Making paw prints on international research journals

Dr. Olivia Doll, a Staffordshire terrier from Perth, Australia, has served on no less than seven medical journal editorial boards, reports Sarah Condie.

Dr Olivia Doll, or Ollie (not pictured), specialises in 'the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines'
Alex Grace / Getty

What do Dr. Olivia Doll and F.D.C Willard have in common? You’ll find their names published in some of the worlds’ prestigious international research journals. Oh, and they both have four legs.

Dr. Olivia Doll, known as Ollie to her nearest and dearest, is a Staffordshire terrier residing in Perth, Australia. She also happens to serve on no less than seven medical journal editorial boards. Specialising in ‘the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines’ and ‘avian propinquity to canines in metropolitan suburbs’, Dr. Doll boasts an impressive curriculum vitae including her role as senior lecturer at Subiaco College of Veterinary Science.

While this started as something lighthearted, Ollie’s owner Mike Daub, a veteran public health expert, hopes to encourage medical journals to better scrutinise their editorial reviewers. Dr. Doll managed to sneak in under the radar, with her profile image a bespectacled Kylie Minogue.

cosmos magazine

Ollie’s rise to fame is reminiscent of F.D.C Willard, the pen name of a Siamese cat named Chester who is often included in lists of famous or historical cats. F.D.C Willard was internationally published on low temperature physics in scientific journals in the 70s, and was frequently referenced until his identity unveiled. Chester was added as a co-author to the original paper by owner Jack H. Hetherington who wanted to avoid retyping his article in the singular tense.

It seems not even the scientific community can get enough of our four legged friends. We can hardly look past the cover of our own print issue in early 2016 where we investigated what the genetics of smart dogs can teach us about how our own brains work. Perhaps it’s time for Bessie, the Cosmos office dog, to join the ranks with her very own byline.

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