It is generally accepted that Sir Arnold Theiler was the founder of Veterinary Science in South Africa. Arriving from Switzerland in Cape Town on 06 March 1891, he travelled to the Transvaal (formerly known as the Zuid-Afikaansche Republiek, or ZAR), where he was appointed as Government Veterinarian on 11 May 1896 after many adventures and mishaps.
The ‘Reports of the Government Veterinary Bacteriologist of the Transvaal’ were published between 1903 and 1910 and was succeeded by the ‘First to Eight Reports of the Director of Veterinary Research’ (1911–1918), the ‘Ninth to Fourteenth Reports of the Director of Veterinary Education and Research’ (1923–1928), the ‘Fifteenth Report of the Director of Veterinary Services’ (1929) and the ‘Sixteenth to Eighteenth Reports of the Director of Veterinary Services and Animal Industry’ (1930–1932). The Reports consisted of one or two issues per annum. During the later years, the Reports were subdivided into categories such as Virology, Parasitology, Pathology, Bacteriology and Toxicology. Consensus has it that the first issue of the Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, as we know it, was published in 1933 as ‘The Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Industry’ of which 24 volumes were published (1933–1950). In 1951 the title of the journal was yet again changed to what it is today, ‘The Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research’, or the OPJ as it is affectionately known, and has remained for the past 59 years.
From 1962, two issues per volume were published and from 1970 onward, four issues per volume. Because the Journal will now be published in electronic format, only volume numbers are given with the individual numbers falling away.
The OPJ, in its wider sense, has been in existence for 107 years during which time the editor has been the Director of the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute, or the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (OVI). Up to 1977, the OPJ was an in-house journal, but Doctor Daan Verwoerd, editor at the time, allowed articles from the Faculty of Veterinary Science to be accepted. In 2001, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Veterinary Faculty and the OVI. Professor Joop Boomker was appointed. The Editorial Board also helped to grow this journal from strength to strength.
The journal's presence has taken a landmark form to be the advocate of veterinary diseases and disease vectors of livestock and wildlife research on the African continent. The Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research has a sound reputation for being a leader in the research and practitioner communities by ensuring that original and current research related to sciences are published.
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