THE JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC EDUCATION

2005 ANNUAL REPORT


Worldwide Visibility
Research
Instruction
Content
Features and Information
Online
Editorial Matters
Circulation
Editorial Board and Recognition of Support
Figure 1: 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
Current Statistics Table
Circulation History Table
Subscriber Profile
Geographical Breakdown Table

 

This Journal of Economic Education annual report is devoted to its worldwide activities in 2005.  Figures and tables are provided to enable comparisons of current activities with those of the past 36 years.  Special attention is given to a discussion of subscriptions and circulation issues and new efforts to expand the availability of the JEE through the publisher’s Web site.  New editorial board members are announced in the closing section of this report.

The allocation of material to the five sections of the JEE in each of the 2005 quarterly issues is 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.  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.

Worldwide visibility

The worldwide visibility and prestige of the JEE has increased greatly since its founding in 1969, as seen for example in its inclusion in JSTOR (Journal Storage).   JSTOR, working with societies and academic advisors, identifies and invites key scholarly journals within a given discipline to participate in its archiving system.  In 2004, the JEE joined an elite group of some 400 journals from 30 different disciplines in an archive that is used by researchers at over 1,700 institutions in 76 countries. 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.  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 but only a few hundred have been selected for JSTOR archiving.

            Back issues of the JEE from its inception are now available through the JSTOR Web site: www.jstor.org.  There is 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.  We must all thank JEE Associate Editor William Walstad, JEE board member John Siegfried, and longtime JEE contributor Phillip Saunders for providing missing issues for the JSTOR collection.

In addition to the JSTOR recognition is the recognition received from the American Economic Association in its November 2005 survey of members regarding their reading interest and source of information.  Assessing the need for field journals, the AEA included the JEE among only 44 journals on which information was sought.

Although there is a clear emphasis on the teaching of economics at the post-secondary level within the United States, the editors have strived to advance the teaching and learning of economics throughout the world through both the publication of unsolicited and double-blind refereed manuscripts and special conference proceedings issues.  For example, following on the success of a conference at Melbourne University in 1999, with articles published in the summer 2000 JEE issue, a conference was held on July 13 – 14, 2004, at the University of South Australia, on “What We Teach and How We Teach It: Perspectives on Economics from Around the World,” with the proceedings of keynote presentations published in the summer 2005 issue:

 

“Perspectives on Teaching Economics from Around the Globe”

  David Round and Martin Shanahan

  University of South Australia

 

“Restoring Fun to Game Theory”

  Avinash Dixit

  Princeton University

 

“Extracting Valuable Data from Classroom Trading Pits”

  Theodore C. Bergstrom and Eugene Kwok

  University of California Santa Barbara

 

“Using the Nobel Laureates in Economics to Teach Quantitative Methods”

  William E. Becker and William H. Greene

  Indiana University, University of South Australia and New York University

 

“Teaching and Learning Development Economics: Retrospect and Prospect”

  Edward K. Y. Chen

  Lingnan University Hong Kong

 

“What Economists Teach and What Economists Do”

  David Colander

  Middlebury College

 

“I Teach Economics, Not Algebra and Calculus”

  John D. Hey

  Universities of York (UK) and Bari (Italy)

 

“Teaching with Technology: May You Live in Interesting Times”

  William L. Goffe and Kim Sosin

  SUNY Oswego and University of Nebraska Omaha

 

“Trends in Undergraduate Economics Degrees, 1991 to 2004”

  John J. Siegfried

  Vanderbilt University and Adelaide University

 

“Closing” an International Economic Education Conference in OZ

  William B. Walstad and Michael W. Watts

  University of Nebraska Lincoln and Purdue University

                                                         

Increasing the visibility of the summer 2005 issue was the article in the Wall Street Journal, titled “The Hot Major for Undergraduates Is Economics” (July 5, 2005, A11), which asked the question and provided the answer: “What’s your major? Around the world, college undergraduates’ time-honored question is increasingly drawing the same answer: economics.” WSJ staff reporter Jessica Vacellaro relied on JEE editorial board member John Siegfried’s Summer 2005 article for this answer.

            The JEE is receiving visibility worldwide in many ways.  For example, in 1995, the JEE was the first of the major journals in economics and education to offer a fully functioning Web site: www.indiana.edu/~econed.  Since its inception, JEE Web users have had access to the tables of contents, abstracts, and author information on past and future issues. In addition to abstracts for articles published since 1984, they find the abstracts of manuscripts recently accepted for publication.  The JEE Web site also contains the last 17 years of annual reports, information on subscribing, and submission details that include the style guide.  Web users can search this information via keyword entries in a basic or an advanced search engine or by scrolling.  Starting in 1998, the JEE experimented by making all articles published in quarterly issues of the JEE available at the JEE Web site as PDF files that can be read through the Adobe Acrobat Reader.  As discussed later in this report, this service will end in 2006 when entire volumes of the journal become available on Heldref’s Web site.

