Assessing journals for inclusion in FSTA

How we identify and exclude predatory journals

Journals are assessed for inclusion in FSTA by our team of food scientists. The assessment is based on the journals’ quality, integrity and relevance to FSTA.

In addition to ensuring new journals include sufficient content within the scope of FSTA’s subject area coverage, we conduct a thorough evaluation of each new journal against a checklist of criteria relating to potentially predatory or unethical publishing practices. This enables us to identify and exclude publishers and journals that may be using such practices.

Our checklist covers 60 measures across several diverse areas, including:

  • the journal’s name
  • ISSN
  • integrity, based on the authorship and scope of the articles
  • geographical diversity of the editorial board and origin of the journal in relation to claims of being an international/national journal
  • integrity and provision of editorial board member details
  • offers of unusually rapid publication/peer review
  • provision of details regarding the journal’s peer review policy
  • offers for certain services or involvement with the journal in exchange for extra fees
  • provision and integrity of details about the publisher
  • amount, start dates and scope of other journals on the publisher platform
  • false claims of indexing in well-known databases
  • missing issues/articles in the journal’s archive
  • availability of articles in journals claiming to be open access
  • details of publication fees, including offers of discounts, special rates and reduced fees, as well as time limits placed on prices
  • clarity of the scope of the journal, including breadth of areas covered and justification for the inclusion of unrelated disciplines
  • unjustified claims by the journal of importance or establishment in the field
  • provision of statements of conduct for editors or reviewers
  • use of misleading metrics
  • numbers of self-citations
  • maintenance of the journal website

To be included in FSTA, journals must meet a certain quality threshold based on the criteria covered by our checklist. Any journal not meeting our quality standards and suspected of using predatory/unethical practices will not be included in FSTA.

For further information please contact ifis@ifis.org

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