Horticulture Research is proud to celebrate 5 years of publication in 2019, and to extend its tradition of publishing high-impact, widely read research. Here, we would like to present an interview with the Editor-in-Chief, Zong-Ming (Max) Cheng.
1. As the Editor-in-Chief, could you please introduce your original intention and your vision for the journal?
I launched Horticulture Research for several reasons. 1) As a scientist, many of my own and my colleagues’ cutting edge research papers were rejected by other top plant science journals frequently because of “limited impact” and non-expert reviews, and horticultural journals have low impact factor values, so horticultural researchers frequently are considered as “the second level scientists”. We need an our-own top journal. 2) Over the last 10-20 years, horticultural research has advanced significantly and tremendously, yet there is no single specialized top horticultural journal that publishes the fundamental, hypothesis-driven research and lead the future directions of the research field. Horticulture Research was launched to fill the vacuum in horticulture discipline.
2. Compared with other journals in the field, what are the differences in the aim & scope of Horticulture Research?
Horticulture Research focuses on the fundamental research, hypothesis-driven research that aims at understanding the molecular, genetic and physiological mechanisms on horticultural plant growth and development, evolution and domestication, and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. It does not publish descriptive or applied research, since there are many of those types of journals.
3. What kind of research does the journal consider and what kind of articles is more welcomed?
Horticulture Research focuses on publishing hypothesis-driven research, or horticultural biological research, rather than descriptive types of research, or applied research. I don’t have “personal preference” on any particular types. I welcome all research papers that have a broad impact and significance not only to horticultural biology but also to broad plant biology.
4. Which field do you pay more attention to and how’s the recent development? What kind of research articles would you like to see?
I personally pay attention to the advance on basic biology advance in plant, and even entire biological systems, and then transfer these broad – biological technologies and thoughts to horticultural crops to advance and further the research in horticulture.
5. What is your suggestion for authors submitting to Horticulture Research?
When you submit the manuscript to Horticulture Research, please consider the following three questions before submission. Do you consider the manuscript being perfect and fitting the scope of the journal? Does the research have significant impact to horticulture and broad plant science? What is the novelty of the research and molecular mechanisms the research reveals?
6. In order to enhance the influence of this journal, could you please introduce what efforts have been made?
To enhance the international influence, the Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editors are organizing the journal's own international conference and attending as many international conferences as possible to promote the journal, keep close contact with the authors, reviewers, recruit manuscripts of the cutting edge research, and help scientists, especially the young scientists, to write/revise the scientific papers for Horticulture Research.
7. What development plan do you have for the journal? What special issues/collection or events will be available this year?
Annually we establish an ambitious plan to promote the journal, enhance its international influences, and best serve the horticultural crop basic research community. Every year, we organize the International Horticulture Research Conference, and attend about 10 conferences to promote the journal and recruit the top quality manuscripts. We also conduct workshops and training courses for entry level scientists not only in conducting research and publishing papers, but also in doing so with highest professional ethics standards. In 2019/2020, we will launch several topical issues, such as “post-genomics roadmaps and perspectives”, “horticultural crop genomes”, “from genomes to design breeding of vegetables”.
8. Could you share your thoughts on Chinese research output in the field of Horticulture?
Chinese horticultural scientists have shown the outstanding performance in the last 5-10 years and their output in basic research area has increased exponentially not only in quantity, but also in quality. This is evidenced by the surge of the submitted and accepted papers in HR, and the huge increase of young scientists who enter the research field. This trend will continue in many years to come. Congratulations to Chinese scientists in the basic research field of horticulture.