What's the Difference?

The "difference" in question here is the difference between one JITAg article category and another. Some authors haven't paid sufficient attention to the differences among the article categories, so their articles don't fit in any of them.

We are always leery when an author sends me a submission and tells us that, because of its length, the article is a Feature rather than a Research in Brief. The difference is not just that the former is 3,000 words long and the latter 2,000.

The key difference is that a Feature article should emphasize the implications of "the data" for IT in Agriculture; hence, the extra 1,000 words. With a Research in Brief, the focus is more on the data, itself, and the methods used to gather it. Features tend to be broader in scope and implication, while Research in Brief articles tend to be more specific and localized.

To get a handle on the difference between a Tools of the Trade and an Ideas at Work article, think about the difference between "useful," on the one hand, and "innovative," on the other. Think about the difference between "tools" and "ideas," too.

And the difference between a Commentary and the other types of JITAg articles? It's passion, edge, immediacy, and conviction.

The differences are kind of subtle and somewhat abstract, but our JOE reviewers know the differences and are becoming increasingly intent on maintaining them. Ergo, prospective JITAg authors should take note.