Editor’s Report/Publications Committee Report 

June 2015

 

 

NACTA Journal

 
Submissions and reviewers: Table 1 shows the number of NACTA Journal manuscripts submitted, reviewed, accepted and rejected through FastTrack for the past nine years.
 
Table 1. NACTA Journal Manuscripts Submitted and Accepted
 Year  Submitted  Accepted  Percent  Rejected  Percent
 2014  82   61  74%  21  26%
 2013*  109   76  70%  33  30%
 2012  82  54  66%  28  34%
 2011  83  49  59%  34  41%
 2010  73  54  74%  19  26%
 2009  58  42  72%  16  28%
 2008  48  30  63%  18  37%
 2007  44  29  66%  15  34%
 2006  41  30  73%  11  27%
 Average  69  47  69%  22  31%
 
*This year we produced a special September issue, “Globalization: Implications for Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Agricultural Education." We received 36 manuscripts. After the reviews, 24 were accepted for the special issue.
 
Since 2006, manuscript submissions doubled. With about 50 accepted manuscripts per year, each issue of the Journal contains 12 to 14 published manuscripts, a reprint from a past Journal, Teaching Tips/Notes, occasional book reviews.
 
Besides the manuscripts submitted through the NACTA FastTrack (http://nacta.expressacademic.org/), 17 Teaching Tips/Notes and four unsolicited book reviews were submitted in 2014. These items are not peer reviewed. For 2015, 29 manuscripts, three Teaching Tips/Notes and one book review have been submitted as of June 1. The overall statistics for the NACTA FastTrack site: 791 total submissions in nine years, including manuscripts, Teaching Tips/Notes and book reviews. On average, manuscript reviews are completed in 38 days.
 
The NACTA Journal Editorial Board in 2014 consisted of 60 reviewers from 38 different institutions. Reviewers who do not maintain their NACTA membership are dropped. For the 2015 – 2016 Editorial Board, reviewers who did not respond to any review requests or did not do any reviews were dropped. Reviewers with three-year terms ending the last day of June 2015 have all been notified and most asked to serve another three-year term. With these changes, the 2015 – 2016 Editorial Board has 50 members. Possibly five more will be recruited at the 2015 NACTA Conference.
 
Author guidelines for the NACTA Journal are reviewed and updated each year.
 
Conference abstracts: Table 2 provides a comparison of the numbers of abstracts submitted to the annual conference for the past eight years.
 
Table 2. Abstract Submissions to the Annual NACTA Conference
Year Number
2015 270
2014 250
2013 275
2012 176
2011 185
2010 225
2009 170
2008 140
Average 211
 
Abstracts were electronically submitted to the website http://nactaabs.expressacademic.org/. Each abstract was assigned two or three reviewers from the NACTA Editorial Board. Based on the reviews, abstracts were accepted as oral presentations, poster presentations, or rejected. The local planning committee at the University of Georgia scheduled the presentations. The abstracts are published as NACTA Journal, Volume 59, Supplement 1, in hard copy for conference participants at the University of Georgia in Athens. They are also published online on the NACTA Journal website (NACTAteachers.org). Miriah Pace and Karen Earwood developed, assembled and designed NACTA Journal Volume 59, Supplement 1.
 
All presenters are invited to share their presentations as PDFs or jpgs, which will be posted on the NACTAteachers.org website under the 2015 Conference. Some of these will also be shared on the NACTA Facebook page.
 
 
Website, Electronic Publishing and Social Media
 
Website and electronic publishing: All issues of the NACTA Journal are available on NACTAteachers.org. The most recent eight issues require a member login and password. Older issues of the NACTA Journal are available to anyone. An annual hard copy of the 2014 Journal was mailed to all members. It contained 48 manuscripts in 364 pages. Again, this year Sheridan Press in Hanover, PA printed and mailed the annual hard copy issue in January 2015 to all NACTA members with paid memberships for 2014. Electronic issues of the Journal are also provided to ProQuest and the Gale (Cengage) Group. NACTA receives annual royalty payments from these groups, depending on access.
 
