The Journal of Extension - www.joe.org

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; nurtures developing scholars and new 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.

Click a link to jump to a section:

  1. Authorship, Copyright, and Permissions
  2. Journal Sections/Article Categories
  3. Editorial Standards and Manuscript Development Resources
  4. Manuscript Format Considerations
  5. Manuscript Structure Considerations
  6. Tables and Figures
  7. Submission Procedure

  1. Authorship, Copyright, and Permissions
  2. JOE defines authors as those individuals who have been involved in the preparation of a manuscript, not all individuals who may have been involved in the project or program the manuscript discusses. The latter individuals should be acknowledged in an Acknowledgments section.

    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.

  3. Journal Sections/Article Categories
  4. JOE accepts submissions in five categories. Regardless of category, however, all articles must clearly 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 and research findings of broad interest to U.S. Extension professionals and of broad significance to U.S. Extension’s knowledge base, methodology, effective practice, and organization. They emphasize wide-ranging implications for U.S. Extension. Maximum length: 3,000 words (excluding title, author information, tables, figures, acknowledgments or other such sections, references, appendixes, abstract, and keywords)

    Research in Brief (reviewed by the editor and three reviewers): Research in Brief articles summarize research results 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, tables, figures, acknowledgments or other such sections, references, appendixes, abstract, and keywords)

    What’s the Difference?

    A Feature article focuses on the implications of the concepts and research presented for as wide an audience of U.S. Extension professionals as possible (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, tables, figures, acknowledgments or other such sections, references, appendixes, abstract, and keywords)

    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, tables, figures, acknowledgments or other such sections, references, appendixes, abstract, and keywords)

    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. Maximum length: 1,500 words (excluding title, author information, tables, figures, acknowledgments or other such sections, references, appendixes, abstract, and keywords)

    What’s the Difference?

    The differences between a Commentary article and the other types of JOE articles center on challenge, immediacy, and conviction.

  5. Editorial Standards and Manuscript Development Resources
  6. In general, JOE style is based on guidance provided in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (APA manual), and, in a supplemental sense, The Chicago Manual of Style (current edition). For certain matters, JOE style differs from that prescribed in these sources. JOE Style and Guidance for Avoiding Common Manuscript Problems addresses (a) JOE-specific style information, including instances in which JOE style contradicts other style sources; (b) information that can be found in the APA manual or The Chicago Manual of Style but relates to errors prospective JOE authors commonly make; and (c) obscure style information from other sources. Authors are encouraged to skim this document in its entirety to check their common writing practices against expectations for JOE submissions. In addition, JOE Guidance for Terminology, Usage, and Spellings provides information about terms and language frequently used in JOE articles.

    Authors submitting manuscripts to JOE must attend to guidance provided in the aforementioned resources to ensure that their manuscripts comply with JOE standards. Additionally, 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). Authors may wish to use this checklist during manuscript development to facilitate the writing task.

    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 Help for JOE Authors portal on the JOE website.

    Of course, all JOE submissions must contain scholarly citations. However, an additional requirement represents an editorial standard that is unique to JOE. Because JOE is the official refereed journal for Extension professionals, articles published in JOE naturally provide foundational matter for manuscripts submitted to JOE. Therefore, all JOE submissions must cite one or more JOE articles. (Prospective authors may use the JOE Search site to locate relevant articles.)

  7. Manuscript Format Considerations
  8. A submission to JOE should be a single Microsoft Word file. Additional format considerations are as follows:

    • All body text should be one font, font size, and font color.
    • Paragraphs should be left aligned, not indented, and single-spaced, with one line of space between paragraphs.
    • Tables and figures should be positioned at the appropriate places within the body of the manuscript.
    • The body of the manuscript may contain hyperlinks. The anchor text for a link must be the applicable URL, not descriptive text. Authors should check links immediately before submission as JOE personnel are not responsible for checking them.
    • HTML forms are not acceptable, and JOE does not support other web enhancements, including such formats as multimedia (sound/video), applets, and Java.
    • 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.

  9. Manuscript Structure Considerations
  10. Although there are requirements regarding how manuscripts submitted to JOE must be structured, authors have some flexibility in this realm. 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. Authors should use their judgment in determining how best to structure their manuscripts. Structural elements that must be included in manuscripts submitted to JOE, as well as some that may be included, are described here. In a manuscript, the elements should follow the order in which they are presented here.

    Title

    The title should be on the first line of the manuscript. It should be title case, bold, and centered. If possible, the title should be 12 words or less. It should not include abbreviations.

    The title should be attention getting, succinct, and reflective of the content. It should compel JOE readers to read the article.

    Author Information

    The author information follows the title. It should be title case, centered, and stacked (as it appears in JOE articles). In the case of multiple authors, entries should be separated by a single line of space.

    The entry for each author should include the author’s name, title, and institutional affiliation (institution name, city, and state) at the time the research/project was conducted as well as a current email address. (For information on addressing changes in author affiliation that occurred after the research/project was conducted, see the “Author Notes, Disclaimers, Acknowledgments, and Recommendations for Further Reading” section herein.) For authors whose names involve three or more parts (e.g., Jane Taylor Doe), the manuscript should include a note indicating how the name should be structured when listed in alphabetical order according to last name (e.g., Doe, Jane Taylor or Taylor Doe, Jane). The author information should not include academic degrees but may include authors’ academic departments. The author information should not include abbreviations.

    Body

    The body follows the author information. It should be organized in sections designated by headings and, as needed, subheadings.

