The aim of the ISHS is "...to promote and encourage research and education in all branches of horticultural science and to facilitate cooperation and knowledge transfer on a global scale through its symposia and congresses, publications and scientific structure." Membership is open to all interested researchers, educators, students and horticultural industry professionals.
The International Society for Horticultural Science - in short ISHS – is a truly global network comprising over 53,000 individuals, universities, governments, institutions, libraries and commercial companies, thousands of whom joined as Individual Members, in addition to a substantial number of Institutional Members and some 50 Member Countries/Regions. It is a major source of up-to-date information on global horticultural research. ISHS aims to promote research in all branches of horticulture. It encourages the development of international co-operation, bringing together scientific and technical professionals to stimulate, facilitate and co-ordinate research and scientific activities on a global scale.
The Council, which meets every two years, is made up of delegates representing the interests of countries-regions, which have contributed a membership fee. Directors are elected by Council at the International Horticultural Congress which is held every fourth year. The Society's policies are guided by the Board of Directors.
In addition to the Council and various sub-Committees, an Executive Committee manages the scientific program. It is composed of the Chairs of the Sections and Commissions. It is via these bodies that ISHS communicates with members who have specific research interests covering the full range of horticultural science.
Sections and Commissions establish Working Groups that focus on specialized subject areas. Working Groups have an elected Chair and membership comprised of eminent horticulturists/horticultural scientists. Currently there are more than 140 such Working Groups and others are formed when a need is identified.
The success of the ISHS, in relation to its effective communication and leadership of international co-operation, is largely through the 50 or more specialized symposia held annually. These are organised locally in a country, each with a convener, an organising committee, a scientific committee and an editorial board. Designed to be self-financing, these symposia normally concentrate on a technical subject – a crop or research area. Invited speakers present papers, research findings are debated, discussions held, visits arranged and the editor compiles a monograph published as a volume of Acta Horticulturae. These publications are available, at cost, to all ISHS members attending symposia and are archived in many academic/research libraries. The entire Acta Horticulturae library is available online and services the needs of thousands of researchers worldwide who use the www.actahort.org site.
The European Journal of Horticultural Science (eJHS) published by the ISHS in collaboration with the German Society of Horticultural Science (DGG) accepts original research articles and reviews on significant plant science discoveries and new or modified methodologies and technologies with a broad international and cross-disciplinary interest in the scope of global horticulture. The Journal focuses on applied and fundamental approaches to carry oriented research on aspects of the entire food value chain, ranging from breeding, production, processing, trading to retailing of horticultural crops and commodities. ISHS members benefit from discounted submission fees. eJHS is available in print + online Open Access.
The other avenue for regular communication is Chronica Horticulturae, the quarterly publication of ISHS. In addition to containing a calendar of events, announcements, news items and details of forthcoming events, Chronica reports on the activities of Sections, Commissions and Working Groups.
A major benefit of ISHS membership is the privilege of attending the International Horticultural Congress every four years at discounted rates. Congresses are attended by 3,000 or more delegates. They are carefully planned over many years to address all areas of horticultural science of interest to members. The Congress provides opportunities for individuals to present posters or make oral presentations of their current research work. Thus, information is shared with a wide audience. There are numerous social gatherings, sight-seeing opportunities, and the chance to see local horticultural industries during specialized field trips.