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Re: hosta-open DIGEST V1 #400

I would like, at least in my comments on the issue, to speak of technical articles as opposed to scientific articles.  I've made up my own definitions.  If we go to the Fall 1999 issue of the Journal and look at the two articles by Ed Elslager, I would consider them scientific articles.  If the same information had been summarized into 2 pages of narrative per article, I would consider that a technical article.  Based on my definitions, technical articles contain everything of interest in a scientific article, but leave out all of the stuff that nobody reads.  

My vote is for more technical articles and no scientific articles in the Journal.  

I know that there probably are some people in the society who actually went through Ed's charts to see the range of offset size, in inches, 30 and 60 days after treatment for each and every cultivar seedling group in the study.  And there are probably some who actually drooled over the number of offsets, total and average, for each and every individual seedling, in groups BC1 all the way through WL8, both 30 and 60 days after treatment.  Personally, I think that most of us would find the articles just as interesting without the charts and references.  I think for most of us, Ed's conclusions, which took up half a page in the second article, told us everything we needed to know about the information in the 3 pages of charts.

I hope Ed doesn't take offense, and he probably couldn't care less what I think, but I don't feel that the tables and references included with these articles add anything to their value to the vast majority of readers of the AHS Journal.  I realize that scientific articles need to have this information so other scientists can judge the value of the work, but of the 4000 or so AHS members, I would be surprised if 5 read these pages.  The research is valuable.  The findings are valuable. We need to know about this stuff. And many of us are extremely interested in what Ed is finding.  But I don't need, and I suspect that very few of the rest of the Journal readers need to know the detailed information about each individual plant or group of plants in the study.

If you think that a significant number of Journal readers actually benefited from the publication of the charts and references, as opposed to summarizing the research and the findings in a readable and interesting format, meaning that they actually read the charts and references and thereby increased their understanding of the subject, then I can see why you would want to see more of it. If you suspect, like I do, that not one out of a hundred bothered to look at these pages, then I don't understand the point of publishing it in the Journal.  What do we lose by asking that the scientific information be presented in an interesting and readable format suitable for the vast majority of people reading the publication?


Dan & Lu Nelson wrote:
If there's not room in the AHS Journal for in depth hosta science articles then we are fortunate that another publication is going to publish this material. I personally believe the problem has more to do with conflicting personality types than it is about space or cost anyway.
In the AHS Journal V.32, #2 room was found for 8 full pages to list introductions by a well know hosta person. This information is already available to AHS members. I can find lots of other room in this issue that could be used for science articles such as the two pages of notes from the Ed**or, three pages for the Reg**trar's report, a whole page soliciting for nominations for the Alex Summers Award, ten pages of......, and a page and a half of 'In good hands'.....
The bottom line is that there is room for science articles and room for hosta fluff in the AHS Journal. Loosing the science articles from the AHS Journal will be regretted in the long run but by then those who baked this cake will be long gone.
Dan Nelson
P.S. Take another look at this issue. If not for George and Warren......there would be no scientific material at all. I doubt there's five pages of science out of 86 pages.

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