THE JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC EDUCATION

2001 ANNUAL REPORT


Research
Instruction
Content
Features and Information
Online
Recognition
Editorial Matters
Circulation
Closing Comments
Figure 1: Total Access to JEE Web Site from Outside the United States (January 1, 2001 - November 1, 2001)
Figure 2: Monthly Accesses to JEE Web Site
Table 1: Distribution of Articles by Section
Table 2: Authors and Affiliations
Table 3: Disposition of Articles
Table 4: Referees and Affiliations
Table 5: Processing Time
Circulation History Table
Current Statistics Table
Geographical Breakdown Table
Library Department Table

The activities of the Journal of Economic Education in 2001 are outlined in this report. Tables and figures are provided to enable comparisons of current activities with those of the past 32 years.

The allocation of material to the five sections of the JEE (research, instruction, content, features and online sections) in each of the quarterly issues this year are summarized in Table 1. The mix of authors and their institutional affiliations are presented in Table 2. The number of manuscripts processed and the rates of manuscript acceptance are listed in Table 3. The referees used over the past year are listed in Table 4. The time required to process published manuscripts is given in Table 5. Information on the JEE World Wide Web site is provided in Figures 1 and 2. Finally, four pages with information on pricing, circulation, and subscriptions are provided by the JEE publisher, Heldref Publications, a division of the nonprofit Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation.

The review, selection, and editing of studies for publication in the JEE is the prime function of the JEE executive editor and five associate editors of the research, instruction, content, features and information, and online sections of the JEE. This report will first cover specific activities in these five sections and then consider the more general operation of the JEE, which includes recognition, editorial matters, and issues related to circulation.

Research

Peter Kennedy, professor of economics at Simon Fraser University, is associate editor of the research section. The JEE is indebted to Peter for his care and patience in reviewing manuscripts and assisting authors and to Simon Fraser University for the resources it has provided to the JEE over the years that Peter Kennedy has been an associate editor.

Peter's efforts have resulted in a marked increase in the quality of articles appearing in the research section, where original theoretical and empirical studies that deal with the analysis and evaluation of teaching and learning methods and materials are published. As shown in Table 3, in 2001, 21 manuscripts were submitted to the research section and 1 has been recommended for publication; 9 are still under consideration for publication. This year, Peter recommended 8 articles, which were submitted in previous years, for publication. Peter's three-year acceptance rate is 14.51 percent, which is an increase from last year's low of 7.02 percent.

The proportion of pages going to the research section was 21.3 percent in 2001 (Table 1), an increase from 19 percent in 2000, compared to the 11.6 percent in 1999, 9.8 percent in 1998, and 31.5 percent in 1997. The high level in 1997 was associated with a topical spring issue devoted to pre-college economic education.

Instruction

Professor of economics Michael Watts is associate editor of the instruction section. In addition to our gratitude to Mike, thanks are also given to the Krannert School of Management for the support Purdue University has provided the JEE since the early 1980s. Special recognition is due April Jasinski, who is responsible for the JEE data management at Purdue.

Articles describing innovations in pedagogy, hardware, materials, and methods for teaching traditional subject matter are published in the instruction section. In 2001, Mike recommended a total of 11 articles for publication (Table 3). Only 3 of the 46 articles submitted this year have been accepted for publication and 25 have been rejected; there are still 18 under consideration. The three-year acceptance rate for the instruction section is 15 out of 107 decisions or 16.30 percent. This acceptance rate includes three articles that were published following presentations at a conference on the use of Monte Carlo in the teaching of econometrics to undergraduates held at Middlebury College, which was sponsored by JEE board member David Colander.

The number of pages in the instruction section has fluctuated over the past several years - 24.2 percent in 2001 (Table 1), 34.6 percent in 2000, 62 percent in 1999, 49 percent in 1998, and 18.4 percent in 1997. Topical issues, such as the Middlebury conference proceedings, account for some of this variation and also add to the pages to make the instruction section the largest section in the JEE.

