October 2019 // Volume 57 // Number 5 // Editorial // v57-5ed1
Hastening the Publication Process and October JOE Highlights
In "Hastening the Publication Process," I offer a bit of ironic advice to academic authors who want to get published as quickly as possible. In "October JOE Highlights," I describe several articles in the issue focused on the power of interconnectedness and its relationship to today's Extension work, and I give examples of other compelling topics that are covered.
Hastening the Publication Process
Academic authors are eager to see their work in print. They want to share useful information with others in their fields, make contributions to growing bodies of evidence about consequential subjects, and bolster their records of scholarship. Accordingly, they may feel frustrated by the length of time it takes for a manuscript to become a published article. To academic authors who want to expedite this process, I offer some advice: Take your time!
This advice doesn't mean I'm giving the go-ahead for procrastination, of course. Taking one's time is actually the opposite of procrastinating. Producing an effective written work takes time, and an author must put in that time at one point or another on the road to publication. If you procrastinate upfront, you'll likely compose an inadequate manuscript that will require substantial revision later or, worse yet, result in a long-awaited review response taking the form of a rejection notice.
So what does my advice mean, then? By suggesting you take your time, I mean you should compose your manuscript in stages, not only allocating a proper amount of time to each stage but also allowing time between stages to facilitate deeper thinking about the subject matter and to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Steps 4–9 in the JOE author resource Getting Published in JOE—Strategies for Success align well with the stages of manuscript development. Highlights include taking time to understand a journal's requirements and to prewrite at the beginning of the process and taking time to have others read your manuscript and to implement their feedback prior to submission.
By not rushing manuscript development, you actually hasten the time to publication by leaving yourself less work to do later in the process. Moreover, you're being a good neighbor to others in the community of authors submitting to a particular journal. When part of the time allotted to ensuring the quality of a manuscript falls to a journal's editorial team, the team's ability to tend to other submitted works is impeded. The bottom line is that you do yourself, and others, no favors by having the attitude "I just need to get this @#$%&! thing submitted!"
October JOE Highlights
The power of interconnectedness is more palpable now than ever. Bringing people together, giving voice to all parties, and facilitating endeavors critical to solving mounting societal challenges are exploding areas of need that Extension is primed to address. These concepts run through multiple articles in this issue of JOE and relate to work performed within Extension, through connections between Extension and others, and by those working wholly outside Extension.
Harnessing the power of interconnectedness begins at home for Extension. Authors of two articles convey insights about how Extension professionals can strengthen internal bonds to amplify external impacts. In the Commentary "Get Started or Unstuck: Four Elements of Successful Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Extension," the authors describe four needs "that persist and evolve over the course of a collaboration" and must be continually addressed if the collaboration is to succeed. The author of the Tools of the Trade entry "Promising Practices for Leading Virtual Teams" gives practical recommendations for directing the work of virtual teams, an increasingly common phenomenon within Extension.
Beyond focusing on internal alliances, Extension must strengthen its connection with others and facilitate connections among others—convening diverse groups and ensuring that all voices are heard. Articles speaking to this imperative are "Engaging Residents in Participatory Photomapping and Readiness Conversations to Address the Rural Obesogenic Context" and "Extension as a Multilevel Bridging Organization: Supporting Networked Environmental Governance" in the Feature category and "Improving the Viability of New Farmers' Operations Through the Use of Profit Teams," "Land-Based Learning: A Learning Paradigm for Building Community and Sustainable Farms," and "Using Farmer Storytelling to Build Understanding of Our 'New Weather Reality'" in the Ideas at Work section. These articles underscore the interconnectedness needed to tackle complex problems such as public health issues, natural resources and climate change risk management, and the graying of America's farmers.
Part of Extension's impact stems not from the work Extension does directly but from the work Extension can help others do effectively. Sometimes solving societal challenges means connecting other educators to the right resources or enhancing their understanding of underlying confounders. Two articles that focus on this aspect of "Extension as connector" are the Research in Brief offerings "Extension-Led Training for Human Services Providers on Use of a Financial Empowerment Tool" and "Poverty Simulations for Human Services Professionals: Impacts and Implications."
Beyond topics centered on the concept of interconnectedness, articles herein cover controversy surrounding the pedagogical underpinnings of science, technology, engineering, and math instruction; programming that prepares older adults to lead innovative intergenerational community projects; the value of applying social marketing techniques to environmental education; and other compelling subjects.