Guidelines for Peer Reviews

The peer review policy of this journal states that NO manuscript should be rejected solely on the basis of ‘lack of novelty’, provided the manuscript is scientifically robust and technically sound.

Reviewers are kindly requested to follow the recommendations below in order to get acquainted with the complete guidelines for the peer review process.

Peer Review Mechanism
Food Science and Applied Biotechnology and the Academic Publishing House of the University of Food Technologies in Plovdiv follow a strict double-blind review policy with a view to ensuring unbiased evaluation. During this review process, the identities of both authors and reviewers are kept concealed.

Blind Peer Review Process
High-quality manuscripts are reviewed by a minimum of two researchers working in the same field. A blind peer review does not allow the disclosure of the identity of authors and reviewers to the other party during the review process. To add additional transparency, the details of all reviewers and academic editors are stored in the journal's electronic system, and access to this information is restricted to the Editor-in-Chief, Co-Editor, Production Editor and one of the Sector Editors. As a last step towards ensuring the highest level of transparency in the process, all review comments, authors’ revisions, manuscript versions and editorial comments are recorded (along with the date) with the report in the History Review file on the electronic platform of the journal and on a separate computer in possession of the Co-editor located outside the University premises. This transparent process will contribute to the elimination of any possible malicious / targeted interference by any person (publishing staff, reviewer, editor, author, etc.) during the peer review procedure.

In addition, we believe that one of the main objectives of the peer review system is to "improve the quality of the candidate's manuscript". We usually provide information to authors about the "average grades (from 1 to 10)" given by the blind peer reviewers of the evaluated manuscripts both after the initial peer review stage and at the final stage prior to the article publication. In this way, we seek to record its history of improvement during the peer review process. This process further increases transparency. Reviewers must clearly and honestly identify the "strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript." The Editorial Board will not encourage reviewers who only give a numerical score without any justification for the points awarded and claim that "our peer review system is perfect". This transparent process can thus be extremely beneficial to society in the long run.

Any attempt by authors to contact reviewers directly for the purpose of influencing the review process will be considered unacceptable. We will also strongly disapprove of reviewers’ attempts to contact authors directly.

Invitation to Review
The Production Editor sends invitations to a minimum of four distinguished experts in the scientific field of the submission.

The invited reviewers are requested to respond to the review invitation within the shortest time possible. In the event of a refusal or if the Editorial Board does not obtain the consent of two reviewers within 7 days, new, alternative external reviewers are invited.

All submitted manuscripts are reviewed by at least two external reviewers. In the event of diametrically opposed opinions, a third, hyper reviewer is invited. In order to ensure efficient and high-quality publication services, reviewers may request a deadline extension should they need more time to prepare the review.

Requirements for Reviewers
The peer reviewers suggested must not have a conflict of interest and must not:

(i) be from the same department or institution as any of the authors (the same university and country should also be avoided, if applicable);

(ii) have been a research guide or student of any of the authors for the past 10 years;

(iii) have collaborated with any of the authors for the past 10 years;

(iv) be employees of non-academic organizations that one or more of the authors have collaborated with over the past 10 years.

It is the editorial team’s exclusive right to decide whether or not to work with the reviewers suggested by the authors.

Invited reviewers are kindly requested to provide a detailed, constructive review report containing an overall recommendation for the publication of the manuscript by taking into consideration the following:

Potential Conflict of Interests
Reviewers should inform the journal’s Editor-in-Chief in the event of a conflict of interests that may impair the review report in either positive or negative ways. The editorial office will run a check prior to the invitation; however, the peer reviewers’ cooperation will be highly appreciated in this regard. In the event of submission of a manuscript that has been rejected by another journal following their evaluation procedure, this should not be considered as a conflict of interest in itself. Under these circumstances, reviewers may feel free to inform the Editor-in-Chief if any improvements have been made in the previous version.

Confidential and Anonymous Reviewing Process
Confidentiality regarding the manuscript abstract and content is requested from reviewers. The editorial office must be informed should the reviewer ask a student or colleague to complete the review on their behalf.

Our journal applies double-blind peer review; hence, reviewers should take measures not to reveal their identity to authors through their comments or metadata of their reviews submitted in a Microsoft Word or PDF format.

The Food Science and Applied Biotechnology international journal aims at ensuring efficient and high-quality publishing services. Therefore, reviewers are kindly requested to support this policy by providing review reports in a timely manner. Please contact the editorial office if you require an extension of the review deadline.