The NACTAteachers.org website continues as a very valuable communication tool. The content is changed frequently. Based on "hits" Table 3 lists the most popular articles on the website:
 
Table 3. Most Popular on NACTAteachers.org
 
 Most Popular Articles  Hits
 Upcoming NACTA Conferences   27,356  
 Position Announcements   24,560 
 Teaching Awards   23,632  
 NACTA Judging Conference   21,507  
 NACTA Organization   17,700 
 About  13,913 
 2015 Calendar  13,315
 NACTA Membership  11,963
 NACTA Educator Award (formerly Teacher Fellow Award)    7,751
 Annual Reports    7,079
 
 
Just an interesting note: Many individuals are coming to the NACTA website to get information about the NACTA Judging Conference. This could help us reach more of the two-year colleges. Also, we need to be able to get the results and photos from the judging conference to our website.
 
Prior to our 2014 Conference and marking the 60th anniversary of NACTA, Miriah Pace completely redesigned and updated the NACTA History (http://www.nactateachers.org/nacta-history.html). We will continue to update this page. 
 
Through the NACTA awards website (http://nactaawards.expressacademic.org/) award nominations are submitted and reviewed. This simplifies the nomination and review process for everyone. This year we added and explained the new award names.
 
NACTA is on Facebook: On Facebook, 705 people "Like" us (up from 575 last year). All measures show an increase over last year. Content is added on a daily basis, except during the summer months. Our Facebook link is https://www.facebook.com/NACTA.teachers. 
 
NACTA E-newsletter: We continue to use the E-newsletter to reach a large audience of members and non-members of NACTA. This year we switched to MailChimp which gives us more options and more information. Hopefully more members are relying on the NACTA Facebook and the NACTAteachers.org website. Also, three of the websites -- the abstract submission site, the manuscript submission site and the NACTAteachers.org have the ability to easily and quickly email all of the members. More use is being made of this feature to provide members with information and reminders.
 
 
Other Items
 
Continuing this year: The Third Annual Poster Contest will be held this year at the University of Georgia. All posters will be entered into the contest and the contest will be conducted as suggest by members of the Executive Committee. New poster contest details can be found on the NACTA website: http://www.nactateachers.org/news/2278-update-2015-nacta-poster-contest-.html. 
 
QR codes for downloading: QR codes and URL links will be used at this year’s conference. One will allow anyone to download an electronic copy of the NACTA Journal, volume 59, supplement 1 which contains the abstracts for the 2015 NACTA Conference. Also, QR codes and URL links are available for the conference daily schedule and the presentation (oral/poster) schedules.
 
New this year: Based on a suggestion heard at last year’s conference, we placed the NACTA Teaching Tips/Notes on the NACTA website (http://www.nactateachers.org/teaching-tipsnotes.html). These are freely available. Tips/Notes from 2009 to the present are posted. 
 
Proposal from JSTOR: We were contacted by Hector Nazario. He is the Licensing Editor at JSTOR, a not-for-profit organization committed to preserving scholarly literature. Hector invited the NACTA Journal to join their new Sustainability collection. There is no cost to join JSTOR, and they digitize everything back to the first issues at their expense. In addition to increased exposure, archival preservation and supplemental income, they offer publishers non-exclusive license agreements, so they are free to undertake and/or maintain other digital initiatives. The email correspondence and supporting material can be downloaded as a PDF here: http://www.tagmydoc.com/JSTOR. 
 
Recommendations:
  • Review a format/modernization change for the NACTA Journal.
  • Find best way to measure impact of Journal.
  • Look into Kindle/iPad publishing of the NACTA Journal.
  • Make a better connection with the NACTA Judging Conference so results and photos can be shared on the NACTA website and Facebook.
  • Consider the possibility of only an electronic version of the abstract booklet (NACTA Journal, Supplement 1) at next year’s conference due to shipping costs and timing. (Those wanting a hard copy could order from Lulu.)
  • Seek ways to connect with faculty at two-year colleges.
  • Accept the proposal from JSTOR.
 
Submitted by:
Rick Parker
NACTA Journal Editor/Publications Committee Chair
 
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