Content

Hirschel Kasper, professor of economics at Oberlin College, is associate editor of the content section. We express our appreciation to Oberlin for the support it has provided the JEE over the many years that Hirsch has been an associate editor, and we give special thanks to Terri Pleska for her administration of the JEE data management at Oberlin.

Articles published in the content section address contemporary issues, new ideas, and research findings in economics that may influence or can be incorporated into the teaching of economics. In 2001, of the 43 new manuscripts submitted for consideration in the content section, 4 were accepted for publication, 13 were rejected, and 26 are still in review (Table 3). Over the past three years, the acceptance rate in the content section has been 19.04 percent, which seems close to ideal for authors producing high-quality pieces to feel relatively assured of getting published. As with the other sections, the number of pages published in the content section varies from year to year - 10.2 percent in 2001, 21.4 percent in 2000, 12.5 percent in 1999, 7.9 percent in 1998, and 12.6 percent of the pages published in 1997.

Features and Information

The associate editor of the features and information section is William Walstad, professor of economics at the University of Nebraska. Working with Bill at Nebraska is Sharon Nemeth, who takes care of the data management for the features and information section. Bill and his team at the University of Nebraska are thanked for their outstanding work in economic education. The features and information section contains articles that provide survey results, international and institutional comparisons, and descriptive studies on the economics curriculum, instructional materials, and educational practices. For example, the JEE cooperated with the University of Melbourne, the University of South Australia, and the University of Adelaide in sponsoring an international conference on the scholarship of teaching and learning of economics held in Melbourne on July 13 and 14, 2000. The eight articles selected for the proceedings from this conference appeared in the summer 2001 issue. (A ninth article appeared in the research section of the fall 2001 issue.)

In 2001, Bill Walstad recommended a total of 4 manuscripts for publication. Of the 26 new unsolicited manuscripts submitted for review in the features and information section, 15 were rejected, 2 were accepted, and 9 are still in review (Table 3). The three-year acceptance rate for this section is 32.39 percent, but it is only 11.76 percent for 2001. Many articles in the features and information section are invited for their potential contribution to a topical issue but are nevertheless submitted to the full refereeing process.

The features and information section made up 35.5 percent of the JEE page count in 2001, which compares to 13.7 percent in 2000, 5.7 percent in 1999, 18.8 percent in 1998, and 24.0 percent in 1997.

Online

Kim Sosin, professor of economics at University of Nebraska at Omaha, is associate editor of the online section. The JEE is indebted to Kim and the University of Nebraska at Omaha for the support provided the JEE.

Materials submitted to the JEE for review in the online section are expected to be interactive or otherwise not conducive to the traditional printed format. Materials accepted for their exemplary uses of technology for economic instruction are available for Web viewing as finished documents on the submitter's Web site for a fixed period of time. Short descriptions and Web URLs of accepted Web materials appear in the regular issues of the JEE. Selected sites receive an electronic button signaling that they are "JEE selections."

In 2001, Kim has recommended the acceptance of 5 pieces of which 3 were submitted this year. Of the 9 pieces submitted this year, 4 were rejected and 2 are still under consideration. The long-term acceptance rate in the Online section is 42.85 percent, which seems appropriate for a newly formed section that has only been in existence for two years. Because each online note requires only one page, less than one percent of the JEE pages in 2001 were allocated to the published online notes.

Recognition

As an international refereed academic journal, the JEE plays a major role in giving academic credibility to the economic education movement. The JEE is the only publication dedicated to the teaching and learning of economics that is indexed, abstracted, scanned, or otherwise listed in the Journal of Economic Literature, Social Science Citation Index, Current Contents, Education Index, Business Education Index, Contents Pages in Education, International Bibliography of Book Reviews, International Bibliography of Periodical Literature, PAIS Bulletin, Social Studies/Social Science Education (ERIC), and Research Alert.

