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Editor Spotlight: Laura Patterson Rosa

In this month’s editor spotlight, Dr. Laura Patterson Rosa talks about her motivation to act as an Academic Editor in PLOS ONE, her passion for equine research and riding, and the importance of open science.

Dr. Laura Patterson Rosa is a veterinary doctor and geneticist specialized in the application of “omics” tools in equine health and preventative medicine, particularly dedicated to mentoring veterinary students and imparting her expertise in Equine Medicine and Genomics. Her research interests encompass the use of omics tools to enhance our understanding of complex diseases, locomotion, population structure and adaptation, as well as overall health and selection in equids, and occasionally other species. She is enthusiastic about inclusion in the scientific field, especially regarding underrepresented people and animal populations.

Currently, Dr. Patterson serves as Associate Professor of Equine Medicine and Director of Equine Programs at Long Island University – College of Veterinary Medicine. She is an active member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the Havemeyer Equine Genome Workshop, and the Equine Science Society (ESS). Additionally, she has a profound passion for horse-related activities, having been a trainer and show jumper for over two decades.

Image provided by Dr Laura Patterson Rosa, 2006.

What motivates you to contribute to PLOS ONE as an Academic Editor?

During my final years of veterinary school, I frequently referenced publications in PLOS ONE, as the wide range of topics covered in veterinary medicine and high-quality published science repeatedly originated from this journal. Before becoming an Academic Editor, I submitted one of my postdoctoral research papers to PLOS ONE. This submission process was facilitated by clear guidelines, a swift review process accompanied by constructive feedback, and exceptional visibility for the paper post-publication.

As an Academic Editor, my goal is to uphold the same quality standards that I experienced as an author. Among the many commendable aspects of PLOS ONE, the broad spectrum of topics published, the high standards set for publications, and the emphasis on the fair sharing of data, which are integral to PLOS ONE criterion and fundamental to scientific integrity, are my primary motivations for contributing to the journal.

Those most in need of this knowledge are often the ones underrepresented in the scientific community

Laura Patterson Rosa

Do you feel your interest in horses as a trainer and rider contributed to your scientific interest? How do you balance your scientific career and maintaining time for your active pursuits?

My career as a veterinarian and scientist owes much to my early experiences with horses. Although my family does not come from an equestrian background, I often joke that my love for horses must be from a recessive aspect in my genetic makeup. These foundation experiences inspired me to become a veterinarian to better serve animals and to further my education as a geneticist for the same purpose. I am fortunate to conduct research and work in a field for which I am deeply passionate.

Having the dual perspective of both an industry professional and a scientist provides a unique vantage point when addressing research questions. This dual perspective also facilitates effective communication with horse owners, as we frequently rely on privately owned horses for research. Balancing my scientific career with my active pursuits is possibly more manageable and enjoyable given the complementary nature of these aspects. Additionally, I frequently have the opportunity to spend time with horses, both in the course of conducting research and during my free time, which is always a great thing!

Photo by Camilla Guillen, 2018

Do you feel that open access publishing and open science are important in your field?

Absolutely! One of my primary objectives is to ensure broad access to scientific information for clinicians and owners. Unfortunately, this goal is seldom met with sufficient extension efforts within the fields of equine veterinary medicine and genetics. To such an extent that this matter has become a significant topic of discussion and improvement in recent years.

Ensuring wide access to peer-reviewed science is essential for advancing the standards of care and selection practices at both the industry and society levels. Access to scientific knowledge should not be confined to academia, where institutions have agreements with journals, but should extend to all individuals, particularly those who cannot afford it. It is especially important because those most in need of this knowledge are often the ones underrepresented in the scientific community. For this reason, open access publishing and open science play a vital role in disseminating information to veterinarians and horse owners or breeders worldwide.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by contributors are solely those of individual contributors, and not necessarily those of PLOS.

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