The Journal of Extension -

About JOE: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Following are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Journal of Extension (JOE). If you have further questions, see additional materials on the JOE website or contact the JOE editor, Debbie Allen, at


Is JOE a refereed journal?

Yes. Feature and Research in Brief submissions are reviewed by three members of the JOE peer reviewer committee in a double-blind review process. Ideas at Work submissions are reviewed by one member of the committee, also in double-blind review. Commentary and Tools of the Trade submissions are peer reviewed by the editor.

What is the acceptance rate for JOE?

JOE’s current acceptance rate is 24.5%.

Note: This figure is the average of submission data from 2011 through 2016.

How many articles are submitted to JOE annually?

1999: 144 articles
2000: 167 articles
2001: 212 articles
2002: 188 articles
2003: 256 articles
2004: 279 articles
2005: 275 articles
2006: 283 articles
2007: 285 articles
2008: 279 articles
2009: 323 articles
2010: 281 articles
2011: 293 articles
2012: 284 articles
2013: 301 articles
2014: 323 articles
2015: 334 articles
2016: 282 articles

Does JOE have an impact factor?

No. A journal’s impact factor is a proprietary product from Thomson Reuters, which does not index JOE.

Is JOE widely read?

Yes. See JOE Website Statistics for many answers to this question.

Does JOE assess submittal or page charges?

No. JOE is supported by the U.S. land-grant university system. Because the primary contributors to, and readers of, JOE are land-grant university employees, JOE does not assess submittal or page charges.

Who oversees the publication of JOE?

In addition to the editor, JOE operations are guided by a board of directors made up of about 20 members. Members represent the four geographic regions of the Extension system, the 1890 land-grant universities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, eXtension, several Extension professional organizations, and the JOE webmaster site institution. The JOE peer reviewer representative also serves on the JOE board.

How can I become a JOE reviewer?

JOE is always ready to admit good reviewers to the JOE peer review committee.

You can apply to become a JOE reviewer by sending the name and email address of a reference who can speak to your ability to serve as a reviewer and a file containing your curriculum vitae to JOE peer reviewer representative Robert Ricard at

The JOE editorial committee chair, peer reviewer representative, and editor serve as the committee to select JOE reviewers. They make their selections on the basis of the degree to which candidates meet the criteria for reviewers and the need to achieve balance across reviewers in terms of subject-matter expertise and geographical representation.

JOE reviewers review approximately six to 12 submissions per year. Their comments and critiques help JOE authors produce articles of the highest quality. To effectively perform this service, they must

  • have breadth and depth of subject-area expertise,
  • recognize the difference between quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and value the unique contribution each makes to Extension scholarship,
  • have published in JOE and/or other refereed journals or published works of similar rigor (e.g., book chapters, reviewed curricula),
  • demonstrate excellent English grammar and writing skills, and
  • be active Extension professionals or retired but still active/current in Extension.

Submission Process

Where can I find information about submitting a manuscript to JOE?

The JOE website contains a wealth of resources for authors interested in submitting manuscripts to JOE. Two places to start an exploration of these resources are the JOE Submission Guidelines and the Help for JOE Authors page.

Does JOE have deadlines for submitting manuscripts?

JOE has no submission deadlines. The only rule of thumb is that the sooner a manuscript is submitted, the sooner it will go through the sometimes lengthy review, revision, and publication process.

Does an author have to hold an Extension appointment to submit a manuscript to JOE?

No. Outreach and adult-education professionals who do not hold formal Extension appointments may well have insights, information, and research results to share that would be of significant interest to JOE readers. However, articles submitted to JOE should display an understanding of Extension and discuss the topic within the context of Extension or with reference to Extension.

How long does it take for a manuscript to move through the JOE editorial review and peer review processes?

The time it takes for manuscripts to move through the JOE editorial review and peer review processes varies and is dependent on the rate of submissions and the conditions of manuscripts being submitted, in addition to other factors. For more information, see JOE Review and Publication Process.

Does JOE accept international submissions?

Supported by the U.S. land-grant university system, the Journal of Extension (JOE) is the official refereed journal for U.S. Extension professionals. Most contributors to JOE are U.S. land-grant university employees, and the journal’s audience is U.S. Extension professionals and other outreach scholars. Articles published in JOE are focused on best practices for disseminating university-based research findings to the public and identify clear implications for U.S. Extension.

That said, JOE does publish articles about research and projects that are conducted in, or based on the contexts of, locations other than the United States and its territories if the applicable research or project has implications for U.S. Extension and those implications are made clear. Therefore, researchers and practitioners whose work occurred outside the United States may consider submitting the resulting manuscript to JOE but first should ensure that doing so makes sense. To increase their understanding of JOE, such authors should peruse the current issue and recent issues of the journal. They also should carefully examine JOE Submission Guidelines, JOE Review and Publication Process, and other materials for prospective JOE authors for additional information that will help them determine the appropriateness of submitting a manuscript to JOE. These authors should keep in mind that the journal publishes only manuscripts that elucidate implications for U.S. Extension, conform to the JOE Submission Guidelines, and have successfully undergone appropriate editorial and double-blind peer review.

