August 2016 // Volume 54 // Number 4 // Editorial // 4ED1
Manuscript Preparation Aid and August JOE Highlights
Knowing that preparing a manuscript for journal submission can be daunting, I created a resource to help prospective JOE authors with their manuscript development efforts. I describe this resource in the "Manuscript Preparation Aid" section of this Editor’s Page. In "August JOE," I draw attention to articles about reaching nontraditional audiences, achieving quality programming, and ensuring that both Extension clients and Extension personnel make the most of emerging opportunities and technologies.
Manuscript Preparation Aid
Preparing a manuscript for submission to an academic journal can be overwhelming, in part because any prospective journal author is responsible for complying with stringent editorial standards. Such compliance involves adhering to lengthy submission guidelines and following conventions for effective and mechanically correct writing. To assist prospective JOE authors, I have developed the resource JOE Guidance for Avoiding Common Manuscript Problems.
Although I’ve been the JOE editor for only a short time, I’ve noted that many issues tend to arise repeatedly in submitted manuscripts. The aid I created supplements resources such as the JOE Submission Guidelines and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. It’s a "cheat sheet" focused on errors and other problematic issues that are prevalent in manuscripts submitted to JOE. It also provides information about JOE-specific style. Whether you’re a longtime JOE contributor or a newbie in the world of academic publishing, I urge you to review this resource before your next submission.
Stretching Extension’s reach beyond traditional audiences is a priority. The Commentary "One Size Does Not Fit All: Effective Community-Engaged Outreach Practices with Immigrant Communities" explains why individual-centered strategies used with typical Extension audiences may fall short, or even backfire, in the collectivist contexts of some immigrant communities. The authors of the Feature "The New FARM Program: A Model for Supporting Diverse Emerging Farmers and Early-Career Extension Professionals" describe a multiyear program that fostered types of relationships that may be crucial to the future of farming. An accompanying Tools of the Trade article (4TOT3) addresses the authors’ innovative approach to program evaluation. Another pair of articles—the Feature "Accommodating Extension Clients Who Face Language, Vision, or Hearing Challenges" and its Tools of the Trade companion (4TOT2)—explore the complexities of ensuring that all potential clients have access to Extension offerings. Finally, the Ideas at Work entry "Third Thursday Thing: A Success Story for Reaching Underserved Clients" is about an inventive idea that has been working with nontraditional audiences for nearly two decades (and winning significant awards along the way).
At the heart of Extension are its programs, of course, and several articles present approaches for achieving quality programming. The Feature "Using Youth Participatory Evaluation to Improve a Bullying Prevention Program" stresses benefits of involving young people in evaluations of youth programs. The Research in Brief article "Inside the Black Box—An Implementation Evaluation Case Study" focuses on a method the authors used to glean key information before expanding an existing successful but multifaceted program. In the Tools of the Trade entry "Program Standards and Expectations: Providing Clarity, Consistency, and Focus," the author points out that "quality is difficult to address unless common standards and expectations can be established." He describes an intensive effort to ensure programming consistency, and thereby quality, that quickly led to encouraging trends.
Other notable articles relate to hot topics of the day. Turn to any news source, and you’re likely to read or hear about international trade agreements. Extension professionals can use information from the Tools of the Trade article "Extension Resources for International Trade" to guide clientele hoping to enter global markets. "Getting Growers to Go Digital: The Power of a Positive User Experience" is a Feature about the impact of a persuasive initial experience on convincing stakeholders to accept new technologies. And, finally, in a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is move, the authors of the Ideas at Work article "Hybrid Teaching in Extension: Learning at the Crossroads" applied hybrid teaching to train Extension professionals on how to use hybrid teaching.