            Although the exact meaning or intent of a hit is unknown, scholars from around the world are making use of the JEE URL.  The number of users hitting or accessing the contents on the JEE Web site (Figure 1) has increased exponentially, hitting a high of nearly 100,000 per month in 2004 — a substantial rise, even taking the growth of the Internet into account.  Hits in 2005 are down, possibly as the result of articles no longer being available freely online (as discussed later in the section on circulation).

            Finally, in considering the JEE worldwide recognition, 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.

            In the past 36 years, the JEE has become both the source of information on the teaching of economics and a central journal within economics and education on a worldwide stage.  The scholarship of teaching and learning in economics is advanced internationally by the JEE through the five sections in which articles appear.

            In the research section, the JEE strives to publish original theoretical and empirical studies that provide analysis and evaluation of instructional methods and materials. Articles involving statistical inference are published in the research section if they deal with the educational process. In the instruction section, the JEE publishes articles, notes, and communications describing innovations in pedagogy, hardware, materials, and methods for teaching economics. The content section of the JEE contains articles that address contemporary issues, new ideas, and research findings in economics that may influence or can be incorporated into the teaching of economics. In the features and information section are articles that provide survey results, international and institutional comparisons, and descriptive studies on the economics curriculum, instructional materials, and educational practices. And finally, the online section is designed to identify exemplary uses of technology for economic instruction. Materials submitted to the JEE for review in this section are expected to be interactive and housed at a publicly available Web site controlled by the author.

Research

Peter Kennedy, Professor of Economics, Simon Fraser University, has been the associate editor of the research section since 1989.  We are indebted to Simon Fraser University for the support it has provided Peter in his activities on behalf of the JEE.  Because Peter spends a significant amount of time each year in New Zealand and traveling the world, all of his worldwide hosts are appreciated.

            As shown in Table 3, in 2005, 20 papers were submitted, which is in line with the average yearly submission count for the past three years. Of the papers submitted in 2005, none has been recommended for publication. Peter recommended 2 articles for publication that had been submitted in previous years. The three-year acceptance rate for the research section is 15.4 percent. 

            The proportion of pages going to the research section was 18.9 percent in 2005 (Table 1), which is less than the 30.7 percent in 2004, and higher than the 6.9 percent in 2003.

Instruction

Michael Watts, Professor of Economics at Purdue University, has been an associate editor of the instruction section since 1988.  Mike spends a significant amount of time each year outside the United States, primarily this year in the former Soviet Union and Egypt, but because of the excellent support he receives at Purdue, he is able to handle much of his JEE duties electronically.  We express our gratitude to Mike and thank the Krannert School of Management for the support Purdue University has provided the JEE. 

            In 2005, Mike recommended a total of 10 articles for publication (Table 3). Of the 54 articles submitted this year, 3 have been accepted for publication and 30 have been rejected, leaving 21 still under consideration. The three-year acceptance rate for the instruction section is 24.5 percent. This acceptance rate includes topical issues for which authors are invited to submit articles but which also must go through the referee process.  In the Winter 2006 issue, for example, there will be a set of articles addressing assessment and testing that are based on previous presentations at the Midwest Economic Association meetings.

In 2005, 52.7 percent of the JEE pages went to instruction (Table 1), whereas in 2004, it was 29.3 percent and in 2003, it was 38.8 percent. The count for 2005, involves the proceedings for the Australia conference, which appear in the summer issue.

Content

Hirschel Kasper, Professor of Economics at Oberlin College, is associate editor of the content section. Professor Kasper is well traveled in the academic world, having held visiting appointments at the universities of Wisconsin, Michigan, Cornell, Glasgow (Scotland), and Princeton. He has been an associate editor of the JEE since 1986. We express our thanks to Hirschel and to Oberlin College for the support it has provided the JEE over the years that Hirsch has been an associate editor.

            This year, 40 manuscripts were submitted to the content section, which is consistent with the past three-year average (Table 3). Two of the articles submitted this year have been accepted, 23 have been rejected, and 15 are still in review. Over the past three years, the acceptance rate in the content section has been 18 percent. As with the other sections, the number of pages published in the content section varies from year to year:  16.3 percent in 2005, 18.3 percent in 2004, and 26.3 percent in 2003.

Features and Information

William Walstad, Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has been the associate editor of the features and information section since 1994.  Bill is also Chair of the Committee on Economic Education of the American Economic Association, which is the best-known organization of economists around the world. Both Bill and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln must be thanked for their commitment to advancing economic education.

            This year, there were 19 unsolicited manuscripts submitted for review in the features and information section, of which none have been scheduled for publication, 11 are still in review, and 8 have been rejected. The long-term acceptance rate of this section is 23.7 percent. The features and information section made up 5.3 percent of the page count in 2005, which compares to 13.6 percent in 2004 and 19.7 percent in 2003.

Online

Kim Sosin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics, University of Nebraska at Omaha, has been associate editor of the online section since its founding in 2000.  We express our thanks to Kim and the University of Nebraska Omaha for the support it has provided the JEE.

