Bingru Huang, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Biology, was invited by the publisher, Maximum Academic Press, to create a new journal called Grass Research and serve as its editor-in-chief. The inaugural issue was published in January 2021 and included an editorial by Huang titled, “Grass Research for a Productive, Healthy and Sustainable Society.”
“As a grass scientist, I realized it is not always easy to find suitable journals for publishing basic research with grass species, as most journals focus on major agronomic or horticultural crops or model species, such as Arabidopsis, despite the economic, ecological, and environmental importance of grass species,” said Huang.
She described the rigorous process that was used to ensure that the new journal served an unmet need in the field.
“Further literature searches and big data analysis were performed to determine how the new journal would be differentiated from current journals publishing papers related to grass species. Through extensive review, I found out that even current journals publishing research related to grass species cover mostly topics of the applied aspects, such as turfgrass management practices. No journals were dedicated to the publication of basic research in grass biology, for example turfgrass breeding, genetics, physiology and molecular biology,” she explained.
Having started the new journal, Huang had to set multiple other things in motion to ensure a successful launch.
“The next step was setting up the editorial board by inviting scientists in the areas of grass biology. Among them are my Rutgers colleague Faith Belanger, associate professor in the Department of Plant Biology, and David Jespersen (GSNB ’16), my former doctoral student and currently an assistant professor at University of Georgia, who make up part of the editorial board and serve as associate editors.”
Huang’s goal is for the journal to serve as a leading publication for grass-related research and also elevate the visibility of Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science and the Department of Plant Biology.
A manuscript authored by Molly Bindell, 2019 graduate of the School of Graduate Studies (Ecology and Evolution), and then advisor Ning Zhang, professor in the Department of Plant Biology, has already been accepted for publication by the new journal and will appear in the February issue.
One of Huang’s colleagues, a professor at the University of Florida who is working on forage grass, had this to say when he was invited by Huang to join the editorial board. “A new journal named “Grass Research” focusing on grass species is a great idea and fills an important gap.”
With Huang’s help, the publisher built the website that houses the journal, which includes a description of its scope and other related information. Learn more about this inaugural journal, whose cover is graced by a photo taken by Huang of Hort Farm II on the Rutgers George H. Cook campus.