The Journal of Extension -

October 2009 // Volume 47 // Number 5 // Editorial // v47-5ed1

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JOE Tips from VCE

"JOE Tips from VCE" comes courtesy of colleagues from Virginia Cooperative Extension. "October JOE" mentions just some of the articles in what I call a "rich, rich issue," including a lot of articles that feature technology—and a lot that don't.

Laura Hoelscher
Editor, Journal of Extension
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana

Earlier this month, specialists from Virginia Cooperative Extension held a workshop on how to publish in JOE. The panel was facilitated by JOE reviewer and Liaison Nancy Franz and included Mike Lambur, former JOE editor and author (and current eXtension Research and Evaluation Leader); Dave Close, JOE reviewer; and Brian Benham, JOE author. Obviously, these folks know their JOE. They offered some tips that the editor heartily endorses. I asked permission to share them here, and they gave it!

From Mike Lambur

  • Ask yourself if your topic is relevant and whether it contributes to people's practice.
  • Think of publishing in JOE as one communication tool for your program.
  • Focus on current or emerging issues.
  • Use recent references.
  • Make your writing accessible; if the reader has to work, you have not done your job as an author.

From Brian Benham

  • Consider which categories of the journal you will submit to, such as Research in Brief (2,000-word limit), Ideas at Work (1,000 word limit).
  • Determine whether your colleagues will support you publishing in JOE—mine did.

From Dave Close

  • Read the reviewer's section before you write your article; there is a one-pager on the Web site that helps with publishing in JOE. (Editor: Actually, there are a couple of helpful one-pagers on the site—What Journal of Extension Reviewers Want in JOE Submissions and Tips for Writing for the Journal of Extension. There's also other relevant info available on the Help for JOE Authors page.)
  • Maintain focus—don't ramble on.
  • Spend time with your conclusions. Really focus here on what the implications are.
  • Ask yourself, "So what?"
  • Make sure that your abstract is concise and thorough.
  • Show references from a variety of journals, not just one.

From Nancy Franz

  • Use your best writing.
  • Follow the JOE Submission Guidelines.
  • Use active voice. (Editor: Amen!)
  • Make sure you ask at least one other person to read your article before submitting it to JOE.
  • Determine whether your article is JOE-worthy.
  • Read JOE, and see if your topic is in the journal.

I'm glad to learn that such workshops are being offered, and I thank our VCE colleagues for sharing.

October JOE

eXtension's Mike Lambur, above, advises authors to ask themselves whether their articles contribute to "people's practice." And eXtension is certainly influencing how some Extension people practice their profession, as demonstrated by the first Feature, "Creating the eXtension Family Caregiving Community of Practice."

And that's not the only article illustrating how technology is affecting Extension on every level. There're articles on GIS, Google Earth, Google Maps, social networking, fair management software, and more.

Is the October issue all technology, all the time? Is Extension? No way. There are also articles on building public issues education capacity, communication, understanding volunteer board member motivation, bionergy, and "old school Extension programming."

I've just scratched the surface of a rich, rich issue. I should have called your attention to the Commentary, too!