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Re: Christmas Rose? & Research Articles-Submission Standards


>There must be separate standards applied to scientific articles,

>Unfortunately, among the 4,000 plus AHS members, you would likely 
>have great divergence on how each would define the term "best".

I can't speak for the hosta society, but I'm sure the hosta society is 
like other small plant societies in that they are always looking for 
articles, but that certain standards need to be meet.  Also, articles 
need to be varied so as to interest all the members at some time.  The 
editor and the society has to realize that not everyone is going to be 
pleased with every article, so you try to reach some balance.

Scientific articles in journals like the hosta journal need to be 
geared down to a more general level then if they were being published 
in a peer review professional journal, but still need to be accurate. 
The problem is that in most plant societies the editor rarely has the 
necessary scientific background to understand scientific articles.  
Many years ago the daylily society editor published a scientific 
article that was so full of inaccuracies that they set up a procedure 
for reviewing scientific articles before they could be published and 
it has worked quite well.  I reviewed one article that was so poorly 
writen that there was no way that it was going to be published without 
a complete rewritting, besides the fact that the author didn't really 
have a complete grasp of the material he was trying to present.  In 
another case the science was sound but we couldn't figure out if it 
was original research or if the authors were reviewing existing 
research.  We told them they had to clear up that point, but they 
decided to not publish the article.  

As I've said before, I can't speak for the hosta society, but I think 
they would be more then willing to publish Ben's articles IF they 
could get them into some form of decent English.  I would be more then 
willing to review the scientific material in the article in question 
if the editor wants to send it to me, but I'm not sure if I could 
rewrite it into English.

>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.

My PhD thesis was on Mendelian inheritance of color in carrot roots, 
so I have some idea of how to approach a study of Mendelial traits.  
I'm more then willing to help the hosta society with my expertise, but 
I am not going to be begging them.  My suspicion is that Ben has 
probably made the details of the experiments difficult to understand 
and may have made unjustified inferences, but I suspect that his 
english is what is holding it up.  Considering that the Hosta Journal 
is only published twice a year, I can easily see it taking over a year 
for it to get published.  I've submitted articles to the Daylily 
Journal that needed little additional work and it took over 6 months 
to get published.  There are a lot of factors that go into deciding 
when to publish a particular article.  

I'm not sure why you think I am having some kind of feud with Ben.  
One thing you have to realize about scientists - they have a desire to 
reach the truth and in science, unlike in politics, there is something 
called the truth.  We may not know what it is, but it is out there to 
be discovered.  Scientists can disagre quite strongly on different 
theories, hypothesis and ideas and to the layperson it would appear 
that the scientists are in a personal bitter fight when in fact it may 
be just the opposite.  Scientists can tear each others ideas apart but 
still respect each other.  I can respect Ben for his area of 
expertise, but I also know what he is not an expert on.  If you are a 
scientists and you are going to present scientific ideas, then you 
better be prepared to defend those ideas, or change the ideas to 
better conform with current knowledge.  Ben's main problem, as I can 
best figure it, is that he probably has a strong passive resistant 
personality, and hence takes everything negative as a personal attack. 
Also, if you are going to be a scientist, you have to be willing to 
share information.  I don't think I am the only one who finds it 
frustrating that Ben is very relucent to share information beyond the 
meager announcements he makes.  

Joe Halinar

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