chicago, IL: Medical Library Association; 1979 [cited 11 May 2018]. .

Blanchard JR, Farrell L. Guide to sources for agricultural and biological research [Internet]. University of California Press; 1981. (Available from: . [cited 11 May 2018].)

Kerker AE, Murphy HT, eds. Comparative and veterinary medicine: a guide to the resource literature. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin; 1973. 308 p.

Stephens G. Animal health and veterinary sciences. In: Using the agricultural, environmental, and food literature. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker; 2002. p. 75–134. (Books in library and information science; vol. 61).

Ugaz AG, Boyd CT, Croft VF, Carrigan EE, Anderson KM. Basic list of veterinary medical serials, third edition: using a decision matrix to update the core list of veterinary journals. J Med Libr Assoc. 2010 Oct;98(4):282–92. DOI:

Ugaz AG. Drilling deeper into the core: an analysis of journal evaluation methodologies used to create the “Basic List of Veterinary Medical Serials,” third edition. J Med Libr Assoc. 2011 Apr;99(2):145–52. DOI:

Web of Science [v.5.25]: Web of Science core collection home [Internet]. Clarivate Analytics [cited 13 Dec 2017]. . (Login required.)

Web of Science [v.5.25]: BIOSIS citation index home [Internet]. Clarivate Analytics [cited 13 Dec 2017]. . (Login required.)

Scopus. Document search [Internet]. Scopus [cited 13 Dec 2017]. . (Login required.)

American Veterinary Medical Association, Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates. Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination reference list [Internet]. The Association [cited 8 May 2018]. .

Veterinary Information Resource Committee, Veterinary Medical Libraries Section, Medical Library Association. Veterinary specialty boards reading lists libraries template 2.0 [Internet]. [cited 16 May 2018]. .

Carrigan E, Boyd T. Veterinary medicine. In: Thompson LL, Carrigan E, Higa ML, Tobia R, eds. The Medical Library Association’s master guide to authoritative information resources in the health sciences. New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers; 2011. p. 475–512.

ArcGIS Maps for Office. Classification methods [Internet]. Esri [cited 13 Dec 2017]. .

Page JR, Moberly HK, Youngen GK, Hamel BJ. Exploring the veterinary literature: a bibliometric methodology for identifying interdisciplinary and collaborative publications. Coll Res Libr. 2014 Sep 1;75(5):664–83. DOI:

American Veterinary Medical Association. AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties [Internet]. The Association [cited 13 Dec 2017]. .



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Heather K. Moberly, Jessica R. Page

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.