Articles published in the JEE do receive recognition and do help define what we know about the teaching and learning of economics. For example, material from Alan Krueger's article "Teaching the Minimum Wage in Econ 101," (Summer 2001, pp. 243-258) has already been cited in Campbell McConnell and Stanley Brue's best-selling textbook, Economics: Principles, Problems and Policies (McGraw-Hill, 2002). In JEE Associate Editor William Walstad's Journal of Economic Perspectives (Summer 2001) article on the teaching of economics in high schools, there are 35 references, of which 22 are academic journals, with the JEE receiving the most citations, with 16. JEE Editor William Becker's Journal of Economic Perspectives (Winter 2000) article on teaching economics at the college level has 33 references, of which 21 are to academic journals. The Journal of Economic Education received the most citations, with 8, followed by the American Economic Review, with 4. As mentioned in previous JEE annual reports, David Laband and Michael Piette found the JEE to be ranked 27th out of 130 economics journals in terms of impact-adjusted citations. The JEE does publish the most influential articles on the creation and transfer of knowledge in economics.

Although primarily aimed at academic economists and economic educators, education specialists in general also look to the JEE for leadership. According to a Sage Publication review, the authoritative Institute for Scientific Information Journal Citation Report ranks the JEE 37th out of the 101 journals that are considered central to education in general . The JEE World Wide Web site has also been identified for excellence by the Scout Report for Business and Economics. (The Internet Scout Project is an effort of the InterNIC, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.)

At the JEE WWW site http://www.indiana.edu/~econed/ users find the tables of contents, abstracts, and author information on past and future issues. Since 1998, all articles published in quarterly issues of the JEE have been available at the JEE Web site as PDF files. The JEE was the first of the major journals in economics and education to make this service available without charge on the Internet. William Goffe and Robert Parks honored the JEE in their January 7, 2000, presentation "What's on the Internet for Economists?" at the Allied Social Sciences Association meetings in Boston as unique and commendable for the services the JEE provides on the Internet.

The count of the top 20 countries whose scholars "hit" or accessed the JEE site in 2001 is contained in Figure 1. Although the exact meaning or intent of a hit is unknown, scholars from around the world are accessing the JEE URL each month. The number of users hitting or accessing the contents on the JEE Web site (Figure 2) has increased exponentially, from 553 per month in April 1995 to a high of 61,020 per month in October 2001 -- a substantial rise, even taking the growth of the Internet into account.

Editorial Matters

The editorial practices of the JEE are intended to do more than screen articles for publication; they are intended to assist potential authors as well. The associate editors and referees devote a significant amount of time to assisting authors with comments and suggestions for the revision of papers that they believe have promise for JEE readers. Less dedicated editors and reviewers would have rejected out-of-hand some papers that have been transmuted by their advice.

The names and institutional affiliations of the 272 referees used between October 11, 2000, and October 10, 2001, are listed in Table 4. The economic education community must express its deep appreciation for their assistance to the JEE. The JEE continues to express its gratitude with a complimentary copy of the Winter issue in which all referee names and affiliations appear.

The review and revision process leading to acceptance can take a year or more. The information in Table 5 suggests that even after authors have gone through this process, they must often wait another year to see their manuscripts in print because of the length of the queue of accepted articles. Although this time to publication is not unusual relative to other top-quality journals, it is a source of both pride and concern. To address this problem, we have increased the size of the JEE from 100 pages to 108 at least for every other issue.

The data management system and other office administrative routines are critical in manuscript tracking and the smooth operation of the JEE. From the time the JEE moved to Indiana University in 1989, these functions have been underwritten by Indiana University College of Arts and Science, for which the JEE is most thankful. Late this year Janet Tippin came on board as the executive secretary of the JEE editorial office. Janet is proving herself to be a most able office administrator and she is learning fast under the continued tutelage of Elaine Yarde and Julie Marker, as well as Harriet Kenny and Dana Ramage in IU's department of economics. To all those at Indiana University helping the JEE, we express our appreciation.

