February 2019 // Volume 57 // Number 1 // Editorial // 1ED1
JOE by the Numbers and February JOE Highlights
In "JOE by the Numbers," I provide the annual reporting of JOE author and readership data, which, as always, signify the journal's diverse nature. A concentration on youth permeates this issue of JOE, and in "February JOE Highlights," I touch on but a few of the topics addressed in the associated articles. Also in that section, I call attention to articles that, like the data in "JOE by the Numbers," underscore the wide-ranging emphases expressed in the pages of JOE.
JOE by the Numbers
Because the discipline of extension—extending the resources of academia to serve the public—is extraordinarily wide ranging, the content of JOE, the journal's authors, and the journal's readers are notably diverse. Of course, JOE addresses the major programmatic areas of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System, but the aggregate of consequential topics within each of those areas is vast. And deep is the bench of Extension personnel who contribute through JOE to knowledge on those topics—they work across all program areas, in varied job roles, and throughout the United States. Moreover, their expertise is applicable far beyond geographic borders, leading people from around the globe to consult JOE. The data we present in the first issue of JOE each year are the details underlying the story of JOE's diversity.
Articles published in JOE in 2018 were written by authors from 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. States with the highest representations of JOE authors were Washington (17 articles), Nebraska (15 articles), Ohio (14 articles), and Oregon (13 articles). In 2018, we published JOE's first special issue, on the topic of innovation in Extension. A call for abstracts garnered more than 180 submissions representing 47 institutions and 40 states. Amazed by the ingenuity demonstrated in those abstracts, our guest editors regretted that they could invite only a couple dozen authors to submit full manuscripts for potential publication.
In 2018, JOE statistics-collecting software recorded 702,913 users of the JOE site and 1,151,491 page views. Additional readership statistics and definitions of relevant terms are provided at About JOE: Website Statistics. Also in 2018, JOE attracted readers from 229 nations and territories. Beyond the 285,587 visits from within the United States, nations most often accessing JOE were Philippines with 63,534 visits, India with 49,002 visits, and United Kingdom with 36,875 visits. The complete list is available at Website Statistics: Nations & Territories Accessing JOE in 2018.
Top 50 Most Read Articles
So what sparked the interest of JOE’s 700,000-plus users in 2018? The list of the top 50 most read articles for the year, as well as lists from previous years, can be accessed from About JOE: Website Statistics. For articles on the 2018 list, the number of views ranged from 2,680 to 34,622. Nine of the entries had not been listed in 2017, and the article with the greatest gain from 2017 moved up 17 places. That article, which was published in 2014 and relates to home vegetable gardening, had debuted on the top 50 list only the preceding year. Older articles have their place in JOE’s top 50 as well. The second most read article, which explores employee motivation, is from 1998, and the oldest article, on nominal group technique, is from 1984.
February JOE Highlights
As go the young, so goes our future, and Extension's commitment to cultivating in young people the capabilities and character needed to build a bright tomorrow is evident in this issue of JOE. About a third of the articles relate in some way to 4-H or youth development more generally. This focus starts with the issue's first Commentary. In "How Important Is Rigor? A State Specialist's Take on 4-H Project Work," the author recalls with poignancy a former 4-H'er whose approach to project work reflected a standard that must be upheld today to ensure the merit of 4-H and desired strengths within its members. Beyond an emphasis on youth development in both commentaries, the topic unfolds in other article categories as well. Two articles—the Feature "Positive Youth Development for Health: Extension's Readiness for Multilevel Public Health Approaches" and the Research in Brief "4-H Health Ambassador Programs: A Survey of Organizational and Programmatic Aspects"—center on how Extension as an organization can contribute to improving the nation's health by instilling a culture of youth health. The Ideas at Work article "4-H at Work: Career Lessons Provide New Dimension to School Classrooms" describes a program whereby 4-H curriculum developers and educators achieve the hat trick of assisting schools in meeting contemporary educational requirements, intensifying youths' understanding of potential careers, and increasing overall exposure to 4-H. Extension's work in developing youths is reliant on the assistance of skilled volunteers, yet understanding what training is required to build this resource can be a challenge. Authors of the Tools of Trade offering "Volunteer Research and Knowledge Competency Codebook: A Tool for Identifying Volunteer Needs" address this challenge by presenting a codebook and accompanying guide Extension personnel can use to efficiently ascertain from qualitative data needs specific to their local 4-H volunteers. The articles mentioned here are merely a handful of those that will appeal to readers working in the realm of youth development.
The remainder of the issue offers a sample of the kind of diversity highlighted in the first paragraph of this Editor's Page. An especially timely and important article is the Tools of the Trade entry "The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Impact and Options for Extension Professionals," which all JOE readers will find immediately useful. Other articles likely to grab and hold various readers' attention include "Building Success of Food Hubs Through Understanding of the Cooperative Experience" and the paired offerings "An Extension Educator Perspective on Adverse Childhood Experiences" and "An Extension Educator Perspective on Trauma-Informed Care," all in the Research in Brief category; "Integrating Watershed Management Across the Urban–Rural Interface: Opportunities for Extension Watershed Programs" and "Novel Use of Conceptual Change Framework Improves Video on Challenging Science Topic" in the Ideas at Work group; and the Tools of the Trade article "Excel-Based Computational Template for Irrigation Scheduling Using Dual Crop Coefficients." In general and as usual, the issue's content addresses many organizational and programming matters of significance to JOE's varied readership.