For Authors: Journal of Extension Submission Guidelines
The Journal of Extension (JOE) expands and updates the research and knowledge base for U.S. Extension professionals and other outreach educators to improve their effectiveness and serves as a forum for emerging and contemporary issues affecting U.S. Extension education. Moreover, JOE creates opportunities for professionals and students to publish intellectual, creative work; develops scholars and authors for success; and fosters professional development.
JOE is a refereed journal. All submissions undergo initial review by the editor. If advanced by the editor, Feature, Research in Brief, and Ideas at Work submissions undergo double-blind peer review. Commentary and Tools of the Trade submissions are reviewed solely by the editor. JOE Review and Publication Process provides detailed information about the review and publication process.
Because this document is updated as needed, prospective JOE authors should check it regularly for new information.
A manuscript submitted to JOE must be the sole, original work of the author(s) listed, must not have been previously published, and must have been submitted only to JOE. When the editor notifies a corresponding author that a manuscript has been accepted for publication in JOE, the corresponding author is instructed to fill out a form affirming compliance with JOE's copyright policy. JOE Copyright Policy and JOE Duplicate Publication Policy provide additional related information on this topic.
An author submitting a manuscript that includes material that has been reproduced or adapted from a copyrighted source is responsible for obtaining any necessary permission from the copyright owner and acknowledging at the appropriate place in the manuscript that such permission was obtained. An author submitting a manuscript that includes a photograph showing a person is responsible for obtaining a photo release signed by that person.
It is the expectation that authors who submit manuscripts to JOE are in compliance with procedural and ethical rules required by their institutions (e.g., institutional review board approval).
It is the responsibility of an author submitting a manuscript to JOE to adhere to the editorial standards established for the journal; a submission may result in rejection if the manuscript demonstrates disregard for those standards. (For more information, see JOE Editorial Review Rejection Policy.) In general, JOE editorial style aligns with standards set forth in the current edition of Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (the APA manual). Where information herein differs from that presented in the APA manual, these guidelines take precedence. For questions not addressed herein or within the APA manual, authors should consult the current edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. Also, authors must understand that the guidance provided in the APA manual is to be applied to manuscripts submitted for publication and does not necessarily align with rules applied to works published in a journal—for example, running heads are required for submitted manuscripts but might not be included in a particular journal's published articles. Therefore, authors should not consult published articles in an attempt to glean an understanding of requirements for submitted manuscripts. Finally, before submitting manuscripts to JOE, authors must apply the JOE Manuscript Submission Checklist to their work (see the Submission Procedure section herein for more information).
Those interested in publishing in JOE also benefit from regularly reading the journal's Editor's Page, which often includes a section with helpful information for prospective authors, and from attending to additional materials available through the Guidance for Authors portal on the JOE website (e.g., Getting Published in JOE—Strategies for Success).
JOE accepts submissions in five article categories. Regardless of category, however, all articles must explicitly convey implications for U.S. Extension professionals and other outreach educators. Authors should carefully consider the descriptions of and differences among the article categories when determining the appropriate category for a submission.
Feature (reviewed by the editor and three reviewers): Feature articles discuss concepts, research findings (original findings or extant findings synthesized with innovative thinking on a topic in a literature review or meta-analysis), and implications (a) of broad interest to U.S. Extension professionals and broad significance to U.S. Extension's knowledge base, methodology, effective practice, or organization or (b) of broad interest/significance to U.S. Extension professionals working within one of U.S. Extension's general program areas (i.e., 4-H/youth development, agriculture and natural resources, community and economic development, family and consumer sciences). Maximum length: 3,000 words (excluding title, author information, running head, abstract, keywords, tables, figures, equations, references, and appendixes)
Research in Brief (reviewed by the editor and three reviewers): Research in Brief articles summarize research findings (original findings or extant findings synthesized with innovative thinking on a topic in a literature review or meta-analysis) of importance to U.S. Extension professionals. They emphasize implications for particular segments of U.S. Extension. Maximum length: 2,000 words (excluding title, author information, running head, abstract, keywords, tables, figures, equations, references, and appendixes)
What's the Difference?
A Feature article focuses on the implications of the concepts and research presented for a wide audience of U.S. Extension professionals (hence the "extra" 1,000 words). A Research in Brief article focuses more on the data presented and the methods used to gather the data and addresses implications particular to a certain discipline or region. A Feature article is broader in scope and implication. A Research in Brief article is more specific or localized.
Ideas at Work (reviewed by the editor and one reviewer): Ideas at Work articles identify and describe novel ideas, innovative programs, and new methods that are of interest to and can be adapted by U.S. Extension professionals. They include substantiation that the "ideas at work" have been used successfully and provide suggestions for replicating, adapting, or otherwise applying them. Maximum length: 1,000 words (excluding title, author information, running head, abstract, keywords, tables, figures, equations, references, and appendixes)
Tools of the Trade (reviewed by the editor): Tools of the Trade articles identify and describe specific materials, books, techniques, and technologies useful to U.S. Extension professionals. They explain how the tools are useful specifically for U.S. Extension professionals. Maximum length: 1,000 words (excluding title, author information, running head, abstract, keywords, tables, figures, equations, references, and appendixes)
What's the Difference?