    The body should include characteristics that align with the online platform of the journal and facilitate on-screen reading. For example, sentences and paragraphs should be no longer than necessary, and, where appropriate, serial elements should be set as vertical lists.

    Author Notes, Disclaimers, Acknowledgments, and Recommendations for Further Reading

    Sections for author notes, disclaimers, acknowledgments, and recommendations for further reading may follow the body. If more than one such section exists, the sections should occur in the order in which they are described herein. The headings for such sections are as follows: Author Note(s), Disclaimer(s), Acknowledgment(s), and Recommendation(s) for Further Reading (the plural forms should be used as needed). The heading for any such section should be bold and centered. If both a Disclaimer(s) section and an Acknowledgment(s) section are needed, they should be combined, and the heading should be Disclaimer(s) and Acknowledgment(s).

    • An Author Note(s) section, if included, should address changes in author affiliation that occurred after the research/project was conducted. Authors submitting manuscripts to JOE should note, however, that such information is not required.
    • A Disclaimer(s) section, if needed, should include any statement regarding responsibility for the content of the manuscript that may be required by a funding body or any other type of disclamatory remark.
    • An Acknowledgment(s) section, if included, should express any thanks or other type of acknowledgment an author wishes to extend to any party.
    • A Recommendation(s) for Further Reading section, if included, should be a brief listing of additional relevant resources readers can use to supplement their understanding of the topic of the manuscript.

    References

    The References section follows the body of the text or any existing Author Note(s), Disclaimer(s), Acknowledgment(s), and/or Recommendation(s) for Further Reading section. The heading should be bold and centered. Entries should be left aligned, not indented, and single-spaced, with one line of space between entries. JOE does not use footnotes or endnotes.

    In general, entries in the References section should adhere to style guidance provided in the APA manual. Style for entries for JOE articles, however, 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: https://joe.org/joe/1983march/83-2-a4.pdf

    JOE articles published from 1984 onward should be cited as follows:

    Fehlis, C. P. (2005). A call for visionary leadership. Journal of Extension, 43(1), Article 1COM1. Available at: https://joe.org/joe/2005february/comm1.php

    Appendix(es)

    Any appendixes that are necessary follow the References section. The heading for each appendix should include a label identifying it as an appendix and a title. If only one appendix exists, the label should be Appendix; if multiple appendixes exist, the labels should include capital letters (e.g., Appendix A, Appendix B). The label and the title should be on separate lines and should be title case, bold, and centered.

    Any appendix should be referred to in the body of the manuscript. If only one appendix exists, it should be referred to as “appendix” (e.g., “see appendix”). If multiple appendixes exist, each appendix should be referred to by its label (e.g., “see Appendix A”).

    Abstract

    The abstract follows the References section (or any appendixes). The heading “Abstract” should be bold and centered.

    The abstract should 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.

    In JOE, the abstract for an article appears on the Contents page under the article title. Therefore, it is particularly important that the abstract motivate readers to read the article.

    Keywords List

    The keywords list follows the abstract, with the bold run-in heading “Keywords:” introducing the list. The list should be presented horizontally and should include five or fewer keywords or key phrases that reflect the content of the manuscript. The keywords or key phrases should be separated by commas. Only proper nouns and proper adjectives and abbreviations should be capitalized.

    Keywords and key phrases help information seekers find relevant articles through search engines, serve to generate better search engine results, and enable readers to grasp the contents of an article. The JOE resource Choosing Effective Keywords and Key Phrases provides guidance for selecting optimal keywords and key phrases.

  11. Tables and Figures
  12. All tables and figures (graphics) should be part of the manuscript rather than single files sent separately.

    Tables

    The number of tables should be kept to a necessary minimum, and tables should not be excessively large, particularly horizontally.

    Tables should be located at appropriate points in the text, between paragraphs, not within them.

    All tables should have table numbers and titles (title case) and should be referred to by table number in the text. A table’s number and title should be placed above and outside the table.

    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 or hard returns. Indentation, if included, should be achieved by setting appropriate margins, not by adding spaces.

    Structure, formatting, and style for all tables should align with guidance provided in the APA manual.

    Figures

    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. In general, no more than eight figures should be used in an article.

    Figures should be located at appropriate points in the text, between paragraphs, not within them.

    All figures should have figure numbers and titles (title case) and should be referred to by figure number in the text. A figure’s number and title should be placed above and outside the figure.

    Figures that involve color should be legible and understandable even 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.

    Technical guidelines for figures are as follows:

    • 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.) As an example, the following steps can be used to resize an image in Adobe Photoshop: From the Image menu, select Image Size to access the Image Size screen (see screenshot below). To constrain proportions, toggle the chain icon between the width and height fields. When gray lines join the width and the height, the proportions of the image will be kept the same on resizing. Set the resolution to 72 ppi, and then alter the values of width and/or height to the desired image size. These instructions may not apply to all versions of Photoshop but should apply similarly among versions.
     

  13. Submission Procedure
  14. 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 other JOE manuscript development resources 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 without being returned for revision and, thereby, will progress more quickly through the publication process. Authors are to use the checklist in conjunction with, not in place of, the JOE Submission Guidelines and other JOE manuscript development resources.

    JOE accepts submissions in electronic format only from a designated corresponding author who is responsible for all communication with the editor. If a corresponding author is submitting more than one manuscript at a time, he or she should submit each manuscript in a separate email.

    The corresponding author should send the manuscript to the editor at joe-ed@joe.org 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.

    Authors who have questions can contact the editor at joe-ed@joe.org.