Peer review process

 

Introduction
This journal’s peer review policy states that NO manuscript should be rejected only on the basis of ‘lack of Novelty’, provided the manuscript is scientifically robust and technically sound.

To know the complete guidelines for Peer Review process reviewers are requested to follow these recommendations.

 

Publication Criteria
See link: https://www.ijfsab.com/index.php/fsab/Publication_criteria

 

Agreement for Authorship
Submission of a paper to this journal indicates that the author(s) have agreed on the content of the paper. One author should be indicated as a corresponding author for all publication related communications. All correspondence and proofs would be sent to the corresponding author who will be treated as a final representative voice for all authors regarding any decision related to the manuscript unless otherwise requested during submission. This journal would not be responsible for any dispute related to authorship of a submitted paper. Any change in the authorship (such as addition or deletion of author(s) or change in the sequence of the authors’ list) should be declared to the editorial office through a letter signed by all authors before publication of the paper.

 

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

 

Blind peer review
High-quality manuscripts are reviewed by a minimum of two colleagues from the same field. Blind peer review does not provide provisions for the disclosure of the identity of authors and reviewers to each other during the review process. To add additional transparency, 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 Sectoral Editors. As a last step to ensure the highest level of transparency in the process all review comments, authors’ revisions, all 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 help to eliminate 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 the authors about the "average grades (from 1 to 10)" placed by the blind peer reviewers of the evaluated manuscripts received both after the initial stage of peer reviewing and at the final stage before the publication of the article. In this way we seek to record its history of improvement during the peer review process. This process further increases transparency. It is more important for the peer reviewer to clearly and honestly identify "the strength and weakness of the manuscript" than to say that "our peer review system is perfect." In this way this transparent process can be extremely beneficial to society in the long run.

Any attempt by the authors to contact the reviewer directly in aiming at influencing the review process is condemned. We also strongly discourage any attempt by reviewers to contact the authors directly.

 

Invitation to review
All submitted manuscripts are reviewed by at least two experts in the field who are invited to evaluate the quality of the manuscript and provide recommendation to the editor on whether a manuscript can be accepted, requires revisions or should be rejected.

The practice in the international journal Food Science and Applied Biotechnology is an initial verification of the manuscript performed by the Sector Editor on the suitability to the aims and scopes of our publication policy and subsequently by the Production Editor who makes a preliminary technical compliance assessment and evaluates the precision of English language. The peer-reviewing process will be then organized by the Editorial Office and at least two independent experts will each provide a review report.

Invited reviewers are kindly asked to respond to the reviewing invitation as soon as possible based on the manuscript title and abstract. In case of a declined invitation, a suggestion on alternative reviewers will be welcome. In order to ensure efficient and high-quality publishing services reviewers may ask for an extension in case more time is needed to compose the report.

 

Reviewer suggestion
Invitations are made to several potential peer reviewers from the database stored in the electronic system of the journal or at the suggestion of the Sector editor. Proposed peer reviewers must not have a conflict of interest and must not:

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

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

(iii) have collaborated with one of the authors of the manuscript for the last 10 years;

(iv) be employees of non-academic organizations with which one or more of the authors has collaborated in the last 10 years).

It is the exclusive right of the editorial team to decide whether or not to work with the proposed reviewers.

 

Selection of Reviewers
Selection of reviewers is a critical parameter to maintain the high peer review standard of any journal. Many factors are considered in the process of peer reviewer selection such as: a proof of expertise in terms of published papers in the same area in reputed journals, affiliation and reputation, etc. We try to avoid reviewers who are slow, careless or do not provide sufficient justification for their decision (positive or negative). Authors can also identify peers that they want not to review their papers. As long as possible the editorial team respects requests by authors to exclude reviewers whom they consider being unsuitable. We also, as much as possible, try to rule out those reviewers who may have an obvious competing interest.

The main force behind our fast, efficient and quality peer review process is the tremendous hard work of our Peer Reviewers & Editors. We are extremely grateful to the peer reviewers and editors for their great service.

Invited reviewers are kindly asked 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 are kindly asked to inform the journal editor in case of a conflict of interests that may impair the review report in either positive or negative ways. The editorial office will check as far as possible before invitation. However, the cooperation of peer reviewers is highly appreciated in this regard. In case of the 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 improvements have been made in the previous version.

