Re: Christmas Rose? & Research Articles-Submission Standards
RE:>>I'm not sure just what the problem is...
I may make a more detailed response (would that be possible?) to you
in a private message. I will do this because I believe doing so is
conducive toward maintaining a high standard for submitted, and ultimately
published, scientific articles while facilitating a continual flow of Hosta-related
articles to the Journal editor. There must be separate standards
applied to scientific articles, and were people to get the opinion that
such scrutiny applied to general interest articles, the flow of such articles
to the editor might be diminished, with even some thinking their article
might be unworthy of submission. Perhaps the worst part of an editor's
job becomes reality when but a few articles are being submitted. What was
already difficult then becomes mission impossible.
I am certain that the goals of the AHS Journal have been clearly defined.
I am certain that all interested parties support continuing toward the
standard of producing the best quality of publication that can be done,
on time, and within budget. Unfortunately, among the 4,000 plus AHS
members, you would likely have great divergence on how each would define
the term "best". From the format, to the content, this definition
would be all over the board. Certainly all would concur. One personal
note--few contest the exceptional professional quality of this publication
as it is at present. For any to "flog the editor", or attempt to
publicly dissuade the readership of this forum from believing this publication
is anything but exemplary; such communications may fall on deaf ears.
One only need examine the work to ascertain its high standards for editing
and publication. It is a testimony to the membership, the Board,
the editors and staff, and I believe if Hostas could speak, they would
applaude each time an issue rolls off the presses. It is arguably
one of the best publications of it's type--in the world.
Unfortunately, I am under informed on the main issue at hand of how
one accomplishes having an article published. I have only the printed
information which is published in each Journal regarding submission procedures.
If there is a written process through which submitted documents (i.e. "requests
for publication" (RFP's), are reviewed, I would like to become aware of
it. My purpose is two-fold; 1) To better understand it for purposes
of this communication, and 2) to better understand it for my own interests
which may include such submissions.
This is in regards to pre-publication review by either the AHS Journal
editorial staff, the Scientific Committee of the AHS, or any others who
may be charged with the responsibility of reviewing RFP's. I must
first ask for a chance to accumulate any written procedures. Could
someone who has access to this information instruct me on how I might obtain
such materials? Are they publicly accessible for those who might
request a copy?
Secondly, I believe this matter is of importance primarily to those
with an advanced botanical or scientific interest and that all who submit
any RFP will have a vested, and perhaps emotional interest, in the publication
of that article. Some may be writing these articles as a work
related endeavor. Ben, as we know, has a position of responsibility
to an educational institution. If his position is like so many in
the U.S., often there is a requirement to submit some number of articles.
I assume he would like to have some of those reach the "published" status.
I do not know whether the AHS Journal is considered as worthy of inclusion
in this class of periodicals of scientific merit, but I would like to know
that as well. Do either you, Ben, or other interested parties know
how publication in the AHS Journal is viewed by your peers or other stakeholders
in such work? Does "the boss" record publication in the AHS Journal
as an achievement worthy of being noted on a vita, or performance review?
Certainly no one is asserting that the AHS Journal is a scientific Journal,
Finally, I have been made aware that there is some history that taints
objectivity in this discussion thread. Once again, seniority has its value.
Not being in any official capacity, I cannot "request a briefing" but suffice
it to say I have had a few unsolicited explanations for the fervor that
ensues in these conversations (thank you!). I DO know that I am unable
to even form an opinion regarding previously published articles, and whether
any were "sloppy", encumbered with "(extreamly?) extremely poor english",
or whether any author has any "weak spots". And Joe, I cannot
tell you much about Ben's current submission, other than, 1) it is about
white-flowered Hosta, 2) he believes it explains something of interest
to hybridizers, 3) he will likely draw inferences from his studies, and
4) the article was submitted around 11 months ago.
There is no doubt that MANY have submitted wonderful articles of scientific
interest, and that MANY have been published. I do NOT know, however,
how many are submitted, reviewed and subsequently published. Is the
ratio worse for Ben than others? If it is worse, why and is it justifiable?
And if justifiable, why isn't Ben accepting of that and then reworking
the article(s) quickly to make them acceptable? While others have
formed opinions on both of you "characters", I have not. And I certainly
don't have one on your scientific work other than to know that I would
like to read more of it, possibly even in the AHS Journal, though this
is not the only place that I, and others, might enjoy access. I would
like to have access to more past publications, and to some quantitative
data before I could form any opinion that would allow me to use the
inflammatory language that either you or Ben have used in these recent
communications regarding Ben's work or the desire to be published in the
Is the AHS Journal primarily a scientific journal, a gardening specialty
magazine, or does it fit into a unique category, perhaps a very professionally
produced, membership "newsletter". The title of Journal may be a
misnomer, relative to other periodicals with this title. Should the
board vote to publish quarterly newsprint type newletters, with an annual
"picture book", and semi-annual scientific publications? I imagine
all of these types of questions have been asked and answered, ad infinitum,
ad nauseum. I believe the current venue was reached after 31 years
of evolution and it looks pretty successful to me!
Because of the type of adjectives and adverbs being utilized by both
parties, I can see that the history of communication has created significant
polarization of perspectives. Unfortunately, the end result may be
loss of goodwill, lack of the potential benefit from combined effort, and
a decrease in research--an effort that should benefit all parties--not
to mention, of course, OUR WONDERFUL HOSTA(S)! If they had a voice,
I wonder what they would say? With combined effort, maybe we could
see Hosta become a new edible crop; find new cures to Hosta maladies; extract
serum that would be used in hand-lotions, or medicinally; or we might see
Hosta so large they would be used to shade park benches. Who knows?
Based on all of the above, I will attempt to withdraw from the public
discussion of this matter. I have offered some service to interested
parties, and Kevin and others have purposed other measures that could be
taken. I don't know that there is a lot else I, or anyone else,
can do. I believe the parties know what those offered services include.
I do know that I wish that there was greater effort on both of your
parts to reach a more amicable solution, and that the feud would not be
played out in public. We all have weak points, we all have strengths.
>It is very unfortunate for the Hosta research community, however,
>when we lose the focus of any researcher. We don't want people
>moving AWAY from doing research on this plant, but toward it!
I too would like to see Ben stick with more hosta research, but at the
same time I wish he would be more cooperative in reporting on his
results and not jump to sloppy conclusions so quickly. Ben has a lot
to offer because of his molecular and biochemical genetics background
and the research facilities that he has available, but he also has
lot of weak spots in understanding botany and horticulture.
I'm not sure just what the problem is with getting an article
published in the Hosta Journal, but he has had other articles
published, so no one is discriminating against him. The problem
Ben's articles is his extreamly poor english. I've done some
rewriting some articles for the lily society for some Germans, and
it's difficult to do. In Ben's case you have complicated science
the reviewers don't understand well combined with his poor english.
could easily see where it could take 6 months or more to work out a
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Andrew Lietzow, Plantsman http://hostahaven.com
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