THE JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC EDUCATION
2003 ANNUAL REPORT
This year was a banner 34th year for the Journal of Economic Education, if for no reason other than it is becoming one of the journals that make up JSTOR (Journal Storage). Information on this and other innovations and activities in 2003 appear in this annual report.
In addition to featuring new developments associated with the JEE, this report discusses the ways in which the research, instruction, content, features and information, and online sections of the JEE contribute to the advancement of the scholarship of teaching and learning in economics. It presents information on editorial matters and circulation. Tables and figures are provided to enable comparisons of current activities with those of the past.
The allocation of material to the five sections of the JEE in each of the 2003 quarterly issues 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 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.
JSTOR AND OTHER SIGNS OF RECOGNITION AND VISIBILITY
As an international refereed academic journal, the Journal of Economic Education plays a major role in giving academic credibility to the economic education movement. This year, the JEE was recognized for its contribution to education by inclusion in JSTOR (Journal Storage). JSTOR was established as an independent not-for-profit organization for archiving academic journals in August 1995. Working with societies and academic advisors, JSTOR identifies and invites key scholarly journals within a given discipline to participate in the archive. The JEE will be joining an elite group of some 412 journals from 30 different disciplines in an archive that is used by researchers at over 1,700 institutions in 76 countries.
To appreciate the honor of being in JSTOR, one need only think of the thousands of academic journals that are currently available in hard and electronic copy. Up to a point, more information is better, but the academic community's traditional methods for screening information is being challenged by the growth in the Internet and the ease with which journals can be created and published through modern computer software. Academic societies are struggling to guide their communities to the quality resources that they need. JSTOR takes great care in its selective approach to building collections of the highest quality journal literature. Journals are invited to participate because of their historical importance to scholarship and the potential benefits associated with searching them alongside other core journals. Critical factors in a JSTOR decision for inclusion are 1) the number of institutional subscribers, 2) citation analysis, 3) recommendations from experts in the field, and 4) the journal's longevity. Clearly, there is tremendous value to readers and authors of articles in a journal that is part of the JSTOR collection. We are pleased that the JEE has met the JSTOR quality standards.
In 2004, back issues of the JEE from its inception (Volume 1, Fall 1969) will become available through the JSTOR Web site: www.jstor.org. There will be a "moving window" representing the time period between the last issue available in JSTOR and the most recently published issue of a journal. For the JEE this moving window is five years. Each page of the JEE in the JSTOR archive is a "faithful representation" of the original print journal obtained from the full collection of back issues maintained by the editorial office at Indiana University.
In addition to being a JSTOR journal, Heldref Publications makes the JEE available through several different services in the following ways:
1. EBSCO, in the form of CD-ROM, and online.
2. Bell and Howell, International, 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.
Authors of JEE articles also get world-wide exposure on the JEE WWW site http://www.indiana.edu/~econed/. At the JEE Web site, users find the tables of contents, abstracts, and author information on past and future issues. This year, Chris Calabrese and Julie Marker added two new search engines: a basic search engine for author names and key works in the abstracts, and an advanced search engine for any word in the PDF files of actual articles that have been maintained on the JEE Web site since 1998.
The JEE was the first of the major journals in economics and education to make actual articles available without charge on the Internet. The count of the top 24 countries whose scholars hit or accessed the JEE site in 2003 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 92,495 per month in April 2003 -- a substantial rise, even taking the growth of the Internet into account. Possibly in 2004 we will top the 100,000 mark for monthly hits.
Finally, in the recognition areas, it is worth pointing out that 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. Those publishing in the research, instruction, content, features, and online sections of the JEE can be assured that their work is on a highly selective world-wide stage.
Peter Kennedy, professor of economics at Simon Fraser University, is associate editor of the research section. In addition to our gratitude to Peter, the JEE expresses its thanks to Simon Fraser University for the resources it has provided to the JEE over the years that Peter Kennedy has been an associate editor.
Original theoretical and empirical studies that deal with the analysis and evaluation of teaching and learning methods and materials are published in the research section. The care and effort that Peter devotes to soliciting, reviewing and selecting articles for his section has resulted in a marked increase in the quality of research done in economic education. In addition, Peter has worked to increase the flow of manuscripts to the research section. For example, in 2002 a call for papers was publicized through the American Economic Association Committee on Economic Education. Of the 27 abstracts submitted on assessment, 4 were selected for presentation at the AEA meetings in Washington, DC, in January 2003. Following extensive reviews, all 4 are scheduled for publication in 2004.
As shown in Table 3, in 2003, 18 manuscripts were submitted to the research section and 1 has been recommended for publication; 7 are still under consideration for publication. This year, Peter also recommended 10 articles that were submitted in previous years for publication. Peter's three-year acceptance rate is 23.26 percent, which is an increase from last year's 16.00 percent.
The proportion of pages going to the research section in 2003 was 6.9 percent (Table 1), represented by only one article. As already stated, there are 11 articles now scheduled for publication in the research section so we anticipate a return to the 21.3 percent to 26.2 percent of pages going to the research section as in 2001 and 2002.
Michael Watts, professor of economics at Purdue University, 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 when past Krannert School Dean Dennis Weidenaar was a JEE associate editor. Special recognition is owed to April Fidler, who provides Mike and the JEE with the necessary data management services at Purdue.
