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This is the time of year when the Editor in Chief makes an assessment of the previous publishing year. For 2006 I have some not-so-good news and some good news. I'll start with the not-so-good news because it is important, just not as important as some think it is. The Impact Factor for the journals was released in mid-June by ISI Web of Science-Citation Reports. For JFS, the IF decreased slightly from 2005 to 2006, 1.028 to 1.004, respectively. This is a very modest drop and normally wouldn't raise large alarm bells. However, the rank of JFS in the Food Science and Technology sector of 96 journals fell from 33/96 to 42/96. Despite publishing fewer papers in 2004 and 2005 (737 total) than in 2003 and 2004 (826 total), there were not enough citations to these papers to boost the impact factor. The Impact Factor for JFS is below the aggregate impact factor (1.466), but above the median impact factor (.857) for the category. The median impact factor is the average of all the IFs. The aggregate IF is all of the cites divided by all of the articles in the category. The immediacy index for JFS (.114) is below the aggregate immediacy index for all the journals in the category (.231). The immediacy index is a measure of how quickly after publication an article is cited. The journal's cited half-life continues to be >10. The cited half-life is an indicator of the average age of the articles cited in 2006. In looking at volumes back to 2000, more than 90% of all JFS papers were cited at least once. It is important to note that the Impact Factor is not an objective measure of quality. I am confident that the tactical plan that we have for improving the IF will succeed. With your assistance is submitting excellent research, we'll get to where we want to be.

Now for some good news. Our web-based journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety was evaluated for IF for the first time with a whopping 2.118 and ranked 13 out of 96. This really demonstrates the power of review papers to be cited. Thanks to the Scientific Editors (David Lineback, Paul Singh and now Manfred Kroger), the Associate Editors, staff, and most importantly reviewers and authors for making this a very successful launch.

Finally I will end with good news about our subscriptions and hits to journals on line. From January through June 2007, JFS had more than 200,000 visits compared to just over 100,000 for the same period in 2006. This bodes well for paper recognition and will hopefully lead to improved IF. I think this is due to the relationship that IFT has established with Wiley-Blackwell, our aggressive marketing campaign to non-members (especially libraries), and elimination of the print-only subscription for libraries. Next month's editorial will have further information on the tactical plan that includes possible changes in JFS.