February 2002 // Volume 40 // Number 1

Issue Contents Previous Article

Editor's Page

"JOE by the Numbers" reports how many submissions JOE received in 2001 and describes how they've fared in the review process. In that section you'll also find information on submission and readership rates. "Discussion Opportunity" waves the banner for the new JOE Discussion Forum. And "February 2002 JOE" highlights some of the topics discussed this month Extension involvement in public and possibly controversial issues most notable among them.

This issue's "Editor's Page" is more complicated than most. It's long; it has three major sections rather than the usual two; and the first of the sections deals with JOE numbers—and I always find numbers complicated.

JOE by the Numbers

Submission & Readership Rates

2001 was a banner year for JOE. Authors submitted 212 articles last year, 30 more than in 2000 and 68 more than in 1999. In fact, submissions have increased more than 100% over the last 5 years (114%, to be exact). This means more and more of your colleagues are writing for JOE.

More and more people are reading it, too. In 2001, the JOE site had approximately 412,400 "visitors" who viewed 935,208 pages. We're talking increases of 372% and 255%, respectively, since 1998! (JOE is a really good journal, and the Web is growing really—really—fast.)

Many of those visitors have been subscribers (3,458), but others are now discovering the wealth of information available at www.joe.org via popular Internet search engines like Yahoo and Google.

Editorial Review Rates

As you know, JOE now employs a two-tiered review system. As editor, I review each submission to determine whether or not it is suitable to be sent out to our "blind" reviewers.

If it isn't, I return the submission to the author with (often substantive) revision suggestions. (See my April 2001 "Editor's Page" http://www.joe.org/joe/2001april/ed1.html for some of the things I look for.)

In 2001, I:

Rejected ~ 8% of submissions as unsuitable for JOE;

Returned ~ 43% to authors for revision; and

Accepted ~ 48% as suitable to be sent to reviewers (or, in the case of Commentary and Tools of the Trade articles, suitable for publication).

So much for the first tier.

"Blind" Review Rates

The second tier of the JOE review system involves our wonderful JOE reviewers. (I say "wonderful" based both on my own evaluation of their reviews and on the many complimentary comments I get about them from authors.)

Of the 2001 submissions that have been completely through the "blind" review process:

~ 10% have received an average rating of "Use Ideas & Start Over";

~ 15% have received a rating of "Major Revision Needed";

~ 42% have received a rating of "Minor Revision Needed"; and

~ 32% have been accepted for publication.

The two tiers in the JOE review system add up to a unique combination of academic rigor and professional development. JOE both "keeps the bar high" and helps authors get published.

Discussion Opportunity

We had an encouraging (but not overwhelming) response to the JOE Discussion Forum feature that we unveiled in the Commentary articles in the December 2001 JOE. We've made some adjustments to give a bit more prominence to the threaded discussion opportunity in this issue's Commentary article.

Please take advantage of the opportunity to enter or start a new discussion with your Extension colleagues on the issues raised in "Extension Faculty and Political Acumen."

Is the author suggesting that some Extension administrators don't do enough to prepare their Extension staff to move beyond the realm of providing "objective" and "factual information"? Is he right? Or do you believe it's inappropriate for Extension staff to become involved in public and possibly controversial issues?

February 2002 JOE

Speaking of Extension and "public and possibly controversial issues," five of the articles in the February JOE address that topic in one way or another. Besides the Commentary, check out the first articles in the Features, Research in Brief, Ideas at Work, and Tools of the Trade categories.

Several other articles discuss diversity, the featured topic in last December's JOE. And evaluation receives its share of attention, as do agriculture, natural resources, and a host of other topics.

The February 2002 JOE has something for just about everyone.

Laura Hoelscher, Editor