HortIM™: An online peer review system for horticultural teaching and extension instructional materials

Michael A. Arnold, Mary H. Meyer, Tim Rhodus, Susan S. Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Based on a survey of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS), membership need was identified for an online peer review system to validate innovation and recognize excellence in science-based teaching and extension scholarship for promotion and tenure purposes. This system would also provide a clearinghouse for instructional materials of merit for use in classrooms, laboratories, and outreach education, which fall outside the parameters of the three academic journals of ASHS. It was determined HortTechnology already provided a valued outlet for peer review of manuscript style teaching and extension scholarship; however, a need was identified for a mechanism to provide peer review of instructional materials which did not conform to a traditional manuscript format. Herein we describe the process that led to the development and launch of HortIM ™, a new peer review system for teaching and extension instructional materials. An online peer review process for juried assessment of instructional materials such as articles, bulletins, case studies, fact sheets, instructional videos, teaching modules, and laboratory exercises was developed. A beta test of initial solicited materials in each category was piloted resulting in an initial database of these scholarly materials. This activity culminated in an initial opening of the system for submissions in Fall 2016. This article documents the development of HortIM ™, including the submission and review process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part through the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, American Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.


  • Bulletins
  • Case studies
  • Fact sheets
  • Laboratory exercises
  • Teaching modules
  • Videos


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