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Practice-based research

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Practice-based research

Published 11 June 2021 | updated 24 April 2023

Practice-based research, that is research undertaken in clinical practice involving client owned animals, provides the opportunity for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses to get involved in the research process, by asking relevant questions and developing evidence that can be applied to everyday practice. However, while undertaking practice-based research can be personally rewarding and help to answer important questions that are relevant to everyday practice, carrying out research that produces reliable evidence can be a daunting task.

The purpose of this collection is to bring together published resources to support those considering undertaking practice-based research. The resources cover the main phases of a research project, from conception and ethical considerations, through study design, analysis of data and statistics, to reporting results.

As with our other collections, papers are chosen for relevance and accessibility, with the full text of articles either being available through RCVS Knowledge Library or from other publications to which a significant number of veterinary professionals are likely to have access.


  1. Introduction to practice-based research
  2. Legal and ethical concerns
  3. Study design
      1. Observational studies
      2. Experimental studies
      3. Research synthesis
      4. Questionnaire based research
      5. Papers relating to specific areas of study
  4. Challenges in conducting practice-based research
      1. Information sources
      2. Methodology
      3. Bias
  5. Statistics
      1. Introduction to statistics
      2. Statistical tools – analysing the data
      3. Sample size and statistical power
      4. Interpreting statistical results
  6. Reporting clinical research

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