An Ideas at Work article focuses on what is novel. A Tools of the Trade article focuses on what is useful. An Ideas at Work article addresses an idea. A Tools of the Trade article addresses a thing.
Commentary (reviewed by the editor): Commentary articles offer challenges or present thought-provoking opinions on issues of concern to U.S. Extension by expressing positions that are clear, specific, and rational. They initiate relevant discussion or debate and are accompanied by discussion forums that remain open through two issues of the journal. Although some Commentary submissions are invited, most are not. Rather, JOE encourages Commentary submissions from all who have opinions to share about important Extension topics and issues. Maximum length: 1,500 words (excluding title, author information, running head, abstract, keywords, tables, figures, equations, references, and appendixes)
What's the Difference?
The differences between a Commentary article and the other types of JOE articles center on challenge, immediacy, and conviction.
Manuscript Format and Content Considerations
A submission to JOE should be a single Microsoft Word file.
The manuscript file should not contain masked content. When advancing a manuscript for peer review, the editor requests that the corresponding author remove or mask applicable content at that time.
Many articles published in JOE demonstrate adherence to customary research reporting standards; however, due to the variation in the journal's content, a rigidly prescribed structure is not appropriate for all articles. An author submitting a manuscript to JOE should follow the journal article reporting standards outlined in the APA manual to the extent applicable given the study or project that is the topic of the manuscript. Authors are encouraged to include within manuscripts or provide as supplemental material questionnaires, interview protocols, code for mathematical models, and so on.
Per APA Style, spellings should conform to the Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary (https://www.merriam-webster.com), and if a word is not included therein, authors should consult an unabridged edition of Webster's dictionary. In general, authors should apply the first spelling in all cases, including for plurals. (The APA manual contradicts Webster's regarding spelling of the plural form of the word "appendix"; in such cases, authors submitting manuscripts to JOE should use the first spelling indicated in the dictionary.) For terms related to technology, authors should consult a list presented in the APA manual but otherwise should apply the first spelling identified in Webster's. Authors should consult the APA Dictionary of Psychology, (https://dictionary.apa.org) for correct names of statistical terms (e.g., "Wilcoxon rank-sum test," "Wilcoxon signed-ranks test").
Authors should adhere to usage standards for scholarly writing by applying proper rather than common usage and avoiding using words and phrases incorrectly. To ensure adherence to usage standards, authors should consult The Chicago Manual of Style's Glossary of Problematic Words and Phrases section, which includes information about commonly misused words and phrases (e.g., "as such," "based on," "healthy," "if" [versus "whether"], "impact"). Some examples are included in the APA manual, but the information presented in The Chicago Manual of Style is more comprehensive.
The APA manual cautions authors regarding the use of jargon. A particularly prevalent example of jargon in manuscripts submitted to JOE is the term "post-then-pre." Authors submitting manuscripts to JOE should refrain from including short-cut language or jargon that may be used widely within Extension but is not used elsewhere. On the other hand, for the name "Cooperative Extension System," authors may use the shortened forms "Cooperative Extension" and "Extension" as desired and without introducing either shortened form at first use.
Authors should use the capitalized term "Extension" in any context related specifically to any aspect of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System, use the lowercase term "extension" when discussing outreach education in a general way, and use "eXtension" as applicable. Authors should not capitalize Extension program area names (e.g., 4-H/youth development, agriculture and natural resources, community and economic development, family and consumer sciences). Authors should capitalize specific Extension program names (e.g., Minnesota's 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge program).
Authors should use month-day-year order for dates, in general. If inclusion of many full dates is required, day-month-year style (with the names of the months abbreviated) may be used.
In identifying units of measurement, authors do not need to use or include metric system units and instead should use the unit of measurement with which the target audience for a manuscript will be most familiar. Regarding abbreviations for units of measurement, authors can find examples in the APA manual and The Chicago Manual of Style. An additional option is How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement (http://www.ibiblio.org/units/), a resource from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Center for Mathematics and Science Education. (No clear rule for abbreviating the term "acre" is identified in such sources; authors submitting manuscripts to JOE should use the abbreviation "ac" for the term "acre.")
A manuscript's title should be attention getting, succinct, and reflective of the content. It should compel JOE readers to read the article.
A manuscript's abstract should be in paragraph form and describe in 100 words or less (a) the article topic (in one sentence, if possible); (b) the purpose, thesis, or organizing concept of the article and the scope of the article; (c) the sources of data used, if appropriate; and (d) conclusions, recommendations, and implications. Like the title, the abstract should motivate readers to read the article.
The body of a manuscript should be organized in sections designated by headings and, as needed, subheadings. The heading "Introduction" is permitted in manuscripts submitted to JOE.
For headings applied to items in a vertical list, each heading should be run in and bold, and title-case capitalization style should be used.
