Publication of new linkage data

It has become increasingly difficult to secure publication of papers presenting linkage data for new genes in maize. Some scientific journals refuse to accept this type of work for publication. Yet it is extremely important that a short description of new characters and a summary of the linkage data appear in some recognized Journal so that this information will be made generally available.

In conversations with Richey, Jenkins and Brink at the recent Pittsburgh meetings the following solution was suggested: "That there be published annually a paper under the general heading 'New Linkages in Maize', or some similar title, which would present short descriptions of new characters with the linkage data given in summary form. This material would be contributed by the various workers. The name and address of the contributor would appear either before or after each linkage he reported so that he would get the credit which rightfully belongs to him."

The above suggestion will, of course, have to be developed in greater detail but we believe it should receive careful consideration from you because it offers a remedy to the rather serious problem of securing publication for new linkages.

The amount of space devoted to each character will have to be limited to not more than one printed page and preferably less. This allotment should prove sufficient, although some leeway would, of course, be permitted. This proposed publication is not, in any sense, to be considered as supplanting the maize letters because as we have so often reiterated, the appearance of information in the maize letters does not constitute publication.

If this proposed annual paper of new linkages will not be acceptable for publication in one of the Journals, we suggest that space be purchased at so much per page. For the next four years at least there will be funds available from the grant made by the Rockefeller Foundation to the Maize Genetics Cooperation which can be used to pay for the publishing of this paper. One attractive feature of purchasing space is that we could secure immediate publication. The contributions from various investigators could be edited and compiled by the Secretary of the Maize Genetics Cooperation.

Give us your opinion of this idea and, more important, would you be willing to take part in such an enterprise?

Below is a copy of a letter which was received from Jones in response to an enquiry as to what he thought of the idea from his point of view as Editor of GENETICS:

"Dear Dr. Rhoades:

I am much interested in your suggestion as to a way of publishing linkages. I should like very much to try something of this kind and see no reason why it would not be acceptable in GENETICS. I agree with you that the information should be published but in the past, authors have usually expanded each individual case of linkage into a 5 or 6 page paper or more, and facilities have not permitted the publication of this much material. If each item could be condensed into a page or less, I think the arrangement would be advantageous for all concerned. Some provision would have to be made for references so that each separate contribution should have a main heading together with the author's name and address.

The principal difficulty that I see will be to get someone to summarize this material and get it in shape for publication. If you are willing to do this or anyone else can be persuaded to do it, we shall be very glad to do our part.

(Signed) D. F. Jones."

Inasmuch as I am severing my connections with Cornell to take a position with the U. S. Department of Agriculture at Ames, Iowa, I necessarily am relinquishing my duties as Secretary of the Maize Genetics Cooperation. Until, however, Dr. Emerson appoints my successor I shall be willing to continue to act as Secretary so that there will be no lapse in the functions performed by this office. Until March 20th I can be reached here at Ithaca and after March 20th at Ames, Iowa, c/o Department of Farm Crops, Iowa State College.

I wish to state that I have really enjoyed my work with the Maize Genetics Cooperation and I hope that my successor will receive the same fine cooperation from the maize geneticists which has made possible this unique series of corn letters.

Sincerely yours,
M. M. Rhoades