February 2003 // Volume 41 // Number 1

Issue Contents Previous Article

Editor's Page

"JOE by the Numbers--2002" reports on submission, readership, and review rates for 2002. "JOE Needs Good Commentaries" talks about why we need Commentaries and calls attention to some good examples.

JOE by the Numbers--2002

Submission & Readership Rates

2002 was another very good year for JOE. Authors submitted 189 articles to JOE. That's 23 articles fewer than 2001's all-time high of 212 submissions but above submission rates for 2000 and 1999.

Readership rates continue to climb. In 2002, the JOE site had 562,774 visitors who viewed 1,310,318 pages of the journal. That's a 36% increase in visitors from 2001 and a 40% increase in pageviews (a more accurate measure than "hits"). From 2000 to 2002, the number of visitors to JOE increased by 104%, and the number of pageviews increased by 98%.

In 2002, readers from 139 countries visited JOE. For an alphabetical list of those countries and much more, visit JOE Usage Statistics.

Editorial Review Rates

As you know, JOE 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" for some of the things I look for.)

In 2002, I:

  • Rejected ~ 6% of submissions as unsuitable for JOE;
  • Returned ~ 40% to authors for revision; and
  • Accepted ~ 54% 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 2002 submissions that have been completely through the "blind" review process:

  • ~ 8% have received an average rating of "Use Ideas & Start Over";
  • ~ 20% have received a rating of "Major Revision Needed";
  • ~ 57% have received a rating of "Minor Revision Needed"; and
  • ~ 15% 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.

JOE Needs Good Commentaries

Perhaps you noticed that the December 2002 JOE had no Commentary articles. This issue doesn't have any, either. JOE needs good Commentaries--and so does Extension.

Times are tough on the financial front. And it's difficult to avoid a "bunker mentality" when "retrenchment" seems to be the watchword. But this is when we need vision and challenge and passion the most.

What do I mean by "good Commentaries"? See the JOE Submission Guidelines. I also talk about that in my August 2001 "Editor's Page", but showing is often more effective than telling:

See what I'm talking about? If these Commentaries don't inspire you to comment on an issue of concern to Extension, to initiate discussion or debate, maybe the other 16 excellent and varied Commentaries published over the last 3 years will.

I've run out of space (and time) to talk about this issue of JOE, but the 24 fine articles speak for themselves.

Laura Hoelscher, Editor