All JOE submissions must contain scholarly citations. Additionally, because JOE is the official refereed journal for Extension professionals and thus articles published in JOE naturally provide foundational matter for manuscripts submitted to JOE, all JOE submissions must include citation of one or more JOE articles.
Citations and References section entries must be ordinary text, free from any underlying codes an author may have used in creating them. Authors who use citation management tools in developing their manuscripts must undo the associated formatting so that a manuscript can be easily converted to a web-ready document. Authors may be able to perform this task by using the following steps: (1) Select all content (press CTRL + a). (2) Undo all field codes (press CTRL + SHIFT + F9). (3) Reinstate any formatting unintentionally eliminated (e.g., hyperlink text style).
Per APA Style, citations for common software and apps, including certain survey software and statistical programs, are not required. (See the APA manual for details.) Beyond examples listed in the APA manual, authors submitting manuscripts to JOE need not include citations for familiar videoconferencing platforms (e.g., Zoom, WebEx), presentation software (e.g., Prezi), or data analysis software (e.g., NVivo).
The body of a manuscript may contain hyperlinks. The anchor text for a link must be the applicable URL, not descriptive text (e.g., "Information is available in the Journal of Extension at http://www.joe.org" not "Information is available in the Journal of Extension"). Authors should check links immediately before submission as JOE personnel are not responsible for checking them.
Footnotes and end notes are not permitted in manuscripts submitted to JOE.
Tables and Figures
Tables and figures should be part of a manuscript file rather than single files sent separately.
A table or a figure should be located at an appropriate point in the text (i.e., as soon as is logical after it is first called out) and should be positioned between paragraphs, not within a paragraph. A table may cross page breaks and may be set in landscape format, as applicable. No extra lines of space should precede or follow a table or a figure.
Data or other content included in a table or a figure must be correct and must be consistent with material presented elsewhere in the manuscript. Textual content in a table or a figure should align with rules of grammar, mechanics, and JOE style.
The number and title for a table or a figure should be placed above and outside the table or figure.
The number of tables should be kept to a necessary minimum, and tables should not be excessively large, particularly horizontally.
Tables should be constructed through the use of the Tables function in Microsoft Word and should not be embedded images or objects. They should not contain unnecessary spaces, hard returns, columns, or rows. Indentation, if included, should be achieved by setting appropriate margins, not by adding spaces.
Figures, which include graphs, charts, maps, drawings, and photographs, should have a material impact on the content of an article and should not be used for decorative purposes.
Figures that involve color should be legible and understandable if printed in grayscale.
It is the responsibility of authors to provide web-ready, computer-generated figures suitable for publication. JOE will not convert figures to other formats or perform other adjustments, such as cropping or resizing. Graphs, charts, maps, and drawings should be provided in PNG format. Photographs should be in JPEG format. No background graphics are acceptable.
Because most digital screens display images at 72 pixels per inch (ppi), 72 ppi is the recommended resolution for all figures in manuscripts submitted to JOE.
For any image included in a submission file, the width should be at least 600 pixels, and the height should be at least 600 pixels. (Before publication, the image will be resized to conform to JOE style, but sizing an image this way at submission helps ensure greater image quality at publication.)
Before submitting manuscripts to JOE, all authors must apply the JOE Manuscript Submission Checklist to their work. This checklist is a supplement to the JOE Submission Guidelines and is intended to help prospective authors prepare their manuscripts for submission. Application of the checklist increases the likelihood that a manuscript will make it through the initial editorial review and progress to the next stage of the publication process. Authors are to use the checklist in conjunction with, not in place of, the JOE Submission Guidelines.
JOE accepts submissions in electronic format only from a designated corresponding author who is responsible for all communication with the editor. A corresponding author who is submitting more than one manuscript at a time should submit each manuscript in a separate email.
The corresponding author should send the manuscript to the editor at email@example.com as an email attachment. The subject line of the submission email should contain the word "submission," the article category, and the corresponding author's last name. In the body of the email, the corresponding author should confirm that the JOE Manuscript Submission Checklist has been applied and that the manuscript meets the conditions identified in the checklist. If the name of any author on the manuscript involves three or more parts (e.g., Jane Taylor Doe), the corresponding author should include a note indicating how the name is to be structured when listed in alphabetical order according to last name (e.g., Doe, Jane Taylor or Taylor Doe, Jane).
The editor typically responds within a few business days of receiving a submission email. Authors who have questions can contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © by Extension Journal, Inc. ISSN 1077-5315. Author aids on the Journal of Extension website are the property of the journal. Single copies of this document, or parts thereof, may be reproduced in electronic or print form for use in educational or training activities. Inclusion of this document, or parts thereof, in other publications or electronic sources or another type of systematic large-scale distribution may be done only with prior written permission from the editor, who may be contacted at email@example.com. Any person or entity reproducing content from the Journal of Extension website, in any form or for any purpose, must include the copyright notice and a full citation. For author aids, the suggested citation format is this: Extension Journal, Inc. (n.d.). Title of document. Retrieved from the Journal of Extension website at https://URL. (Title of document and URL are specific to the particular document.)