February 2018 // Volume 56 // Number 1 // Editorial // v56-1ed1
JOE by the Numbers, Trending Articles, and February JOE Highlights
As is tradition for the first edition of JOE each year, I open the Editor’s Page with the section “JOE by the Numbers,” where I report JOE acceptance rate, author, and readership data. The “Trending Articles” section draws attention to a new element on the JOE home page. And in “February JOE,” I preview articles exploring Extension’s role in facilitating gender equality, strategies for managing challenges internal to Extension, and other important subject matter.
JOE by the Numbers
Questions we receive during the course of a year suggest that JOE readers want information on readership and other aspects of the journal. Consequently, each year we present a compilation of JOE data to satisfy the stats seekers. JOE’s current acceptance rate, which represents an average of data from 2013 through 2017, is 29.5%, indicating that JOE is a rigorous journal in which Extension professionals and other scholars can be proud to be published. Read on to learn more about JOE authors, JOE readers, and JOE’s top 50 reads.
In 2017, articles published in JOE were written by authors from 42 states, the District of Columbia, and five additional countries (Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Romania, and Uruguay). States with the highest representations of JOE authors were Florida (16 articles), Ohio (15 articles), and Iowa and Tennessee (10 articles each). The diverse contributors to JOE provide the varied perspectives that make the journal essential to U.S. Extension professionals and useful to university outreach researchers and practitioners around the world.
In 2017, JOE statistics-collecting software recorded 774,626 visitors to the JOE site and 1,183,980 page views. You can find readership statistics for 2013 through 2017 and definitions of relevant terms at Website Statistics: Readership Statistics. Also in 2017, JOE attracted readers from 230 nations and territories. Beyond the 320,342 visits from within the United States, nations most often accessing JOE were Philippines with 61,052 visits, India with 47,846 visits, and United Kingdom with 41,344 visits. The complete list is available at Website Statistics: Nations & Territories Accessing JOE in 2017.
Top 50 Most Read Articles
The list of the top 50 most read articles in 2017, as well as lists from previous years, can be accessed from About JOE: Website Statistics. For articles on the 2017 list, the number of views ranged from 2,868 to 31,169. The list for each year includes indications of which articles are new to the list and how articles ranked the preceding year. Six entries on the 2017 list were not on the 2016 list, and the article with the greatest gain moved up 12 places. Moreover, entries on the 2017 list are from the current decade and each of the past three decades. This detail underscores the enduring importance of JOE in providing valuable information about practices in university outreach and engagement.
A new element on the JOE home page showcases content members of the JOE audience are reading and sharing most often. This Trending Articles feature lists the five most popular articles from the past two issues and refreshes regularly.
As a new focus on women takes hold across the nation, three articles in this issue explore Extension’s role in facilitating gender equality. In the Commentary “The Event Horizon for the Horizon Report: Inclusivity in Extension Programs,” the author stresses that Extension’s push to expand the adoption of emergent technologies is happening in an era marked by diversity issues related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Extension, the author claims, must ensure the inclusion of groups marginalized from STEM opportunities and must work to tamp out damaging phenomena such as bro culture and pinkification. In the Feature category, the authors of “Political Ambition: Where Are All the Women?” investigate differences in what women and men perceive as barriers to running for and holding office. They argue that Extension’s community capacity-building endeavors should address these barriers and, concordantly, the skewed compositions of local governing bodies. Finally, the authors of the Research in Brief entry “Educational Preferences of West Virginia’s Female Woodland Owners” contend that the growing cadre of women woodland owners, who will increasingly determine how woodland properties are managed, are underserved with regard to relevant education and, due to feelings of discrimination, “seek alternative outlets for exchanging knowledge, often out of the spotlight of their male counterparts so as not to be criticized.” In short, contemporary challenges for women are at the fore, and the authors of these articles suggest paths Extension might take to assist this half of its audience.
Another significant group of articles concentrates on challenges internal to Extension. After a spate of hirings in Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) produced a large proportion of agents with fewer than 5 years’ experience, many of whom were millennials, VCE researchers conducted focus group interviews on the needs of early-career agents. Although their intent was to lay the groundwork for a system-wide electronic survey, they instead were able to use the rich data from the focus group research alone to identify significant areas for improvement that led to the recommendation and adoption of many changes. They report their findings and the resulting systemic advances in the Feature “Identifying Needs and Implementing Organizational Change to Improve Retention of Early-Career Agents.” The authors of another Feature, “Using an Engaged Scholarship Symposium to Change Perceptions: Evaluation Results,” also tackled an issue pervasive in Extension: lack of understanding of what constitutes engaged scholarship and lack of acceptance of engaged scholarship as scholarly work. Defined by a symbiotic relationship between university and community, engaged scholarship lies at the heart of Extension’s mission yet, they say, is far from being institutionalized within the organization. A third Feature serves as a primer on cultivating alternative revenue streams; “Creating and Implementing Diverse Development Strategies to Support Extension Centers and Programs” could be considered required reading for program leaders throughout Extension scrambling for resources as funding for higher education continues to decline. The authors of the Ideas at Work entry “Old-Fashioned Bus Trips: New Age Professional Development” characterize professional development offerings within Extension as lackluster affairs likely to “diminish organizational attachment and contribute to organizational turnover” and propose a physician-heal-thyself cure. Noting that employee trainings too seldom align with the experiential education principles integral to Extension pedagogy, they describe a new nontraditional format for professional development that better suits the organization’s spirit.
The remainder of the issue comprises excellent articles on emerging challenges confronting Extension clientele, program evaluation, and other topics. Some examples are the Features “Development and Evaluation of a Parent-Engagement Curriculum to Connect Latino Families and Schools,” “Feasibility of Implementing a School Nutrition Intervention That Addresses Policies, Systems, and Environment,” and “Building Capacity within Extension to Address Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate”; the Ideas at Work article “Mobile Pyrolysis for Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Biochar Production in Western Forests”; and the Tools of the Trade offerings “Using Simulated Farm Case Studies to Teach Financial and Risk Management Concepts,” “Evaluation Checklists for Agritourism and Direct Marketing Operations: Farmer and Extension Resources,” “Assessing Instructional Sensitivity Using the Pre-Post Difference Index: A Nontechnical Tool for Extension Educators,” and “VoiceThread: A Useful Program Evaluation Tool.”