Award-winning Fruit Publication in ASHS Journals across the Decades (1986–2023)

Author:
Guo-qing Song Plant Biotechnology Resource and Outreach Center, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

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Abstract

Established in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is a leading professional organization that serves a diverse horticultural community. With influence spanning both national and global domains, ASHS makes substantial contributions to various branches of horticulture. In 1985, ASHS introduced the annual Fruit Publication Award to honor exceptional research articles related to fruit. Reflecting on these awarded articles, especially in light of ASHS’s 120-year history, not only serves as a congratulatory gesture to the recipients but also provides insight into the evolutionary progression of fruit science.

ASHS acknowledges the exceptional achievements of its members in horticultural research, extension, and education through its prestigious publication awards program. The Fruit Publication Award, an annual distinction, commends ASHS members who have authored exceptional research articles pertaining to fruit. Established by the ASHS Board of Directors in 1985, this award was first conferred in 1986. The award’s evaluation rests on four primary criteria: 1) eligible articles are sourced from three ASHS journals—namely, HortTechnology, HortScience, and the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science (JASHS)—published in the year preceding the award presentation; 2) the authors corresponding to these articles must hold ASHS membership at the time of article publication; 3) the subject matter of the candidate articles must revolve around research concerning fruit crops or plants; and 4) the selection of the awarded article is entrusted to the Fruit Award Committee, comprising seven to nine distinguished ASHS members. These committee members are volunteers, each having self-nominated and committed to serving for a 3-year tenure.

Each year, a five-person committee of ASHS members is presented with ∼100 articles concerning fruit crops/plants from the three ASHS journals. These submissions undergo meticulous review and ranking. Subsequently, the committee identifies and prioritizes the three most outstanding articles, forwarding their recommendation to the ASHS Board of Directors for conferral of the awards. Typically, the highest ranked article is bestowed with this honor at the annual ASHS conference.

Over the past 38 years (1986–2023), the Award has been made annually, with the exception of 2007 when no award was conferred. As a result, 37 noteworthy papers have been honored, 29 from the JASHS and eight from HortScience (Fig. 1; Table 1). Notably, over the recent 4-year span (2020–23), the there was an increase in awards from HortScience. This trend is predominantly attributed to the escalating numbers of articles published in HortScience.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Citation counts for American Society for Horticultural Science Fruit Publication Award articles from 1986 to 2023, as of 3 Aug 2023.

Citation: HortTechnology 34, 3; 10.21273/HORTTECH05362-23

Table 1.

Details of 37 noteworthy papers honored by the American Society for Horticultural Science covering 1986 to 2023.

Table 1.
Table 1.

In terms of thematic coverage, the 37 articles, were in four research domains: physiology (15 articles), breeding (10), production (nine), and postharvest (two). Among these contributions, 17 distinct fruit crops were the primary subjects of the research. Noteworthy were apple (featured in 11 articles), followed by citrus (four), blueberry (three), and pecan (three).

The articles stand out due to their scientific merit or the potential for practical application. This inherent diversity makes it challenging to ascertain the impact of awarded articles. One approach to gauge their significance is by considering their citation counts, which serve as indicators of their scientific value. Among the collection of 37 articles, the work authored by Warrington et al. in 2000, “Apple Fruit Growth and Maturity Are Affected by Early Season Temperatures,” is particularly noteworthy, with more than 200 citations underscoring its substantial influence (Fig. 1).

Collectively, the recipients for this award comprised 121 authors, contributing to 37 articles from four countries (based on the nationality of the corresponding authors). Among these, 29 articles were from groups in the United States, three from Canada, two from Germany, and two from New Zealand (Fig. 2). Notably, the 29 US papers, originated from 15 institutions. Remarkably, the US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service Laboratories had five research groups being recognized with six awards. Among US institutions, Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI, USA) had four awarded articles, and Cornell University (Ithaca, NY, USA) and the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL, USA) each received three awards (Table 2).

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

The American Society for Horticultural Science Fruit Publication Awards (1986–2023) were initiated by four countries, with the author’s country of origin being employed as the criterion for attribution to specific countries.

Citation: HortTechnology 34, 3; 10.21273/HORTTECH05362-23

Table 2.

American Society for Horticultural Science Fruit Publication Awards, 1986–2023, originated from 15 corresponding institutions.

Table 2.
  • Fig. 1.

    Citation counts for American Society for Horticultural Science Fruit Publication Award articles from 1986 to 2023, as of 3 Aug 2023.

  • Fig. 2.

    The American Society for Horticultural Science Fruit Publication Awards (1986–2023) were initiated by four countries, with the author’s country of origin being employed as the criterion for attribution to specific countries.

Guo-qing Song Plant Biotechnology Resource and Outreach Center, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

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Contributor Notes

25 Years of Publication Excellence Awards for ASHS Journals.

G.S. is the corresponding author. E-mail: songg@msu.edu.

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  • Fig. 1.

    Citation counts for American Society for Horticultural Science Fruit Publication Award articles from 1986 to 2023, as of 3 Aug 2023.

  • Fig. 2.

    The American Society for Horticultural Science Fruit Publication Awards (1986–2023) were initiated by four countries, with the author’s country of origin being employed as the criterion for attribution to specific countries.

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