Ethical Policy

Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society (FOFJ), the Department of Organic Food Quality and Food Culture at the University of Kassel, Germany and the Federation of German Scientists (VDW) conduct a set of ethical policies to maintain the quality and originality of contributions to the journal. These ethical policies are equally distributed among authors, reviewers, editors and publishers as all are partners in the journal publishing process. The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity is the main framework of the best practices for the contributions published in the journal.

Authors should agree these ethical codes before submitting their contribution. 

Authors responsibility

  • Authors’ ethical policies are mainly based on three principles, originality of the study, novel submission and avoiding plagiarism.

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Originality of the study

The research paper or report and analysis should be based on an original research work. The research work can be a field-oriented as well as library-oriented or both. This will depend on the nature of the research. Ethical standards should be adhered to in the empirical field research, which means that informed consent should be gained from respondents.  The data analysis should be without fabrication and manipulation. If authors refer to a database from another piece research, the correct permission, if applicable, and citation should be placed. The data privacy will be counted by considering the patent and/or other sensitivity of the data. The discourse analyses are also highly welcomed with the respected research ethics. Manuscripts based on reported experiences with animals and human beings should have explicit authorization from the ethical committee of their institutions. Fabrication of the data with misconducting the research-orientation is highly discouraged and immediately removed from the publication process. The referred literature of the study should be well cited and their contribution to the research field acknowledged.  The pictures should be credited with correct owner information.

After the submission to the Open Journal System (OJS) all manuscripts will be named and handled based on their OJS ID number. Authors are requested to refer to their ID number to keep the anonymity of the manuscript until it gets accepted or rejected.

After the review process, authors have the responsibility to revise the manuscript based on the reviewers’ comments. Authors are supposed to clarify point by point how and where the changes have been done in a covering letter. The time period of the revisions will be handled on the level of revisions, either minor revisions (within 4 days) or major revisions (14 days).

Novel Publication

The submission of the research paper to the FOFJ should be original. Duplicated submission and parallel submissions of the same manuscript within the review and publication process is highly discouraged. Authors may submit their paper to other journals, once the manuscript is officially rejected by the FOFJ. The manuscript will be pre-checked before it is sent to the peer-review process whether the submission is original or not. If the manuscript is not based on the structural guidelines of the FOFJ, the author(s) will be requested to re-submit the manuscript after making the modification according to author guidelines. If the manuscript is the production of a group of authors, one author should be the corresponding author. The standing order of authors in the heading information should be decided based on the contribution to the research work and the manuscript construction. Authors need to name their institute’s affiliation. All institutes, funding organisations and individuals should be acknowledged in the manuscript. Before sending the manuscript to the two blind peer- reviewers, all identification information (name of authors and institutions and acknowledgement etc.) will be removed and converted as reviewing manuscript layout with line numbers.

Avoiding plagiarism

The FOFJ conducts a tough policy against any kind of plagiarism. The FOFJ staff will check the pre-manuscript with their sophisticated plagiarism checkers before continuing into the review process. If any plagiarism is found, the manuscript will be immediately removed. After the review process the revised submission will also be checked for plagiarism.

Authors are discouraged to re-use their published or un-published data or text from another manuscript or published paper without proper citation. This is called self-plagiarism.  Authors should correctly cite all sources according in-text as well as at the reference list based on APA style. Please check authors’ guidelines for further information.

Review process 

The manuscript will be checked by managing editors before sending to the review process. In this stage, the manuscript will be checked with the possible plagiarism or double publishing. If the manuscript is approved by managing editors, it is advanced to the review process of expert. The FOFJ process is based on at least two blind peer-reviews. In a case of vast different conclusion of the reviewed paper by these two reviewers, the managing editors will send the paper to the third reviewer. The final decision will be depended on the cumulative assessment of all reports from the reviewers. The final decision of a manuscript cannot be challenged by the author/authors or other third party.

Reviewers’ Responsibility

The reviewers will be selected based on their specialties of the thematic area of the paper. The FOFJ may conduct external reviewing through a non-expert in the field to check the readability of the paper to the general public. Reviewers should comment only on the content factors of the manuscript. The reviewers’ comments can be critical and tough. However their comments should help the author(s) to re-construct the manuscript in a productive way. Reviewers are not allowed to reveal their identity through their comments. The suggestions of further reading and point by point clarification are highly encouraged. Reviewers are not allowed to use the data or findings of a manuscript without a proper permission.   After the submission of the revised version of the manuscript based on the reviewers’ comments, reviewers should recheck the edited version with the covering letter (removed identity) to check whether authors meet the reviewers’ comments considerably.

Editors’ Responsibility

The FOFJ consists of two levels of editorial staff. The managing editors mainly conduct the administrative and content functions of the journal. The managing editors have the responsibility of making sure each submission is within the high standards of quality set by the journal. All managing editors have the responsibility of making sure the journal is at a high standard of quality.

  • All submissions into the OJS system should be acknowledged within 72 hours.
  • All submissions to the OJS should be converted to the anonymous format before sending to reviewers.
  • The reviewers’ comments will be handed over to the authors anonymously.
  • The review process should be kept anonymous and should check the quality of the submission along with the journal guidelines and plagiarism issues.
  • Decent communication with reviewers and authors should be maintained.
  • All entry data of submitted papers and reports should be listed in the OJS system.
  • The final decision of a manuscript should be made within 7 days after the final decision of the reviewers.
  • All decisions and processes should be supervised by the Editor-in-Chief of the FOFJ.
  • The book reviewers, alternative views and report and analysis are not processed under blind peer-review. They will reviewed by a member of managing editorial board or members of the editorial board.
  • The accepted manuscript will be proof-read by the language staff in the FOFJ.
  • All accepted manuscripts will proceed to layout and then will be send to author(s) for final checking.
  • If the author(s) submit the “status of declaration” with the permission for online publication, the completed will be published.

The editorial board consists of scientists with an international background and come from different disciplines. The managing editors may select them mainly in the review process. In special issues, managing editors will invite special guest reviewers. In this case, guest editors should need to recommend a list of reviewers. The role of guest editors will be defined based on the theme of the special issue. The guest editor will submit the pre-selected papers from a conference or a special academic event with the permission of the FOFJ staff. All papers will be checked by the FOFJ staff before proceeding into the OJS with FOFJ standards.


European Science Foundation, 2015. The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity


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