The Journal of Extension -

February 2020 // Volume 58 // Number 1 // Editorial // v58-1ed1

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JOE by the Numbers and February JOE Highlights

I open this Editor’s Page with “JOE by the Numbers,” our annual report of JOE author and readership data. In “February JOE Highlights,” I preview articles that address dual contributors to the soul of Extension work: the stimulation of challenge and the spirit of collaboration.

Debbie Allen
Editor, Journal of Extension

JOE by the Numbers

In the first issue of JOE each year, we provide a statistical snapshot of the journal by reporting various JOE data from the preceding year. The first noteworthy piece of information I have to share speaks to the overall worth of JOE. At the beginning of 2019, we received word that JOE had become indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection’s Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI). Coverage in ESCI is the result of continual efforts to improve the quality of JOE and signifies that JOE meets various criteria applicable only to journals demonstrating a certain level of importance. This distinction increases discoverability of JOE’s content and thereby the visibility of JOE authors and Extension overall. Read on to learn more about JOE, its authors, and its readers.

Author Information

The rate of submissions to JOE in 2019 was 17% higher than that for 2018, demonstrating increasing author interest in publishing in the journal. With regard to articles published in 2019, those articles were written by authors from 46 states and the District of Columbia. States most often represented by articles with at least one author from the state were Oregon (18 articles) and California, Mississippi, Ohio, and Washington (10 articles each). The diversity of the JOE authorship is indicative of the wide-ranging content and perspectives that make JOE recommended reading for university outreach researchers and practitioners in the United States and beyond.

Readership Statistics

In 2019, JOE statistics-collecting software recorded 617,692 users of the JOE site and 1,013,170 page views. You can find additional readership statistics and definitions of relevant terms at About JOE: Website Statistics. Also in 2019, JOE attracted readers from 230 nations and territories. Beyond the 262,666 visitors from within the United States, nations most often accessing JOE were Philippines with 58,632 users, India with 42,859 users, and United Kingdom with 30,250 users. The complete list is available at Website Statistics: Nations & Territories Accessing JOE in 2019.

Top 50 Most Read Articles

The list of the top 50 most read articles in 2019, as well as lists from previous years, can be accessed from About JOE: Website Statistics. For articles on the 2019 list, numbers of views ranged from 2,173 to 33,844. The list for each year includes indications of which articles are new to the list and how articles ranked the preceding year. Seven entries on the 2019 list were not on the 2018 list, and the article with the greatest gain moved up 18 places. That article, which presents self-evaluation tools for collaborations, was published in 1999. Overall, entries on the 2019 list have publication dates ranging from 1984 to 2017. Taken together, these details underscore the enduring importance of JOE in providing valuable information about practices in university outreach and engagement.

February JOE Highlights

Two forces driving content in this issue are dual contributors to the soul of Extension work: the stimulant of challenge and the spirit of collaboration. Challenges are issued to Extension professionals ranging from those who can transform organizational culture to those whose impact, while perhaps less widespread, is no less crucial in the counties in which they work. Additionally, the value and complexities of the collaborative efforts so needed in today’s demanding Extension ecosystem are explored.

A group of action-provoking articles opens the issue. In the Commentary “Challenge to Bolster the Evidence Base for 4-H Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Programming,” the authors urge researchers to systematically and comprehensively examine relevant published materials and, ultimately, disseminate information that will both champion and accelerate the rigor of 4-H science, technology, engineering, and math programs. Two Features—“A Critical Time for Extension Leadership in Public Policy Education Programming” and “Cooperative Extension and Sustainability Outreach: Programmatic Successes, Administrative Support, and Areas for Improvement”—call for Extension leaders to empower professionals throughout the system to address critical societal issues and thus advance the organization’s core mission of improving quality of life by expanding research-based knowledge at the community level. The two other Features—“Burnout: Examining the Effects of Job Characteristics Across Extension Disciplines” and “Personal Health, Role, and Time Management Competency Training Needs of Florida Extension Agents”—also issue challenges to Extension administrators. The authors of these articles present findings related to the nature of Extension work and remind Extension leadership that meeting the needs of the citizenry begins with meeting the needs of the Extension workforce. Additionally, authors of the Research in Brief “Identifying Forest Health Gaps: A Needs Assessment of Tree and Forest Health Extension Education” clarify how specialists can help address obstacles educators face in meeting client demands for information, and authors of the Ideas at Work offering “Designing Educational Farm Tours to Improve Consumer Trust in Modern Agriculture” suggest on-the-ground replication of a program that connects the public with producers and the agriculture industry overall.

Working with others to increase impact and efficiency for all is the focus of three universally relevant articles. The authors of “Understanding Factors That Support Well-Functioning Community Coalitions,” in the Research in Brief category, present a method for identifying coalition characteristics that can foster or thwart members’ ability to achieve desired outcomes. Authors of the Ideas at Work article “Forming a Multistate Network: From Passion and Coincidence to Vision and Sustainability” impart insights to help Extension professionals coalesce to most effectively meet needs related to a common area of interest. In another Ideas at Work offering, “Increasing Collaboration Between Extension and Community-Based Nonprofits: The Quick Chats Workshop,” the authors describe a structured method for convening prospective collaborators and laying groundwork for potential collaborations. Also fundamental to collaboration is the generous sharing of resources to decrease duplication of effort among Extension professionals. Applying this philosophy are authors of three Tools of the Trade articles: “Needs Assessment Tool Kit,” “Keys to Embracing Aging: Curriculum to Promote Healthful Living Across the Life Span,” and “Safe Processing, Safe Food: Food Processing Infosheets for Extension Educators.”

Of course, stimulating challenges and ideas regarding collaboration can emerge from any scholarly article, and the content across this issue is no exception. Given the broad range of interests represented by JOE’s audience, readers are likely to be inspired by any number of the issue’s remaining articles.