For Authors: Getting Published in JOE—Strategies for Success
Interested in publishing in the Journal of Extension (JOE)? Applying the strategies identified here can help ensure your chances of success.
- As an ongoing professional development exercise, read JOE for the purpose of paying attention to how articles are organized and written, language used for describing aspects of research methodology and results, and so forth. Also, consider regularly reading the journal’s Editor’s Page, which often includes a section with helpful information for prospective authors.
- Prepare for writing manuscripts to submit to JOE by reading the current edition of Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (the APA manual). The APA manual provides broad guidance on composing effective article titles and abstracts, structuring manuscripts, writing clearly and concisely, discussing data, and more. Plus, it offers details that will help you correctly apply grammar and mechanics rules, display research results, and credit sources.
- Consider aspects of publishing as early as during the program development and study design stages. When creating program tools, survey instruments, or other written products, realize that you might want to include such items, in part or in whole, in a manuscript submitted for publication. Ensure that all materials are clear and straightforward, grammatically and mechanically correct, and free of inconsistencies, misspellings, and so forth.
- Before writing your manuscript, take the following actions:
- Read the JOE Submission Guidelines to gain an understanding of expectations for submissions to JOE.
- Determine the appropriate article category for your submission on the basis of information in the "Article Categories" section of the submission guidelines.
- Peruse the list of resources on the JOE website’s Guidance for Authors page, and then explore any resource you think will help you submit a manuscript that will lead to publication.
- Think before you write. Identify a clear main point or theme for your manuscript. Consider how you will appeal to the broadest possible Extension audience and how you will elucidate implications for Extension. Determine the best structure for your manuscript, keeping in mind that your literature review should be early in the manuscript, your findings should be separate from your recommendations, and your conclusions and recommendations should flow logically from your findings. Use a prewriting technique, such as outlining, to plan your manuscript. Then refer to and update this plan during the writing process.
- Write your manuscript, following the guidelines identified in the "Manuscript Format and Content Considerations" section of the submission guidelines and the APA manual. Also, attend to the information in the "Tables and Figures" section of the submission guidelines if you are including any tables or figures in your manuscript.
- Undertake rounds of revision on your own, and then ask at least one colleague to critically review your manuscript. When selecting a colleague to review a manuscript, choose one who is familiar with JOE and has a robust publishing record but is unfamiliar with the work described in the manuscript. Ask your colleague(s) to review the manuscript for
- appropriateness of article categorization;
- effective title and abstract;
- organization, coherence, and focus in development of topic;
- clear delineation of implications for JOE readers;
- methodological rigor;
- consistency and accuracy in presentations and discussions of data;
- clarity and preciseness of the writing;
- proper grammar, mechanics, and style; and
- avoidance of errors of carelessness.
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