Articles describing innovations in pedagogy, hardware, materials, and methods for teaching traditional subject matter are published in the instruction section. In 2003, Mike recommended a total of 14 articles for publication, (Table 3). Of the 36 articles submitted this year, 2 have been already accepted for publication and 8 have been rejected; there are still 26 under consideration. The three-year acceptance rate for the instruction section is 24 out of 64 decisions or 27.27 percent, which seems most appropriate for this section.
Besides unsolicited manuscripts that make it through the JEE referee process, special topical papers are published periodically in the instruction section. This year, for example, a session devoted to testing of economic concepts was held at the Midwest Economic Association meeting, with the proceedings expected to be published in the JEE in 2004 following extensive review of the articles. In part because of such special features, the proportion of pages going to the instruction section fluctuates. In 2003, 38.8 percent of the JEE pages went to the instruction section (Table 1), which is an increase from 22.5 percent in 2002 and 24.2 percent in 2001.
Hirschel Kasper, professor of economics at Oberlin College, is associate editor of the content section. We express our appreciation to Hirschel and 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 2003, of the 51 new manuscripts submitted for consideration in the content section, 1 was accepted for publication, 21 were rejected, and 29 are still in review (Table 3). Over the past three years, the acceptance rate in the content section has been 19.78 percent. As with the other sections, the number of pages published in the content section varies from year to year: 26.3 percent in 2003, 29.9 percent in 2002, and 10.2 percent in 2001.
Features and Information
William Walstad, professor of economics at the University of Nebraska, is the associate editor of the features and information section. 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 is cooperating with the University of South Australia in sponsoring an international conference on the scholarship of teaching and learning of economics to be held in Adelaide on July 13 and 14, 2004. The articles selected for the proceedings from this conference will appear in a future issue of the JEE. Worth noting about this UniSA/JEE conference and related proceedings is that three of the JEE associate editors (Walstad, Watts, and Sosin) are involved with JEE Editor Bill Becker as invited presenters. Since 1995, the UniSA has been providing assistance to the JEE during Becker's yearly visits as an adjunct professor of international business.
In 2003, Bill Walstad recommended 2 manuscripts for publication. Of the 23 new unsolicited manuscripts submitted for review in the features and information section, 11 were rejected, 1 was accepted, and 11 are still in review (Table 3). The three-year acceptance rate for this section is 20.0 percent. The features and information section made up 19.7 percent of the JEE page count in 2003, which compares to its 13.1 percent in 2002 and 35.5 percent in 2001.
Kim Sosin, professor of economics at the 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-page format. Materials accepted for their exemplary uses of technology for economic instruction are housed and 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 award button signaling that they are "JEE selections."
In 2003, Kim has recommended the acceptance of 2 pieces of which 1 was submitted this year. Of the 21 pieces submitted this year, 12 were rejected and 8 are still under consideration. The long-term acceptance rate in the online section is 32.26 percent. Because each online note requires only one page, less than 1.3 percent of the JEE pages in 2003 were allocated to the published online notes, which is identical to the allocation in 2002.
The JEE editorial process is designed to identify the best articles in economic education. It is also designed to assist potential authors in the development of their manuscripts. 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 380 referees used between October 11, 2002 and October 10, 2003, are listed in Table 4. The economic education community must express its deep appreciation for their assistance. 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, the JEE now uses a floating page count of 96 pages, 108 pages, or an occasional 116 pages.
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 the Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences, for which the JEE is most thankful. Janet Tippin is the executive secretary of the JEE editorial office. This year Janet arranged with Dara Eckart to update the current Access database for tracking manuscripts as reported in Table 3. We are pleased and fortunate to have this assistance. Julie Marker continues to serve as the JEE Web manager, with the consultation and programming assistance from Chris Calabrese, to whom we express our gratitude.
Each of the authors of the 34 articles published in 2003 have benefited from the eye for detail and editorial forte of Assistant Editor Suzanne Becker. Sue has a master's degree from the University of Minnesota, and she has been editing manuscripts in economics and econometrics for over 30 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. Sue Becker, Rosalind Springsteen, and the Heldref staff ensure that the final JEE product is of the highest quality and in readers' hands in the season designated on the issue's cover. To all we express our thanks.
At the back of this report, on four unnumbered pages, are tables with 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 $57.00 per year, and the rate for institutions is $111.00, which are bargain prices compared to many other academic journals. As of the end of October, paid subscriptions were 968, with 1,012 copies of the Fall 2003 issue circulated. Over the past several years, other periodicals devoted to economic education and the economics of education have entered the market. In addition, expanded 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 2003 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 New Orleans. This year, 69 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 Washington DC (January 4, 2003), where JEE associate editor and Chair of the AEA Committee on Economic Education, Bill Walstad, featured the JEE in his report.
Heldref has been engaged in extensive personnel changes and reorganization in the past year. We expect that Heldref will be able to continue its editorial, production and financial commitment to both the editorial office at Indiana University and the education community it serves.
In closing, it is worth again calling attention to the importance of the JEE to the scholarship of teaching and learning economics. In its zero-based budgeting review for the new millennium, the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE) board recognized "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 and 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 their pledge to ensure the future of the JEE.
William E. Becker
December 5, 2003
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