Everything you wanted to know about JSE but were afraid to ask • Bill Notz • Editor • Journal of Statistics Education
History of the Journal • Founding Editor - Jackie Dietz, 1992, North Carolina State University • Managing Editor - Tim Arnold, North Carolina State University • First Issue - July 1993
History of the Journal, continued • The first issue contained articles by David Moore, George Cobb, and Joan Garfield. • Tim Arnold wrote an article describing the structure and philosophy of the journal.
History of the Journal, continued 1. The Journal of Statistics Education (JSE) was created in order to provide an outlet for high-quality articles on statistics education, and to provide a vehicle through which statistics educators can share their knowledge and be recognized for their work. The electronic computer network was chosen as the medium in which to publish the JSE because of the reduced costs of making the journal available and the exciting opportunities made possible in the medium. With the absence of printing costs, low dissemination costs and the contribution of technical, editorial, and referee services, the JSE can be distributed on the Internet computer network at no cost to the reader. 2. Once the decision was made to use the electronic medium for publishing, another set of goals became apparent: to keep the contents of the journal as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, yet still use the latest technology to exploit the electronic medium. In other words, the goal is to provide multiple views of the same information, with different viewing methods for different levels of technological capability. The reader may select the most appropriate method, depending on technological capability or personal preference.
History of the Journal, continued • Two special departments, Teaching Bits and Datasets and Stories were inaugurated.
History of the Journal, continued • Teaching Bits contained miscellaneous resources for teachers, such as abstracts of interesting articles and topics for discussion from newspapers and magazines. • The editors were Joan Garfield and Laurie Snell.
History of the Journal, continued • Datasets and stories was a forum for exchanging interesting data and discussing ways that such data can be used effectively in teaching statistics. • The editors were Robin Lock and Tim Arnold.
History of the Journal, continued • The first issue is still available in the archives and provides insight into the original intention of the editors. • The authors for the first issue and the first editors were an impressive group.
History of the Journal, continued • Jackie Dietz served as editor from 1992-1999. She stepped down intentionally to encourage the search for new editors with new ideas. • Tom Short was editor from 2000-2003 and Bob Stephenson from 2004-2006.
History of the Journal, continued Early concerns (besides the quality of articles) included • Keeping the journal as electronic and free. • Becoming an ASA journal or maintaining independence. • Supporting the operation of the journal.
The Journal Today So what about the journal in 2007? My editorial coordinator is Jean Scott and between us we try to process all new submissions and revisions. How does this work?
The Journal Today • New submissions come by email (we only accept electronic submissions) • We first check to see that we can open and read any new submission. • We require an author disclosure form for all submissions. If not included, we will request one. (This form states that the article is not under review elsewhere or has not been published elsewhere).
The Journal Today • We create a blinded version of the submission, assign a manuscript number to the manuscript, enter the submission into our data base, and send an acknowledgment to the authors. • I then do a first read to see if the article fits the mission of the journal. If not, I reject the manuscript and inform the author.
The Journal Today • Next, I find an Associate Editor (AE) to handle the manuscript. AEs are allowed to choose recent submissions that appeal to them. Those not chosen are assigned to any AEs with a relatively light load. • AEs then do a first read to decide if the manuscript should be sent to reviewers.
The Journal Today • An AE can decide to accept the manuscript without review, to reject it without review, or to request a revision without review. In all cases the AE provides me with justification for the recommendation.
The Journal Today • If an AE decides to send the manuscript to reviewers, the AE finds two or three reviewers, sends them a blinded version of the manuscript (we do blind reviewing), and requests that they complete the review in 4-6 weeks.
The Journal Today • Each reviewer makes a recommendation as whether to reject, reject but encourage a revision, tentatively accept subject to minor revision, or accept. Justification for the decision is sent to the AE along with comments for the author (concerns, editorial matters).
The Journal Today • Upon receiving all reviews, the AE tries to integrate all the reviews, make a recommendation to me (with justification), and prepare a report for the authors reflecting any concerns they may have and integrating the comments of the reviewers. • The AE sends all reports (including their own) to me.
The Journal Today • Upon receiving this information, I make a final decision and prepare a letter for the authors stating my decision and my reasons for doing so. • My letter and copies of all the reports intended for the authors are sent (by email) to the authors. All reports except mine are blinded.
The Journal Today • Ideally the whole review process should take 6-8 weeks. • In practice, a full review can take longer.
