April 2001 // Volume 39 // Number 2

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Editor's Page


Pre-Review Reviews

Some of you who've submitted articles in 2001 know that I've started doing editorial reviews of submitted articles before I accept them as ready for the formal JOE review process.

I do this for two reasons.

First, it helps authors. It helps them make their articles stronger, and that, in turn, increases the chance that they will ultimately be accepted for publication.

When I get an article that needs strengthening, I e-mail the submitting author, explaining what I see as the problems and suggesting ways to solve them.

Sometimes, the solution is simply to follow the JOE Submission Guidelines http://www.joe.org/sub1.html. Some authors don't include abstracts, for instance. Others haven't paid sufficient attention to the differences among the article categories, so their articles don't fit in any of them.

Sometimes, the problems are a little more deep-seated. A fairly common one, for example, is not answering the "so what?" question, not addressing the implications of whatever's being written about. (You'll see more about this in my June "Editor's Page.")

Of the 54 submissions I've received so far this year, I've "returned" 26 to their authors for improvement. Many have already been resubmitted and are now ready for review. Four of them, in fact, appear in this issue.

This "pre-review review" does not guarantee publication in JOE. (For one thing, I'm no methodology maven and so can't address problems of that nature.) What it can do, however, is "clear the decks" for JOE reviewers so that they can focus on methodology, recognize authors' intentions and the implications of their work, and make suggestions that may well lead to publication.

The second reason I do them? To make JOE a better journal. Why? Reread the first Commentary in the February issue http://www.joe.o rg/joe/2001february/comm1.html.

This Month's Issue

The April issue is a particularly rich one.

We have a Commentary by the president emeritus of Kansas State University offering 10-step strategy based on his "budget cutback experience" and on "principles of human emotion and behavior."

We have an article that asks, "Can university researchers and county agents work together to complete experimental program evaluation?" (The answer's "yes.")

We have three articles that touch or focus on diversity: "Utah Extension Educators' Perceived Satisfaction with and Needs for Agricultural Health and Safety Information," "Predictors of Women's Success in Achieving Senior-Level Administrative Positions in CSREES," and "Charting a Course Through the Culture Storms: A Cautionary Tale."

We have an article on a model to build community collaboration and one on a community economic development tool. Two other articles address volunteers and how to treat them.

Then there's "County Agent–A Book Review." Read it, and revisit the film review by the same author in December's JOE http://www.joe.org /joe/2000december/tt6.html. Images of Extension in popular culture. Depictions of "home demonstration agents" and what they say about the perceived role of women. I swear there's at least one dissertation topic in there somewhere.

And that's fewer than half the articles. See what I mean about "rich"?

Laura Hoelscher, Editor