            Materials reviewed in the online section are selected for their exemplary uses of technology in economic instruction. These materials are available for Web viewing as finished documents on the submitter’s Web site. Short descriptions and Web URLs of accepted Web materials appear in the JEE. Because each online note requires only one page, less than 1.2 percent of the JEE pages in 2005 were allocated to the published online notes, which is roughly the same as in 2004 and 2003.

            In 2005, Kim has recommended the acceptance of 6 pieces of which 5 were submitted this year. Of the 18 pieces submitted this year, 7 were rejected, and 6 are still under consideration. The long-term acceptance rate in the online section is 34.8 percent.

Editorial Matters

One of the big issues facing the JEE in 2005 was the growing backlog of manuscripts accepted and scheduled for publication well into 2007 at the JEE’s current size of 96 to 108 pages.  The solution approved by Heldref was to, at least temporarily, increase its size to 128 pages in 2006, which should be sufficient to reduce the backlog while maintaining the current overall acceptance rate of 9.6 percent.

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 289 referees used between October 11, 2004, and October 10, 2005, 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.  Increasing the size of the JEE to 128 pages should do much to reduce the time to publication. 

            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. This year, Stacey Wheeler became the executive secretary of the JEE, replacing Julia Martinez who was promoted within the IU system. Stacey has proven to be a most able office administrator and has already taken over all functions of the office. 

            The authors of each of the 37 articles, notes, and reviews published in 2005 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 education 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. 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 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 in 2006 is $62 per year, and the rate for institutions is $135, which are bargain prices compared to many other academic journals.

As of the end of October, the circulation of the JEE was 978, which compares favorably to 2004 when the circulation was 967.  Unfortunately, a clear downward trend in circulation continues to be evident even with the increase in circulation this year.   (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 hard copy subscriptions.

            In recognition of falling circulations, and following meetings with JEE board member and NCEE president Robert Duvall and JEE editor Bill Becker in 2004, Heldref marketing director Emilia Pawlowski set a marketing plan into motion.  In early 2005, a mailing went out to 9803 teachers of economics soliciting subscriptions in a letter written by long-time JEE editorial board member, Will Baumol, with endorsements by John Siegfried and Alan Krueger.  As a result, 73 new subscriptions were obtained.

The staff at Heldref has also polled acquisition librarians and subscription agents on their buying patterns and has decided to begin offering its publications online.   In addition to availability through JSTOR , Heldref Publications has been selling individual JEE articles through several different services:

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.

Beginning January 2006, however, Heldref Publications, will make entire volumes of the JEE available online at its Web site:  http://www.heldref.org/.   Heldref is currently evaluating pricing models and alternative delivery methods.  According to Emilia Pawlowski and Jean Kline, Heldref Fulfillment and Reprint Manager, the intention is to encourage online readership, but not discourage print.   In accordance with this plan, individual articles will no longer be available free on the JEE Web page http://www.indiana.edu/~econed.

            Heldref’s subscription data do not yet reflect the 2005 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 in San Antonio Texas, on October 6-9, 2005. This year 84 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 Philadelphia (January 8, 2004), where JEE Associate Editor and Chair of the AEA Committee on Economic Education, Bill Walstad, featured the JEE in his report. Bill will again feature the JEE in his report at the January 2006 AEA meeting in Boston.

Editorial Board and Recognition of Support

In 2005, two JEE editorial board members retired from the board: Elchanan Cohn (University of South Carolina) and Myra Strober (Stanford University).  Elchanan served on the JEE board since 1990 and Myra since 1998. The services of these two distinguished researchers in economic education are gratefully acknowleged.  New to the JEE editorial board are KimMarie McGoldrick (University of Richmond) and Michael P. Murray (Bates College). 

KimMaries’s research investigates methods of making economics meaningful to undergraduates (such as through service-learning and cooperative learning), gender differences in attitudes towards economics, and the senior capstone course in economics. She has been active in setting up and conducting workshops and seminars devoted to the teaching of economics. Her scholarship appears in the Journal of Economic Education and numerous other academic journals. 

Michael Murray’s most recent textbook is Econometrics: A Modern Introduction (Addison-Wesley). He has also authored two other books and many articles, including pedagogical pieces in the Journal of Economic Education and the American Statistician. He is a past member of the American Economic Association Committee on Economic Education.

Together with the American Economic Association Committee on Economic Education and the National Council on Economic Education, the editorial board of the JEE is responsible for the JEE’s long-term success.  The JEE is fortunate that Associate Editor William Walstad has been chair of the AEA Committee on Economic Education for the past six years and Associate Editor Michael Watts will succeed him in 2006.  Likewise, we are fortunate that NCEE President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Duvall continues to serve on the JEE editorial board.  The NCEE’s financial commitment to the JEE since it created the JEE in 1969 has proved vital.  It is both this personal and institutional commitment that will ensure the success of the JEE well into the future.

 

William E. Becker

December 1, 2005

 

 


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