The authors of each of the 36 articles, notes, and reviews published in 2001 have benefited from Assistant Editor Suzanne Becker's eye for detail and editorial forte. Sue has a master's degree from the University of Minnesota, and she has been editing manuscripts in economics and econometrics for nearly 31 years, and for the JEE since 1989. At Heldref Publications, Rosalind Springsteen is the JEE Managing Editor. She holds a master's degree from the University of Michigan in economics and was previously employed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rosalind Springsteen, together with the Heldref staff, ensures that the final JEE product is of the highest quality and in readers' hands in the season designated on the issue's cover.

Circulation

The last four unnumbered pages at the back of this report contain data on pricing, subscriptions, and the circulation of the JEE provided by Heldref Publications. Heldref has been responsible for these three items since 1981. The regular individual subscription rate for the four yearly issues of the JEE is $49 per year and the rate for institutions is $97, which are bargain prices compared to many other academic journals. As of the end of October, paid subscriptions were 1,083, with 1,127 copies of the fall 2001 issue circulated. (The peak circulation in 1995 reflected a promotional effort aimed at participants in the AEA/NCEE teacher training program.) Over the past several years, other periodicals devoted to economic education and the economics of education have entered the market. In addition, expanding free use of the JEE World Wide Web services as well as those coming on line through other Web servers may be cutting into subscriptions. These market changes must be watched closely, and the editors and staff at Heldref Publications must be poised to respond.

Heldref's subscription data do not yet reflect the 2001 changes in Council and Center Directors' subscriptions. These subscriptions are obtained as part of the registration process at the annual meeting of the National Council on Economic Education, which was held this year in Chicago, Illinois. This year 76 individual subscriptions were obtained from the NCEE network directors who subscribed at the special rate of $35.00 per year. Besides the special rate for NCEE associates, Heldref also provided a special subscription rate for those attending the Department Chairs' Breakfast at the American Economic Association annual meeting in New Orleans (January 4, 2001), where JEE associate editor and Chair of the AEA Committee on Economic Education, Bill Walstad, featured the JEE in his report.

In addition to the JEE Web site, Heldref Publications now makes the JEE available in forms other than hard copy. Readers can find the JEE through several different services in the following ways:
1. EBSCO, in the form of CD_ROM, and online.
2. Proquest, in the form of microfiche and online.
3. Gale Group, Northern Lights, in the form of CD-ROM, and online.
4. Institute for Scientific Information, in the form of photocopy, facsimile, and electronic.
5. Bigchalk.com, in the online form of the Electronic Library and Homework Helper.

Tom Kelly, director of advertising and new media, and Margaret Buckley, multi-media manager, note that unlike the JEE Web site at Indiana University and Heldref's own Web page, users accessing the JEE in one of the above five forms must pay for the service. For example, EBSCO is available only to subscribers (1-800-653-2726).

Starting in 1995, Heldref was able to make a financial commitment to the editorial office at Indiana University. This commitment has kept the JEE in a positive cash-flow position. We have every reason to expect that its usefulness to economists and educators will continue to increase as we move more and more toward electronic publishing. We hope to keep the JEE in a positive cash-flow position as the staff at Heldref and the JEE editors explore alternative forms of publishing.

Closing Comments

In closing it is worth calling attention to the importance of the JEE to the scholarship of teaching and learning economics as reaffirmed last year in the NCEE's strategic review of all its programs. That zero-based budgeting assessment effort enabled the NCEE board "to recognize even more fully the significant part that the JEE plays in fostering and fortifying the academic backbone of our organization" (September 28, 2000). According to Robert Duvall, NCEE President & Chief Executive Officer, the NCEE is committed to ongoing support of the JEE, with a rolling three-year cycle of funding from 2001 forward. We are indebted to JEE Editorial Board member Bob Duvall and the NCEE for this vote of confidence and long-term commitment to the mission of the JEE. With such support, the JEE will prosper well into the future.

William E. Becker
December 3, 2001


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