April 2017 // Volume 55 // Number 2 // Editorial // v55-2ed1
JOE Website Updates and April JOE Highlights
To provide clearer information about JOE and facilitate the process of publishing in JOE, I have revamped aspects of the JOE website. I describe the changes in "JOE Website Updates," the opening section of the Editor's Page. Articles in this issue address both fundamentals and contemporary realities of Extension work, and I preview some of these offerings in "April JOE."
JOE Website Updates
To provide clearer information about JOE and improve JOE-related resources, I have revamped components of the JOE website. Regular visitors to the site might notice changes to Home, About JOE, and JOE FAQs, for example. I updated text and links on these and other pages to increase clarity and eliminate outdated and repetitious information. In addition, to facilitate the process of publishing in JOE, I reworked author materials provided on the site. Please note that to see all the revisions, you might need to clear your browser cache or history.
The Guidance for Authors portal now comprises the following sections: Manuscript Development Tools, From the Editor's Desk, and JOE Policy and Practice.
- The Manuscript Development Tools section includes "new and improved" versions of the JOE Submission Guidelines, JOE Style and Guidance for Avoiding Common Manuscript Problems, and the JOE Manuscript Submission Checklist. In response to concerns surrounding user-friendliness of the submission guidelines, I removed unnecessary material, added various particulars, and reorganized the content. I expanded JOE Style and Guidance for Avoiding Common Manuscript Problems to include specifics from the guidelines and to more comprehensively address common style errors and other issues. Having received positive feedback about the manuscript submission checklist introduced last year, I broadened the scope of this document. It now accounts for all requirements set forth in the guidelines and other expectations of manuscripts submitted to JOE.
- From the Editor's Desk offers a collection of advice issued by the JOE editor through the years. A new resource in this section, Getting Published in JOE: Strategies for Success, presents 10 professional development tips for emerging scholars and other prospective JOE authors.
- JOE Policy and Practice contains the following new materials: JOE Review and Publication Process, JOE Duplicate Publication Policy, and JOE Editorial Review Rejection Policy. JOE Review and Publication Process explains the means by which manuscripts in the five JOE article categories proceed from submission to publication. The other documents provide additional clarification about aspects of publishing in JOE.
Publishing does not happen quickly or easily. Along with performing rigorous scientific study, those hoping to share their results in an academic journal must read detailed guidance documents and comply with information provided therein. My hope is that the overhauled materials on the JOE website will supply clear answers to many questions people have about JOE, further assist prospective authors in publishing their work, and contribute to my ability to serve the JOE community efficiently and effectively.
Successfully communicating useful information to target audiences is predicated on understanding what information the audiences need and how they acquire information. Various articles in this issue center on this tenet of outreach education. In the Commentary "The Need for Evidence-Based Outreach in the Current Food Safety Regulatory Landscape," the author advocates for Extension's involvement in conveying essential information to small and mid-sized agricultural producers and food processors attempting to comply with rules they may never have faced before. Three Research in Brief articles—"Using Egocentric Networks to Illustrate Information Seeking and Sharing by Alfalfa Farmers in Wyoming," "Changes in the Use of Precision Farming Information Sources Among Cotton Farmers and Implications for Extension," and "A National Perspective on Women Owning Woodlands (WOW) Networks"—focus on information-seeking behaviors of Extension clientele. Additionally, the Ideas at Work offering "Do You YouTube? The Power of Brief Educational Videos for Extension" addresses the prevailing desire for "quick fixes" to information gathering and details an approach for developing, disseminating, and assessing audience use of short-form shareable content.
The bulk of the Feature articles in the issue focus on evaluating program outcomes. The authors of "Measuring Economic Impact Through Adoption: A Study of the Multi-County New Landowners Educational Series" report on clients' perceptions of economic benefits resulting from enacting best practices learned through participation in Extension programming. In "Demonstrating Impact Through Replicable Analysis: Implications of an Evaluation of Arkansas's Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program," the authors describe a process for determining exactly which areas of a program may need modification if outcomes are to be improved. And the authors of "Participatory Evaluation and Learning: A Case Example Involving Ripple Effects Mapping of a Tourism Assessment Program" explain an emerging method for evaluating the impacts of community development programming.
Besides attending to long-standing fundamentals of outreach education, articles in this issue also reflect contemporary realities of Extension work. Acknowledging the new normal of crunched time lines and competing priorities, the authors of the Tools of the Trade entry "Shark Bite Meetings for Creative Program Planning" describe the ins, outs, and impacts of using a new fast-paced, collaborative, program-centered yet structured meeting type. Other articles address such trending topics as celebrity chefs, Twitter chats, Fitbits, and crowdfunding.