In September 2003, Owen Fennema retired as Editor-in-Chief of IFT Peer-Reviewed Journals. In that issue, Owen's editorial reviewed progress of IFT's peer-reviewed journals under his leadership. That much had been accomplished between 1999 and 2003 under his watch cannot be denied. When Owen took the reins in 1999, he set out 5 main objectives: (1) provide IFT members an outlet for long reviews, short reviews, books, and original research; (2) reduce accept/reject decision timespan from 1 year to less than 60 days; (3) improve the general quality of the work that was accepted; (4) treat sections of JFS much like individual journals, each with a Scientific Editor, and eventually achieve their actual separation; and (5) achieve smooth-running electronic submission and publication. Needless to say, each of these objectives was accomplished in that short 4-year span with one exception: the sections of JFS did not metamorphose into separate journals.
So what did Daryl Lund see as his main objectives when he assumed the position of Editor-in-Chief? In the same September 2003 issue of JFS (Volume 68, issue 7, page viii), I stated, “One role of the Institute of Food Technologists as the professional society for food science and technology is to provide its membership and others with peer-reviewed publications that are recognized for excellence, relevance, and timeliness.” That was pretty vague without specificity of how this was going to be accomplished. So, how has this commitment manifested itself in IFT's peer-reviewed journals? To be sure we have advanced the work of Owen by (1) continually reducing the time from submission to final decision (now less that 58 days on average), (2) posting and making available accepted manuscript immediately after final proofing, (3) drawing attention to the journal through a redesign and adding a cover picture, (4) engaging a publishing house (Wiley-Blackwell) as a copublisher to streamline production and marketing, (5) adding 3 new sections to cover the field of food science and technology, (6) enrolling Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety (CRFSFS) into Thompson-Reuters’ Citation Index (to generate an impact factor), (6) encouraging the divisions of IFT to adopt IFT journals as their own (like the Education Division and Journal of Food Science Education, JFSE), (7) increasing the rejection rate (now around 70%) so that the best food science and technology papers are in JFS, (8) moving to a 12-month electronic, online release schedule and quarterly print schedule for JFS, (9) providing free access to JFSE and CRFSFS, (10) eliminating page charges for IFT members, (11) increasing impact factor for JFS from around 1.0 to 1.733 in 2010, and (12) most importantly, appointing people into critical roles of Scientific Editor and Associate Editor for the sections of JFS and the editorships of JFSE and CRFSFS.
Can it be almost 9 years ago that we began this quest? Can it be that I have had the privilege of serving IFT as Editor-in-Chief, working with a most remarkable young woman, Amanda Ferguson, who nearly single handedly elevated the workflow and daily responsibilities to a new level of excellence in any journal, having the support of staff like Barbara Bryd Keenan, Jerry Bowman, and Bob Swientek and the Board of Directors, and finally, having the support of a group of dedicated colleagues as SEs and AEs for the journals? Not only can it be, it was! Now it is time to turn over this thriving enterprise of which I am so proud to a new Editor-in-Chief.
I have known Allen Foegeding for a very long time and have had the pleasure of working with him while he served as an Associate Editor in the Food Chemistry section of JFS, and more recently as the Scientific Editor of the Food Chemistry section. He is an excellent food scientist, has high principles of scientific integrity, is dedicated to elevating the quality of the IFT journals, and knows how to work with and motivate people. Following this editorial, Allen lays out his vision for IFT's peer-reviewed journals as he takes the helm. I have absolutely no doubt that the trajectory for excellence, relevance, and timeliness for IFT's journals will continue the upward trend under his leadership. Allen, I wish you well in this undertaking. Have fun; it has been my pleasure!