October 2012 // Volume 50 // Number 5 // Editorial // v50-5ed1
Verify Your URLs!
"Verify Your URLs!" urges authors to verify their URLs as the last step before submitting their final revisions for publication. "October JOE" highlights the issue's two Commentaries, one timely and one timeless, and mentions seven other articles on evaluation and/or information technology out of 36 articles that make for a "jam-packed" issue.
Verify Your URLs!
The JOE Submission Guidelines <http://www.joe.org/for-authors-submission-guidelines.php> currently say about References sections that "correctly formatting citations is the responsibility of the author." Soon the guidelines will be updated to make a related and important point: that it is also the responsibility of the author to verify the URLs in their References sections immediately before submitting their final revisions to the editor.
Inevitably, URLs will change and/or links will get broken over time, but links should at least be viable when authors submit their final revisions. That's just as much an issue of correctness as providing the correct date of publication for a citation.
Verifying URLs serves another purpose. It is authors' last chance to make sure they have transcribed the URLs correctly in the first place. Some authors have made mistakes and included things like erroneous spaces in their URLs.
I have assumed (but we all know how dangerous that can be) that authors did this as a matter of course. However, the mistakes we've discovered suggest all of them don't.
We have two good Commentaries in this issue. One is very timely, and one I would like to think is timeless.
"Responding to Health Care Reform: Mobilizing Extension" makes the point that "the 2010 Affordable Care Act provides an opportunity for Extension . . . to both educate and measure the impact of that education." The Commentary ends with a challenge: "How are you responding? Are you willing join in a collective response? What say ye?" What do you say?
"JOE's Niche in the Extension Scholarship Movement" reminds us that "Extension's sustainability is tied to relationships with academia" and that "this requires Extension workers to more deeply and widely document and share the scholarship of their work with academics and stakeholders." The authors suggest that "Extension workers should look more often to the Journal of Extension," because "the journal provides a number of factors and services that contribute to developing and sustaining a culture of Extension scholarship." Not surprisingly, I agree. Do you?
The first Feature, "A Model for Evaluating eXtension Communities of Practice," describes an effective way of evaluating an Extension Cop (Community of Practice), Patton's developmental evaluation model, and it's by no means the only article in a jam-packed issue that discusses evaluation or information technology.
The first six Tools of the Trade articles deal in one way or another with how information technology can help us do our work and reach our clients and, yes, in some cases to evaluate our impact: the first article in a series on mobile apps for Extension; effective educational websites; decision-support tools; clickers as a data collection tool; Ripple Effect Mapping, "radiant" way to document impacts.
Loads of useful information and insight in those articles and the 27 other fine articles that make up the October issue.