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, please contact editor Debbie Allen, by e-mail at

General Questions

Is the Journal of Extension 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's the acceptance rate for the journal?

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

Does JOE have an impact factor?

No. A journal's impact factor is a proprietary product from Thomson Reuters, which does not index the Journal of Extension (JOE).

Does JOE assess submittal or page charges?

No. The Journal of Extension (JOE) is supported by the 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.

Does JOE have a policy on institutional archiving?

Yes. To support Journal of Extension (JOE) authors in their scholarly commitment to communicate 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. Non-exclusive, non-commercial, one-time, single-use permission is granted for education and research only. Copyright notice, citation of original publication data, and a link to the JOE site is to be included as part of the archive.

Is JOE widely read?

Yes. See JOE Usage Statistics for many answers to your question.

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 Cooperative Extension System regions, the 1890 land-grant universities, NIFA, eXtension, ACE, ECOP, several Extension professional organizations (ANREP, ESP, NACAA, NACDEP, NAE4-HA, and NEAFCS), and the JOE Webmaster site institution. The JOE Peer Reviewer Representative also serves on the JOE Board.

Submission Process and Writing Tips

Where can I find information about submitting an article?

Your best resource is the JOE Web site, especially the JOE Submission Guidelines and the Help for JOE Authors page.

How does JOE use Manuscript FastTrack (MFT)?

Unlike many other journals, JOE uses Manuscript FastTrack (MFT) for online review only and only for review of Feature, Research in in Brief, and Ideas at Work articles.

So all authors must first submit their articles to the editor, Debbie Allen, who will give authors the information they'll need to upload their submissions to MFT once she has reviewed them and determined they are suitable for double-blind review, either at the initial submission stage or after revision. For a fuller explanation, see JOE Review Process.

If authors run into problems using MFT, they should contact FastTrack support rather than the editor. There is a link to FastTrack support on every MFT page, usually in the lower left.

How do I change my user information in MFT?

Sometimes, after authors have submitted their articles, they change positions and thus email addresses. When that happens, they must change their user information in Manuscript FastTrack (MFT), JOE's online review system. If they don't, their review results won't reach them.

This is pretty easy to do.

If you're an author who wants to change your user information in MFT, you should:

  1. Go to your MFT My submissions page;
  2. Use the User preferences tab on the upper right, which will get you to your User preferences page;
  3. In a lozenge at the bottom of your User preferences page, you'll see "Change information/preferences;"
  4. When you click on that, you'll get the User preferences page in a form that will allow you to make any changes you want, including your new email address;
  5. When you're finished making changes, click on "Change user info" in the lozenge at the bottom of the page.

That's all there is to it.

How does JOE define authorship?

JOE defines authors as those individuals who have been involved in the preparation of an article, not all of the individuals who may have been involved in the project or program the article discusses. The latter individuals should be acknowledged in an Acknowledgements section to be placed between the text proper and the References section.

Does JOE have deadlines for submitting articles?

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

Does JOE accept international submissions?

As a refereed publication of U.S. Cooperative Extension, JOE accepts international submissions that have clear implications for U.S. Cooperative Extension or U.S. Extension professionals. Authors should discuss these implications in their articles.

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 once those articles have been submitted by readers and have been reviewed by the editor.

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

Do authors have to hold Extension appointments to submit an article 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 should JOE and other Internet sources be cited in JOE?

In general, citations for Internet sources should adhere to the guidance provided in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (APA manual). For additional information about using APA style to cite websites in their entirety or portions of websites, see the document How to Cite Something You Found on a Website in APA Style.

Citation style for JOE articles varies slightly from APA style. It is based on JOE’s commitment to permanence and is dependent on when an article was published.

JOE articles published before 1984 should be cited as follows:

Kittrelt, D. L., & McCracken, J. D. (1983). Are agents’ interests, job satisfaction, and performance related? Journal of Extension, 21(2). Available at:

JOE articles published from 1984 onward contain an article number and should be cited as follows:

Fehlis, C. P. (2005). A call for visionary leadership. Journal of Extension, 43(1) Article 1COM1. Available at:
How do I choose effective keywords and key phrases?

Keywords and key phrases have several functions. They help information seekers find relevant articles; they serve to generate better search engine results; and they enable readers to grasp the contents of your article. (In fact, more and more readers use them rather than your abstract to decide whether or not to read your article.)

Selecting keywords and key phrases can be tricky, but it is important. There are several ways to ensure that you have chosen effective keywords and key phrases.

Try not to make your keywords and key phrases too general. Terms such as "research," "results," "access," and "rural" are too broad when used alone. They can be applied to almost anything. You'll find an example of effective, descriptive key phrases at

Make your keywords and key phrases as user friendly as possible. Using one or two technical terms is fine, but otherwise, choose terms or phrases more likely to be familiar to readers outside your specific discipline, so that potential readers unfamiliar with your technical terms will find and learn from your article.

Avoid acronyms. In your list of keywords and key phrases, Integrated Pest Management is preferable to IPM.

Review Process

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 e-mail address of a reference who can speak to your ability to serve as a reviewer and a file containing your curriculum vitae to Robert Ricard <>.

The Editorial Committee Chair, the Peer Reviewer Representative, and the Editor serve as the committee to select JOE reviewers. They'll make their selections based on the degree to which candidates meet the criteria for reviewers and on balance in terms of subject-matter expertise and geographical representation.

JOE peer reviewers are appointed for 3-year terms (renewable once) and review approximately 6 to 10 submissions per year. They must meet high standards.

  • Exhibit 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.
How long does it take for authors of articles that are suitable for review to receive their review results?

It varies. The average time is between 4 and 6 months, although some authors get their review results in fewer than 4 months. Among the factors that influence this are the number of acceptable articles waiting for review and whether the articles are reviewed by three reviewers (Feature and Research in Brief), one reviewer (Ideas at Work), or the editor (Commentary and Tools of the Trade).

Format and Use

When did JOE enter the electronic age?

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

Does JOE provide PDFs of articles for posting on Web sites?

Every article from December 2008 forward is available in printable PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format) format, and PDFs of earlier articles will be added as time permits. These PDFs may be used for printing and may be placed on other Web sites with the permission of the JOE editor. If permission is granted, we request that the PDF version of the JOE article be a hyperlink pointing to the PDF file on the Journal of Extension Web site so that we can track usage and eadership statistics.

For 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 Web site:

<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 <>.

Where is JOE indexed?

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

How often is JOE published?

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

Does JOE have a copyright policy?

Yes. When the editor notifies the corresponding author that his or her article has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Extension (JOE), the corresponding author will also be instructed to go to the Journal of Extension Copyright Agreement page and fill out 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 article 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 and electronic sources, or systematic, large-scale distribution may be done only with prior electronic permission from the editor, Debbie Allen <>.

Does JOE supply the author with a printed copy of his or her article?

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

How can I find the page numbers for JOE articles?

Because JOE is published exclusively on the World Wide Web, 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.

How permanent and secure is JOE?

The Journal of Extension 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 the Journal of Extension in a readily available form. Multiple archives are maintained to ensure content security, information integrity, and long-term access.