October 2013 // Volume 51 // Number 5 // Editorial // v51-5ed1
From JOE Reviewers
In "From JOE Reviewers" I share a salutary reminder for authors and a helpful tip for teachers from two excellent JOE reviewers. In "October JOE" I call attention to just seven of the 36 good articles in the issue, including two Commentaries discussing eXtension.
From JOE Reviewers
Salutary Reminder for Authors
In 2006, I wrote "Bad Writing Obscures Good Work" http://www.joe.org/for-authors-help.php, which you can find on the Help for JOE Authors page under JOE Article Advice. In it, I explained that, "whether you edit your article yourself or get a colleague to do it for you, you should see that your article is clear and correct before you submit it. The fate of your article in the review process just might hang on it."
That's true. Recently, I got the following message from one of our reviewers:
I sent an almost-rejected review in yesterday. I am very distressed with the quality of writing/editing in some articles submitted for review, and I’m working on reviewing for content but seldom can get past the errors in grammar and organization.
Errors in grammar and organization are not only mistakes, bad enough, they are also distractions that can, well, "obscure good work." Don't let that happen to you and your article.
Helpful Tip for Teachers
In 2008's "Teach Your Students Well," another link on Help for JOE Authors under JOE Policy and Practice, I wrote that "preparing articles for refereed journals is an important part of graduate students' education because it will be an important part of their professional lives as academics and Extension professionals." And in the introduction on the Help for JOE Authors page, I suggest that the material there, "while necessarily specific to JOE, might provide a good, accessible springboard for a discussion of writing articles for any refereed journal."
It's apparent that some of the graduate student authors who submit articles to JOE haven't gotten that help, and they need it.
One reviewer wrote to me about a something he does with his graduate students that seems to me to be an idea well worth passing on. He asks them to proof his articles before he submits them to journals. That's obviously helpful to him, but, more important, it's a way to educate his students and call their attention to the issue of article quality.
The two Commentaries in this issue have something common: eXtension. "A View of Digital Scholarship in Extension" http://www.joe.org/joe/2013october/comm1.php explains that "social media and online content are used by eXtension members to generate information and deliver it quickly" but that "many universities fail to adequately address them in the promotion and tenure process." And "A Return to the Basics: The Solution for eXtension" http://www.joe.org/joe/2013october/comm2.php argues that "eXtension continues to have phenomenal potential to allow new and expanded audiences access to Extension expertise and solutions, and be a driver of expanding engagement in the land-grant system, but stakeholders are asking difficult questions." Consider these Commentaries. Contribute to their Discussion Forums if you agree—or disagree.
Three of 10 fine Features focus in one way or another on food: "An Integrated Approach to Supplying the Local Table: Perceptions of Consumers, Producers, and Restaurateurs" http://www.joe.org/joe/2013october/a3.php, "Perceived Benefits and Barriers to Local Food Procurement in Publicly Funded Institutions" http://www.joe.org/joe/2013october/a4.php, and "Using Role-Play to Enhance Foodborne Illness Crisis Management Capacity in the Produce Industry" http://www.joe.org/joe/2013october/a5.php.
The first Research in Brief article, "Measuring Agricultural Paradigmatic Preferences: The Redevelopment of an Instrument to Determine Individual and Collective Preferences—A Pilot Study" http://www.joe.org/joe/2013october/rb1.php, offers "an instrument that could quantitatively measure Extension faculty members' agricultural paradigms and be used as a program-planning tool." In other words, it's about discovering how Extension agents feel about what they are expected to teach. Interesting.
And the first Tools of the Trade article, "Cate-Nelson Analysis for Bivariate Data Using R-project" http://www.joe.org/joe/2013october/tt1.php, is a companion piece to an article published in the June issue, "Using R-project for Free Statistical Analysis in Extension Research" http://www.joe.org/joe/2013june/tt3.php.
I trust it goes without saying that the other 29 articles in the issue are well worth reading, too.