October 2018 // Volume 56 // Number 6 // Editorial // 6ED1
Efficient Use of JOE Author Resources and October JOE Highlights
In the "Efficient Use of JOE Author Resources" section of the Editor's Page, I suggest a system for using the author materials provided on the JOE website that will help prospective authors feel less daunted by them. In "October JOE Highlights," I focus on some weighty questions that are answered in this issue of the journal.
Efficient Use of JOE Author Resources
Prospective JOE authors may feel overwhelmed by the wealth of manuscript development aids available on the JOE website. But all potential authors can apply a system that will lead to efficient and effective use of these resources. Make no mistake—applying the system takes time. But putting time into publishing is de rigueur for Extension faculty and educators, and, as with any endeavor, time exerted upfront leads to time saved later. In her June 2018 Commentary, JOE author, reviewer, and board member Mary Arnold noted that the JOE author materials "are extensive and take time to read, understand, and apply" but emphasized that they "serve as important socialization tools for new authors and as references for veterans."
If you plan to develop a manuscript for submission to JOE, you will make the most of key interrelated JOE author resources by applying the following steps:
- Before beginning your manuscript, read the JOE Submission Guidelines to gain an understanding of requirements for submissions to JOE, and consult resources identified in the "Editorial Standards and Manuscript Development Resources" section of the 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.
- As you draft your manuscript and undertake rounds of revision, return to the JOE Submission Guidelines, JOE Style and Guidance for Avoiding Common Manuscript Problems, and JOE Guidance for Terminology, Usage, and Spellings as needed, conducting searches within the documents to find information for topics on which you are unclear. Two sections of the guidelines that are particularly useful during this stage are "Manuscript Format Considerations" and "Manuscript Structure Considerations." Additionally, information in the "Tables and Figures" section is critical if you are including graphic displays in your manuscript.
- After you have set the manuscript aside for a while and then performed a final read, apply the JOE Manuscript Submission Checklist. To perform this step adequately, run through the manuscript multiple times, checking it against the various sections in the checklist.
- As you prepare to submit the manuscript, follow direction provided in the "Submission Procedure" section of the JOE Submission Guidelines, which will allow you to check off the final items on the JOE Manuscript Submission Checklist.
If prospective authors apply these steps unfailingly for each submission to JOE, they will increase the likelihood of acceptance of their manuscripts and, over time, improve their efficiency at preparing manuscripts for publication.
October JOE Highlights
Scholarly publishing is about answering questions. Tough, tricky, sticky, wicked questions. Who, why, how, and what-can-be-done-about-it questions. Articles in this issue answer such questions with compelling research findings and creative, replicable ideas.
Why is gaining a bird's-eye view of a state Extension system imperative? In the Feature "Social Network Analysis: A Methodology for Exploring Diversity and Reach Among Extension Programs and Stakeholders," the authors explain that state-level social network analysis fosters insights into not only the breadth and depth of a state Extension system's outreach efforts but also opportunities for cross-program collaboration that can mean survival in an era of limited resources.
How can the competencies of those essential to Extension's function be strengthened relative to contemporary contexts? Authors of several articles tackle this question by exploring the need to instill critical updated skill sets in Extension professionals. Those articles include the Features "Readying Extension for the Systematic Analysis of Large Qualitative Data Sets," "A Marketing Standpoint: What Marketers Can Teach Extension Professionals About Internet-Based Media," and "Examining the Entrepreneurial Leadership Propensities of Extension Educators"; the Research in Brief "Impact of a Professional Development Experience Focused on Extension Educators as Change Agents"; and the Ideas at Work entry "Online Leadership Short Course for County Extension Directors."
Why is Extension losing its foothold as agricultural producers' go-to resource, and what can be done to regain it? In the Feature "Strategies for Enhancing University Extension's Role as an Agricultural Information Source," the authors identify what is occurring within and around Extension that leads producers to turn elsewhere for information integral to their decision-making processes. The authors of the Research in Brief "Shaping Soil Watershed Stewardship Through Combined Producer and Influencer Education: A Pilot Program" propose that Extension may be able to combat this problem in part by disseminating such information to multiple interconnected groups simultaneously.
Who can be interleaved into the strata of Extension to improve the organization's connection with audiences and contribution to their worlds? Inspired responses to this query are explored in the Research in Brief articles "The Graduate Extension Scholars Program: Professional Development to Connect Research and Education" and "Assessing the Potential of Increasing Promotoras in Extension: Hispanic Balanced Living with Diabetes" as well as in the Ideas at Work offering "Fulfilling Needs in County 4-H Programs with Volunteer Facilitation Coaches."
What solutions to big-picture problems can Extension implement to better assist entities and individuals currently served and facilitate engagement with emerging audiences? Obviously, answers to this broad question are varied. The authors of the Commentary "Addressing Declining Rural Communities Through Youth Entrepreneurship Education" contend that exposing rural youths to the potential of entrepreneurship in their hometowns is key to bolstering the viability of today's weakened rural communities. The authors of "Using a Translational Process to Apply Latino Youth Development Research Findings in Practice," in the Ideas at Work category, specify a reason why Extension struggles to adequately address the unique needs of Latino youths and offer a system for overcoming that challenge. And the authors of the Tools of the Trade article "A Framework for Developing Multiyear Conferences on Current Societal Issues" suggest that Extension may increase its impact substantially by partnering with non-Extension university faculty and other experts to provide multiyear conferences focused on topics crucial to the times in which we live.
Beyond the questions identified here are many more answered in the pages of this issue of JOE.