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

Our journal operates double-blind peer-review and reviewers should be careful not to reveal their identity to the authors through their comments or metadata of their reviews submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format.

 

Timely Manner
The international journal Food Science and Applied Biotechnology aims at providing efficient and high-quality publishing services. Therein, reviewers are kindly asked to support this cause by providing review reports in a timely manner. Please, contact the editorial office if you require an extension for the review deadline.

 

Review Process Flow
The reviewers’ comments are generally sent to authors within two weeks after their submission. With the help of the reviewers’ comments a final decision (accepted or accepted with minor revision or accepted with major revision 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 (if the reviewer is agreed) in order to ensure a thorough and fair evaluation. Reviewers who may have offered an opinion not in accordance with the final decision should not feel that their recommendation was not duly considered and their service not properly appreciated. Experts often disagree and it is the job of the editorial team to make a final decision.

Authors are encouraged to submit the revised manuscript within 30 days of receipt of reviewer’s comment (in case of minor corrections). But in any case, revised manuscript submission should not go beyond 8 weeks (only for the cases of major revision which involves additional experiment, analysis etc.). Along with the corrected manuscript authors need to submit a filled in a review comment form conforming with or rebutting any point raised by reviewers. The Editor-in-Chief of the journal will have the exclusive power to make the final decision of acceptance or rejection during the process of any dispute.

 

Perform the Review Process
Reviewers who are invited to evaluate the submission in the international journal Food Science and Applied Biotechnology are asked to fill in a Reviewer’s Form (https://www.ijfsab.com/index.php/fsab/Reviewers), containing several sections evaluated at the end by points 1 through 10. At the end of the form the reviewer is given the opportunity to present their specific comments showing the discussed row numbers, tables, figures, etc. and any other notes and suggestions related to the improvement of the manuscript and pose their questions as well.

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 - this is when the article is mainly accepted but the authors must answer minor comments and questions from the reviewer.

Acceptance after a major revision – this is when the acceptance of the manuscript is conditioned by the authors' ability to respond and comply with the reviewer's comments.

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

 

The Ethics of the Review Process
The Academic Publishing House of the University of Food Technologies - Plovdiv aspires for an ethical publishing process. Reported results should only be submitted for publication here and should not be 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.

 

Plagiarism Policy

The Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies strongly opposes to the practice of duplicating publications or any other type of plagiarism. If one suspects any unethical practice in the reviewed manuscript they should declare it in the report with some proof/web links.

Studies which have been carried out to re-confirm/replicate the results of any previously published paper with new data-set may be considered for publication. But these types of studies should pronounce a ‘clear declaration’ of this matter.

The Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies believes that no manuscript should be rejected only on the basis of ‘lack of Novelty’, provided the manuscript is sufficiently robust and technically sound. Too often a journal's decision to publish a paper is dominated by what the Editor/reviewer think is interesting and will gain greater readership — both of which are subjective judgments and lead to decisions which are frustrating and delay the publication. Academic Publishing 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 of the importance of the particular paper is made by the readership (who are the most qualified to determine what is of interest to them).

The Academic Publishing House at 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 the reviewers should provide suggestions to the authors on how they can strengthen their paper to make it acceptable. Comments of the reviewers should be sufficiently informative and helpful to reach a 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 rejection and can improve the manuscript based on those comments. Authors also should not confuse straightforward and true comments with unfair criticism.

We are very inclined to stick to the reviewers' suggestions. Therefore, the authors are invited to pay special attention to the suggestions of peer reviewers.

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

This journal aims at publishing original high-quality research works. A submission of a manuscript to this journal indicates that the study has not been published anywhere else or has not been submitted elsewhere for publication. If author(s) are using any part of published paper (in English or any other language) they should give proper reference or in any case, if required, they should get permission from the previous publisher or copyright holder (whichever is applicable).

Plagiarized manuscripts will not be considered for publication. If a signal is given that there is an element of plagiarism in an already published article, the editors immediately send a letter to all authors, to their related institutions and funding agencies, and subsequently the paper will be retracted.

To know the complete Plagiarism Policy of the journal use link: https://www.ijfsab.com/index.php/fsab/Plagiarism_policy