I have been asked to review various facets of the journal and while there is much to like about it, I’ll focus my comments on those that are critical.
My initial concern is the journal’s title. The word “Aspects” is weak and open-ended. It gives me no confidence that the journal has a precise mission.
Also, Agronomy implies plant life, but Agricultural aspects again opens the door to multiple interpretations. This is apparent in the list of fields that fit with the journal’s mission. Indeed, Animalsappear overtly or covertly in a number of entries. So, which is it to be—plants, animals, or both, which is agriculture. Undoubtedly there are many journals with names you might want to use instead, but your list is appropriate for titles such as Agricultural and Agronomy Sciences, if you wish to keep the journal open but with an emphasis on agronomy in particular. Consider also the number of times the term agriculture is used on this home page alone.
In these times an open access journal is a fine idea and so is the feature which permits the readers to browse scientific areas and sub-areas. The contact information offered feels complete, and manuscript submission guidelines is partially so. It is missing page limitations, for example, and this is an important omission.
I randomly examined the descriptions of the major areas and of course the area of primary interest and came away with the feeling that they did not convey a feeling of high-level scientific endeavor. This is perceptual of course. What I would say is that gave me the feeling the articles would be at the undergraduate student level instead of the professional scientist’s level. This probably is due to the absence of “buzzwords” for each scientific area. Since web sites can be changed with frequency, it would be possible to use phrases such as desertification, water access, drought, and the onset and ubiquity of food insecurity.” I am not the word-crafter here, but the terms used are not sufficiently elevated.
On the page of primary interest there a number of words that are not spelled correctly and sentences that are not constructed correctly. I’ll list some of those and related concerns I found:
-The latest developments (the plural is needed)
-Process (under Instructions to authors)
-The first sentence seems to repeat the Gavin groups’ interests rather than this particular journal itself.
It should instruct us about the particularistic interests of this journal. Clearly, plants is one. Animals and agriculture as well as agronomy as well. Perhaps these should be spelled out in their technical meanings using the more lofty terms of these areas themselves.
-“bring into light” and “disseminate” are redundant. One or the other will do.
-In that same sentence, what exactly is “development” in this context? We talk about research and development in industry, but I am unsure how it fits here and in science.
-I do not understand the last sentence “Journal of Agronomy and Agricultural Aspects…aspect of Journal of Agriculture and Agricultural Science. Where does this fit in? It isn’t in the title, although I like it as a title.
-You seem to imply the journal has the mission of collecting data! Is that true at all? Isn’t the purpose to offer cutting-edge and original scientific research articles that use up-to-date and appropriate data?
-You mention development. I imagine this is in the context of food production, but if not my forthcoming argument should be disregarded. Under the assumption that the development of food is a key item for the journal, what about listing other ways of solving global hunger? The distribution of food? Arguably, the World Bank’s concern over food for the world’s population in 2050 is more a problem of waste and the distribution of food, than it is about the production of food especially livestock, which is a favored funding area. Third world elites and food bandits are notorious for robbing the masses of food security. Certainly Monsanto and other large agri-businesses have convinced grant agencies we need more cattle and the crops to feed them, but there a point of serious contention among numerous scientists (social and other), who feel that the “food scare” is partly concocted and if true resolved by a plethora of alternatives other than more production (and capital for agri-business). Is this if put in research form an article that would be considered by the journal for publication? This is a real question. If an article follows the canons of scientific research but is built on political economic arguments would it be considered for review and possible publication? Or are development and production, common Green Revolution and modernization themes, the only types of research to be considered? If critical research articles are to be considered the proper terms must appear on the list of areas the journal seeks.
-Your laundry list of items of interest does not consider such possibilities that even exporting cattle to India and African nations that eat goat are ludicrous propositions in dealing with food security. Now, the issue of the cultural “fit” for plants and animals exported are, indeed, important items for dealing with world hunger too. Will the journal entertain for review/publication ANY of these well-known solutions, including the slow food movement of the millions of members of La ViaCampesina? They are all about plants and food, and agriculture and lifestyle, but are they potentially reviewable and possibly publishable?
Aside from these general questions about how open the journal will be to disparate arguments as long as they are truly scientific, there are errors of syntax that should be addressed. They are:
-In the second paragraph: latest developments in agricultural science; in the next line, agricultural productivity; a comma after productivity should be inserted followed by a small T—it should be “theoretical’; just what IS subsistence Agricultural and Agricultural biotechnology? (and why no capital B on biotechnology IF the others are capped?). Are these separate entries? If so fine—these are excellent topics. They would be spelled as “subsistence agriculture, and agricultural biotechnology.”
So my conclusion is the Journal is off to a good start in many respects, but needs a professional to come in and set up the site. Syntax must be fixed. Big questions need to be answered by excellent scientists from different backgrounds.