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.
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