As 2009 winds down, it is time to do a little reflecting. As Dickens said, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times!” Fortunately for IFT's peer-reviewed journals, the first part of his statement applies. We started with some really good news in June about the Impact Factor of our 2 journals included in Thompson Reuters' (formerly ISI) Citation Reports. The Impact Factor for the Journal of Food Science for 2008 experienced a 19% improvement to 1.489 and its rank improved from 37/103 in 2007 to 34/107. For Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, the IF increase was nearly 60% to 3.528 and the rank increased from 12/103 in 2007 to 3/107 in 2008.
We opened up the optional section for authors submitting manuscripts entitled, “Practical Application,” a brief description, in layman's terms, of the potential industrial or consumer application of the research presented in the paper. The idea behind Practical Applications was to assist IFT media staff in identifying papers that may be of interest to the general public, and make the ideas behind the research more accessible to non-scientists. Although we had fewer submissions of PAs than we would have liked in the beginning, they were useful to staff and we are making it even easier for authors to consider and submit their PA information.
During the course of the year we had further clarification in editorials from our Scientific Editors on the content of papers in their sections from Dr. Herbert Stone, SE of Sensory and Food Quality, and Dr. Andy Rao, SE of Nanoscale Food Science, Engineering, and Technology. We had the first full year of contributions from the authors for the 3 new JFS sections, Nanoscale Food Science, Engineering, and Technology; Health, Nutrition and Food; and Toxicology and Chemical Food Safety with 9, 39 and 14 papers published, respectively. For the other 5 sections, Food Chemistry published 103 papers, Food Microbiology and Safety had 81, Food Engineering and Physical Properties had 66, Sensory and Food Quality had 57 and Concise Reviews/Hypothesis had 15. To round out IFT's journal publications, Journal of Food Science Education (JFSE) had 14 papers and Comprehensive Reviews had 22. Finally, year-to-date for JFS, we had 955 submissions for 2009 compared to 763 for the same time frame last year, for JFSE 24 compared to 14, and for Comprehensive Reviews 26 compared to 21. So all in all, 2009 was a very good year from the publishing standpoint. Obviously we await the Citation Reports next June for even more proof that we are getting more widely recognized with excellent, relevant manuscripts.
At the end of this issue, we recognize the contributions that our reviewers make to IFT's journal publications. We owe them a great deal of gratitude, since without their diligence and willingness to donate some of their most precious resource, time, we would not be able to publish quality work. Thank you, reviewers, for your efforts on all of our behalf. Needless to say, I also acknowledge the excellent work of our authors, Scientific Editors and Associate Editors, and, last, but certainly not least, Amanda Ferguson, our Manager of IFT Scientific Journals.
For all of us, may we continue to make progress in bringing the best of food science and technology to light. Please let me know if you have further thoughts for improving our publications and have a great 2010.