Does JOE publish book reviews?

JOE publishes reviews of books that have direct relevance for a broad Extension audience as Tools of the Trade articles. The submission, review, and publication process for a book review manuscript is the same as for any other Tools of the Trade submission.

JOE does not accept books for review and then solicit reviewers for them.

How does JOE use Manuscript FastTrack?

Manuscript FastTrack (MFT) is the online manuscript review system used by JOE. Unlike many other journals, JOE uses MFT for online review only and only for review of Feature, Research in Brief, and Ideas at Work submissions. Therefore, all authors must first submit their manuscripts to the editor, Debbie Allen, at The editor gives authors the information they need to upload their submissions to MFT once she has reviewed them and determined that they are suitable for double-blind review. For a fuller explanation, see JOE Review and Publication Process.

How do I log on to Manuscript FastTrack (MFT), change my MFT user information, or get help with MFT?

Manuscript FastTrack (MFT) is the online manuscript review system used by JOE. Prospective JOE authors and JOE reviewers who need to access MFT should go to and enter their user ID and password credentials to log in.

When authors and reviewers change positions, and thus email addresses, they must change their user information in MFT. If they don’t, important emails, such as those containing review results or review assignments, won’t reach them.

If you’re an MFT user who wants to change your user information in MFT, take the following actions:

  1. Log on to MFT.
  2. Click the "User preferences" tab to access your "User preferences" page.
  3. On your "User preferences" page, click "Change information/preferences" at the bottom of the page to access a form that allows you to edit your information.
  4. Make the necessary changes.
  5. Click "Change user info" at the bottom of the page.

If you encounter a problem in using MFT, contact FastTrack support, not the JOE editor. There is a link to FastTrack support on every page in MFT.

Format and Use

When did JOE enter the electronic age?

JOE was first published electronically in 1994, after 30 years as a print journal.

How often is JOE published?

JOE is published six times annually, near the end of February, April, June, August, October, and December.

How permanent and secure is JOE?

JOE is a professional, refereed journal, and, as such, its back issues are preserved in their entirety. The intent of Extension Journal, Inc. is to maintain all issues of JOE in a readily available form. Multiple archives are maintained to ensure content security, information integrity, and long-term access.

Does JOE have a copyright policy?

Yes. When the editor notifies a corresponding author that a manuscript has been accepted for publication in JOE, the editor instructs the corresponding author to access the Journal of Extension Copyright Agreement and complete the form affirming compliance with the agreement. The agreement stipulates, among other things, that the work is original, that it violates no copyrights, that it has been submitted to no other journal, and that the manuscript’s copyright is fully transferred to JOE. If the corresponding author declines to affirm the agreement, the accepted manuscript will not be published in JOE.

Single copies of articles published in JOE may be reproduced in electronic or print form for use in educational or training activities. Inclusion of articles in other publications or electronic sources or systematic, large-scale distribution may be done only with prior electronic permission from the editor.

Does JOE have a policy on institutional archiving?

Yes. To support JOE authors in their scholarly commitment to share intellectual, creative work with peers, the Extension Journal, Inc. board of directors endorses institutional archiving of JOE articles, with a strong preference for using the URL of the online, html version of the article as the point of reference. Nonexclusive, noncommercial, onetime, single-use permission is granted for education and research only. Copyright notice, citation of original publication data, and a link to the JOE website are to be included as part of the archive.

Does JOE provide PDFs of articles for posting on websites?

Every JOE article from December 2008 forward is available in printable PDF format, and PDFs of earlier articles will be added to the website as time permits. These PDFs may be used for printing and may be placed on other websites with the permission of the JOE editor. If permission is granted, Extension Journal, Inc. requests that the PDF version of the JOE article be a hyperlink pointing to the PDF file on the JOE website so that usage and readership statistics can be tracked.

Example: If you wish to link to the PDF version of the August 2009 Feature article “Extension, the Land-Grant Mission, and Civic Agriculture: Cultivating Change,” add the following code to your website:

<a href="">Extension, the Land-Grant Mission, and Civic Agriculture: Cultivating Change 4FEA1 (pdf)</a>

If you would like to post a PDF of a JOE article, please contact the JOE editor at

Does JOE supply authors with printed copies of their articles?

No. JOE is a web-based journal, so authors and readers can print articles and entire issues directly from the web.

Where is JOE indexed?

Two online databases index JOE articles, summarize their contents, and increase their discoverability. Those databases are ERIC (the Education Resources Information Center) and AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access).

How can I find the page numbers for JOE articles?

Because JOE is published exclusively online, its articles have no page numbers. However, beginning with the first issue of 1984, articles published in JOE are assigned article numbers that are unique across a volume (or year) of the journal. Most documentation systems have conventions governing the citation of electronic documents, including the use of article numbers, and readers are encouraged to consult them for guidance.