The Journal Today Reasons for longer review times include: • Delays at my end in processing submissions (Jean and I are on vacation, overwhelmed with other duties, etc). • Delays in getting submissions assigned to AEs (AEs don’t respond immediately).
The Journal Today • Delays in completing reviews because AEs and/or reviewers are busy. • Remember, AEs and reviewers are volunteers. They are often faculty with other duties. Reading a paper carefully and preparing a thoughtful review takes time. Poorly written papers are hard to review.
The Journal Today • Reviewers are well meaning but sometimes unrealistic in assessing when they will have time to complete a review.
The Journal Today • If a manuscript has been out an unusually long time (4-5 months) I will often ask the AE not to wait any longer and make a decision with what they already have. • I may handle the manuscript myself if the AE is unable to do so promptly.
The Journal Today • Authors should never hesitate to ask for updates. This will serve as a reminder to me and it provides me with another way to “encourage” reviewers to complete reviews. • My goal is to have some sort of review back to authors within no more than 6 months.
The Journal Today So what sort of articles are we looking for?
Mission Statement of the Journal The Journal of Statistics Education disseminates knowledge for the improvement of statistics education at all levels, including elementary, secondary, post-secondary, post-graduate, continuing, and workplace education. It is distributed electronically and, in accord with its broad focus, publishes articles that enhance the exchange of a diversity of interesting and useful information among educators, practitioners, and researchers around the world. The intended audience includes anyone who teaches statistics, as well as those interested in research on statistical and probabilistic reasoning. All submissions are rigorously refereed using a double-blind peer review process. Manuscripts submitted to the journal should be relevant to the mission of JSE. Possible topics for manuscripts include, but are not restricted to: curricular reform in statistics, the use of cooperative learning and projects, innovative methods of instruction, assessment, and research (including case studies) on students' understanding of probability and statistics, research on the teaching of statistics, attitudes and beliefs about statistics, creative and tested ideas (including experiments and demonstrations) for teaching probability and statistics topics, the use of computers and other media in teaching, statistical literacy, and distance education. Articles that provide a scholarly overview of the literature on a particular topic are also of interest. Reviews of software, books, and other teaching materials will also be considered, provided these reviews describe actual experiences using the materials.
Mission of the Journal, continued • I welcome for articles on all aspects of the teaching of statistics (pre-college to graduate level, short courses in industry, and post graduate training). • Articles should have a clear teaching component.
Mission of the Journal, continued • Serious assessment of proposed teaching methods is highly desirable. • Articles should be relevant to modern teaching of statistics.
Departments - Datasets and Stories • The current editor is Dex Whittinghill • The Datasets and Stories department not only identifies interesting datasets and describes their useful pedagogical features, but enables instructors to download the datasets for further analysis or dissemination to students
Departments - Teaching Bits • The current editors are Marjorie Bond and Deb Rumsey. • Teaching Bits summarizes interesting current events and research that can be used as examples in the statistics classroom, as well as pertinent items from the education literature
Departments - Teaching Bits, continued • The current editors plan to present one single collaborative section for each issue. The focus is on giving you not only the big picture of the latest happenings in Statistics Education, but to also broaden the scope to include other disciplines. The goal is to shed light on emerging innovations in teaching and learning and give you ideas on how they might be applied to your own courses and programs. The spotlight of this column will be on topics that readers are interested in learning more about. Ideas should be sent to either of the editors so that they can pursue them and present readers with the latest information and updates regarding those topics.
Departments - From Research Into Practice • This is a new department focusing on how one has taken research on teaching and learning and implemented this research in the classroom (including assessment). • The first articles will appear in the July 2007 issue.
The JSE Listserv • The journal has a listserv that sends out announcements about new issues or subjects that might be of interest to readers. • If you wish to be added to the listserv, let me know and I will add you.
Final Comments • I am particularly interested in articles on teaching more advanced topics, teaching in nontraditional settings (short courses, industry), and difficult contexts (large lectures) because these are not often addressed. • Articles based on funded research, large scale studies, well-designed studies are of great interest.
Final Comments • We try to work with authors (through revisions) to turn manuscripts with good core ideas into papers that are suitable for the journal.
Final Comments • Don’t hesitate to send us manuscripts that you believe fit the mission of the journal. Our AEs and reviewers are very good at providing feedback.
Final Comments • Questions?