For Authors: Journal of Extension Editorial Review Rejection Policy
Why a Manuscript Might Be Rejected
The first round of review for any manuscript submitted to the Journal of Extension (JOE) is the editorial review. A main component of the editorial review is determination of whether the submission aligns with the purpose and scope of JOE. The other major aspect of the editorial review is a technical screening of the manuscript. That is, the JOE editor reviews the manuscript for adherence to technical specifications related to manuscript preparation; article categorization and associated word count; organization, cohesion, and consistency in development of the topic; clarity and precision of the writing; consistency and accuracy in presentations and discussions of data; accuracy in citations and references; proper grammar, mechanics, and style; and avoidance of errors of carelessness (e.g., typos, repeated words).
The editorial review of a manuscript may result in rejection if the manuscript (a) fails to align with the purpose and scope of JOE or (b) fails to appropriately meet the technical specifications required for manuscripts submitted to JOE. Regarding the latter reason, the JOE editor recognizes that no manuscript is perfect and does not reject a manuscript merely because it exhibits some technical failings. Rather, the JOE editor rejects a manuscript on technical grounds when the manuscript demonstrates a substantial disregard for the required technical specifications. Without doubt, this is a judgment call: The editor must use her experience in reviewing manuscripts submitted to JOE to determine the line between an acceptable and an unacceptable number of technical errors.
To ensure that manuscripts are evaluated on the basis of their scientific merit, prospective JOE authors should avoid making mistakes that will result in rejection stemming from the technical screening aspect of the editorial review process.
What Happens When a Manuscript Is Rejected
JOE’s mission differs slightly from that of most academic journals in that JOE is committed to nurturing emerging scholars and new authors and encouraging professional development (including in the area of scholarly writing) among those working in university outreach and engagement. Therefore, when rejecting a manuscript, the JOE editor provides detailed feedback about the problems in the manuscript and directs the corresponding author to resources that can help those hoping to publish in JOE or other academic journals improve their manuscript development skills.
Another characteristic that may be unique to JOE relates to resubmission of a rejected manuscript. With many academic journals, a manuscript that has been rejected by a journal may not be revised and resubmitted to that journal. For a manuscript submitted to JOE that is rejected during the editorial review, the author may submit a new version of the manuscript. Allowing authors to submit new versions of manuscripts that were rejected during the editorial review serves two purposes: (a) JOE benefits from opportunities to publish content that makes an important scientific contribution even if a previous version of a manuscript lacked technical appropriateness and (b) prospective JOE authors are not prevented from publishing important work merely because they needed improvement in the area of scholarly writing.