June 2006 // Volume 44 // Number 3

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Bad Writing Obscures Good Work

"Words to the Wise" warns that "bad writing can obscure good work." "June JOE" mentions just six of the 28 fine articles in the June issue.

Words to the Wise

Some JOE reviewers are complaining about the quality and correctness of the writing in some JOE submissions. Let me quote a message I received from a reviewer: "I must add that a number of papers I have read have not been well edited before we get them--the author(s) are not getting others to edit for style, grammar, or punctuation sufficiently before they submit their work."

Another reviewer called me to ask if it was his responsibility to edit the text of the article he'd been sent to review. I told him that it certainly wasn't and that, further, if the problems with the text were that widespread, it might be grounds to reject the article or at least "knock it down a peg" in his rating.

"What JOE Reviewers Want in JOE Submissions" clearly says: "JOE reviewers can't review your research or project, itself. They can only review what you have written about it. So ask several colleagues to read your article for clarity and correctness before you submit it." "Tips for Writing for the Journal of Extension" tells you to "ask at least one colleague to review your article to ensure that it's as good as you can make it before it goes through the formal JOE review process." Both of these documents and other good advice are available on the Help for JOE Authors page <http://www.joe.org/jhelp.html>.

Whether you edit your article yourself or get a colleague to do it for you, you should see that your article is clear and correct before you submit it. The fate of your article in the review process just might hang on it. Bad writing can obscure good work. And who wants that to happen?

June JOE

There are several articles on information technology of various kinds in this issue. I'm struck by the coincidence that the authors of the first Feature, "Perceptions of Extension's Desirable Future and the Role of IT," are from the Center to Bridge the Digital Divide and that the title of the second Feature is "Bridging the Digital Divide: An Evaluation of a Train-the-Trainer, Community Computer Education Program for Low-Income Youth and Adults."

We have a Feature on "Cooperative Extension and the 1890 Land-Grant Institution: The Real Story" that says that "despite the many obstacles and limited resources, Extension at the 1890's managed to successfully fulfill its mission." And we have a Research in Brief, "The Effectiveness of a Public Nutrition Education and Wellness System Program," that demonstrates the truth of that statement.

There's a thought-provoking Commentary on "The Ups and Downs of the Workplace," a Tools of the Trade that offers some very interesting "Tips for Communicating Agricultural Safety to Children," and much more.

Laura Hoelscher, Editor