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Re: Hosta info or social club (or both?)


Dan wrote:
RE:>>There are lots of great people in the hosta society but I did not join the
AHS
>>to increase my circle of friends. I joined to learn about hostas. I think Ben
>>makes some valid points about sticking to the subject of hostas.

But did Ben join to increase his circle of enemies?  Did any of us?  I think not.

I asked Ben for a copy of his article weeks ago because I would like to read it,
but I also recommended that it be published online.  I'd like to see him publish
it to a web site over in the Netherlands.  If he sends it here, believe me, I'll
get it done in a jiffy.  There are lots of folks that would like to read ALL of
the scientific articles that pertain to the genus Hosta, and plants in general,
and what better medium than the web?

I would posit that the medium of a specialty gardening magazine, designed to meet
the needs of the broadly interested membership of a National Association, is not
that good of a place for publication of articles of a scientific nature.  Many of
the magazines DO include some percentage of scientifically related articles, but
their TOC should not be even remotely similar to a scientific journal.  You would
see mass rebellion if that were to occur, and likely a drop in membership.

Because editor's understand that SOME percentage of the readers have interests in
a VARIETY of subject areas, you'll probably see one or two scientifically oriented
articles, with very BROAD appeal (as in BAP, TC, hybridization work, etc), being
published in these types of magazines.

There is already a formal review process in place (for articles to be published in
the AHS Journal), which has evolved from some time in 1969, so there is little
need to address that process here.  This is one of those things in life that
evolves slowly over time to its present form, and for a whole host of good
reasons.  (LIke the spelling of words).   Currently, I believe the review is
headed up by the AHS Journal editor and the Chair of the Scientific Committee
(post currently vacant).   Therefore, if I want to have an article published in
the journal, I submit it through these channels and do everything in my power to
conform to their requirements.  I don't have to like these requirements, but if I
want publication, then doesn't it make sense that I would at least try to comply?
I wish the whole process could be a lot easier, but I'd rather see fewer typos,
above average grammar, and use of the best scientific methods that money can buy
(or brains can muster).   Our readership deserves this, and the editors will tend
to focus on layout, spelling, grammer, article mix, photo procurement, costs,
politics, and some level preferences to elder statesmen or women, for sure.
However, if you are only seeing 100 people contributing, that is probably all that
are contributing.

RE:>>I think a lot of space was wasted in the Journal with the whole series of
"What
>>hostas would I buy if I had X number of dollars". Almost the same hostas were
>>listed over and over again. This series seemed like filler material to me.

How many times do you need to see, or hear, an advertising impression for a new
product before you'll take action to even CONSIDER a purchase?  Six.  Seven?  The
AHS Journal is promoting Hostas, so as much as I want to see scientific articles,
too, these regional articles could have even broader appeal.  (It helps people to
see what Cornelia Holland likes--she has a great eye).

From the articles I have read of Ben's, particularly the "Flow Cytometry
DNA Analysis in Hosta reveals ploidy Chimeras", there is little question that the
scientific method was applied.  However, for this article to appear in the AHS
Journal without significant editorializing, I believe this would be a mistake.
The target audience is just too dissimilar from those who enjoy these types of
articles.

When you consider that there were literally hundreds of people that went on tour
in Minneapolis, yet thousands who did not but would like to vicariously be part of
that event, it seems obvious to me that the editor is doing "the right thing" by
publishing this information.  A much larger group of members would be interested
in the AHS Convention than in scientific articles.  Sad to say, but true.

With the above said, let me recommend once again that there is better medium for
publication of scientific articles -- the Internet.

And for all the same reasons that the HostaLibrary.org has taken off, a
scientifically related web site will take off.  I see that a number of folks are
VERY interested in subscribing to another Hosta magazine, for $25.00, and this
seems like an excellent investment IF you are really into Hostas.  (From what I
read, I'll probably jump on the bandwagon to get my own subscription).  Yet, I
wonder.... are we utilizing the web as we could?

Moments ago, I posted a link to some very interesting information about the
mapping of the genome of Arabidopsis Thaliana--the first plant genome to ever be
fully sequenced.  And I ordered a poster and a CD-ROM disk (all for free!) from
that site.  I wonder how many of this group will go there and post that they are
interested in seeing more articles, more links, more conversion SPECIFICALLY about
science (http://dev.hostahaven.com/discus/messages/35/35.html?978799859.).  I know
of no others on the internet at this time that are trying to offer this kind of
forum.  Bob Axmear  worked on it for a while, but later saw that there was so
little interest that he made a decision to cease supporting it.  It takes a lot of
time!

I'm not saying it's the ideal medium, or the only site, but when will we begin to
see that there are better media available, such as what is posted at the
http://www.hostasports.com web site?

I asked Ben for a copy of his article, to review and possibly publish it.    Maybe
he'll post it, maybe he won't.  But if he sends it to me,  I'll post it within a
few minutes, or better yet, a link to it at his site in The Netherlands.

I'll be adding interesting articles all the time, but I have to know of them
first.

Later, Hosta Dude...

Andrew Lietzow


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