Review Process Flow
Reviewers’ comments are generally sent to authors within two weeks of their submission. On the basis of these comments, a final decision (accepted, or accepted with minor revisions, or accepted with major revisions, or rejected) will be sent to the corresponding author. Reviewers are asked if they would like to review a revised version of the manuscript. The editorial office may request a re-review regardless of a reviewer's response (with the reviewer’s consent) in order to ensure a thorough and fair evaluation. Reviewers who offer an opinion that is not in accordance with the final decision should not feel that their recommendation has not been duly considered or their service properly appreciated. Experts often disagree and it is the editorial team’s job to make the final decision.

Authors are encouraged to submit the revised manuscript within 30 days of receipt of the reviewers’ comments (in the event of minor revisions). The revised manuscript submission should not exceed 8 weeks (solely in the event of major revisions recommended, which involve additional experiments, analyses, etc.). Along with the corrected manuscript, authors need to submit a review comment form indicating that they conformed or disagreed with any comments made by the reviewers. The Editor-in-Chief will have the exclusive right to make the final decision of acceptance or rejection throughout any dispute.

Review Process Performance
External reviewers assess the quality of a manuscript and make a recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief as to whether the manuscript can be accepted for publication, whether revisions are needed, or whether the manuscript should be rejected.

The peer review process ends at the first stage when the Editorial Board receives positive review reports from at least two independent external reviewers.

In the event of unsatisfactory revisions of the manuscript and the need for further improvements, the review process may continue to a second, third and fourth stage, until its final acceptance or rejection.

Reviewers invited to evaluate a submission in the Food Science and Applied Biotechnology international journal are asked to fill in a Reviewer’s Form, containing several sections evaluated with points 1 to 10. At the end of the form, reviewers are given the opportunity to present their specific comments indicating the row numbers, tables, figures, etc., make any other notes and suggestions related to the manuscript improvement, and pose their questions.

Finally, reviewers are asked to provide a comprehensive recommendation for the submitted manuscript as follows:

Acceptance in its current form: when the paper does not any need further changes;

Acceptance after a minor revision: when the article is accepted as a whole but the authors must answer the reviewer’s minor comments and questions;

Acceptance after a major revision: when the manuscript acceptance depends on the authors' ability to respond and comply with the reviewer’s comments;

Rejection: when the article is not accepted for publication due to major shortcomings or lack of originality. No re-submission to the journal will be suggested.

Articles accepted for publication are directed by the Production Editor to the Copyediting and Production stages.

Guidance for Peer Review Performance
The Academic Publishing House of the University of Food Technologies believes that no manuscript should be rejected solely on the basis of ‘lack of novelty’, provided the manuscript is sufficiently robust and technically sound. Frequently, a journal's decision to publish a paper is guided by an editor’s/reviewer’s opinion on what is interesting and what would attract greater readership — both being subjective judgments that may result in decisions that are frustrating and delay publication. The Academic Publishing House of the University of Food Technologies will rigorously peer-review your submissions and publish all papers that are judged to be technically sound.

The judgment on the importance of a particular paper is made by readers (who are the ones most qualified to determine what is of interest to them).

The Academic Publishing House of the University of Food Technologies believes in constructive criticism. Reviewers are encouraged to be honest but not offensive in their language (unnecessarily harsh words may be modified or removed at the editors' discretion). It is expected that reviewers should provide suggestions to authors on the ways in which they can enhance their paper to make it acceptable. Reviewers’ comments should be sufficiently informative and helpful to lead to an editorial decision. We strongly advise that a negative review should also explain the weaknesses of any manuscript so that the authors concerned can understand the basis of the rejection and improve the manuscript according to these comments. Furthermore, authors should not confuse straightforward and true comments with unfair criticism.

Normally, a journal would accept the reviewers' suggestions. Therefore, authors are invited to pay special attention to the peer reviewers’ suggestions.

Ethics of the Review Process
This journal aims to publish original high-quality research works. The submission of a manuscript to this journal indicates that the study has not been published elsewhere or submitted elsewhere for publication. If author(s) have used any part of a published paper (in English or any other language), they should give proper reference thereof, or, if required, they should get a permission from the previous publisher or copyright holder (whichever is applicable).

The Academic Publishing House of the University of Food Technologies in Plovdiv strives towards an ethical publishing process. The results reported should only be submitted for publication in this journal and should not have been published before, even in part. Re-use of text from other sources should also be cited in an appropriate manner.

The biological research included in the submitted manuscript must be approved by the institutional ethics committee and carried out in accordance with generally accepted standards for ethical research.

In the event of a breach of science, fraud, plagiarism or other unethical conduct, reviewers are invited to notify the Editor-in-Chief immediately.

For more information on the journal’s policy in the field of the ethics of publication please refer to:

Publication Criteria
For more information on our Publication Criteria please refer to:

Plagiarism Policy
The Academic Publishing House of the University of Food Technologies strongly opposes the practice of duplicate publication or any type of plagiarism.

For more information on our Plagiarism Policy please refer to: