The Journal of Extension - www.joe.org

For Authors: Getting Published in JOE—Strategies for Success

Interested in publishing in the Journal of Extension (JOE)? Applying the strategies identified here can help ensure your chances of success.

  1. As an ongoing professional development exercise, read JOE for the purpose of paying attention to how articles are organized and written, language used for describing aspects of research methodology and results, and so forth. Also, consider regularly reading the journal’s Editor’s Page, which often includes a section with helpful information for prospective authors.
  2. Prepare for writing manuscripts to submit to JOE by reading The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (APA manual). The APA manual provides broad guidance on composing effective article titles and abstracts, structuring manuscripts, writing clearly and concisely, discussing data, and more. Plus, it offers details that will help you correctly apply grammar and mechanics rules, display research results, and credit sources.
  3. Consider aspects of publishing as early as during the program development and study design stages. When creating program tools, survey instruments, or other written products, realize that you might want to include such items, in part or in whole, in a manuscript submitted for publication. Ensure that all materials are clear and straightforward, grammatically and mechanically correct, and free of inconsistencies, misspellings, and so forth.
  4. Before writing your manuscript, take the following actions:
    • Read the JOE Submission Guidelines to gain an understanding of expectations for submissions to JOE.
    • Determine the appropriate article category for your submission on the basis of information in the "Journal Sections/Article Categories" section of the submission guidelines.
    • Consult resources identified in the "Editorial Standards and Manuscript Development Resources" section of the submission guidelines. In particular, review JOE Style and Guidance for Avoiding Common Manuscript Problems and JOE Guidance for Terminology, Usage, and Spellings to become aware of JOE-specific standards and to check your common writing practices against expectations for JOE submissions. Also, peruse the list of resources on the JOE website’s Guidance for Authors page, and then explore any resource you think will help you submit a manuscript that will lead to publication.
  5. Think before you write. Identify a clear main point or theme for your manuscript. Consider how you will appeal to the broadest possible Extension audience and how you will elucidate implications for Extension. Determine the best structure for your manuscript, keeping in mind that your literature review should be early in the manuscript, your findings should be separate from your recommendations, and your conclusions and recommendations should flow logically from your findings. Use a prewriting technique, such as outlining, to plan your manuscript. Then refer to and update this plan during the writing process.
  6. Write your manuscript, following the guidelines identified in the "Manuscript Format Considerations" and "Manuscript Structure Considerations" sections of the submission guidelines. Consult the APA manual, JOE Style and Guidance for Avoiding Common Manuscript Problems, and JOE Guidance for Terminology, Usage, and Spellings as needed. Also, attend to the information in the "Tables and Figures" section of the submission guidelines if you are including any tables or figures in your manuscript.
  7. Undertake rounds of revision on your own, and then ask at least one colleague to critically review your manuscript. When selecting a colleague to review a manuscript, choose one who is familiar with JOE and has a robust publishing record but is unfamiliar with the work described in the manuscript. Ask your colleague(s) to review the manuscript for
    • appropriateness of article categorization;
    • effective title and abstract;
    • organization, cohesion, and focus in development of topic;
    • clear delineation of implications for JOE readers;
    • scientific rigor;
    • consistency and accuracy in presentations and discussions of data;
    • clarity and precision of the writing;
    • proper grammar, mechanics, and style; and
    • avoidance of errors of carelessness.
  8. As a result of input from your colleague(s), revise your manuscript further. Then review the manuscript an additional time to ensure adherence to technical specifications related to manuscript preparation; consistency and accuracy of data; accuracy in citations and references; proper grammar, mechanics, and style; and avoidance of errors of carelessness. As needed, refer to resources such as the submission guidelines, the APA manual, and JOE Style and Guidance for Avoiding Common Manuscript Problems once again during this round of revision.
  9. Set the manuscript aside for at least a few days, and then perform a final read of the manuscript. As a last step, check the manuscript against the JOE Manuscript Submission Checklist.
  10. Submit the manuscript, making sure to follow the direction provided in the "Submission Procedure" section of the submission guidelines and to check off the final items on the JOE Manuscript Submission Checklist.