Instruction to Authors

Instructions to Authors

Aims and scopes
   
Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control (J. Food Qual. Hazards Control) is considered as an international peer-reviewed quarterly journal, with a focus on publishing high quality articles included in food quality, food hygiene, food safety, as well as food control which scientists worldwide can submit their manuscripts. This academic journal seeks to enhance international sharing of new findings and recent advancements in all aspects of agricultural and biological sciences. This free journal is published in both online and print forms and accepts manuscripts that fulfill the general criteria of novelty and scientific importance. Among the most fundamental objectives of the Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control are to ensure that the articles cover a variety of topics regarding journal’s scopes; to conduct a fair, scientific, speedy, as well as high quality peer-review process; to provide a broad and diverse geographical representation of articles around the world; and to publish the articles possessing a trustable resource of scientific information for the audiences. Acceptable submissions can consist of original articles, review articles, short communications, letters to editors, case reports, editorials, and book reviews. Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control is regarded as an official journal of Research Center of Food Health and Safety at the School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences in Yazd, Iran. This is an open access journal under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) allowing readers to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of its articles use them for any other legal purposes. The scopes are listed below:
- Food quality assurance and improvement
- Food preservation
- Food additives
- Food spoilage
- Food control
- Food safety
- Food toxicology
- Food bacteriology
- Food parasitology
- Food virology
- Food mycology
- Food chemistry and biochemistry
- Food biotechnology
- Novel approaches for identifying food hazards
- Molecular identification of pathogens in food
- Nutrigenomics
- Drinking water safety


Editorial policies
   
This journal defines an author as an individual who has significantly contributed to design the work, analyze or interpret data; and draft or revise it; and to verify the approval of the version to be published and agree for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any section of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. Individuals who fail to meet at least one of the criteria mentioned should be acknowledged. All hosts, guests, honorary or anonymous authors must be strictly avoided. There are no restrictions on the number of authors allowed in this journal.
Author list and their order should be finalized by all the authors prior to first submission. Corresponding author on behalf of all authors (in a case, there is more than one author) should be responsible for:
- All communications
- Uploading all submissions
- Revisions of the work
- Submitting a brief description of all contributions to the manuscript in the title page
- Disclosing any in­formation on prior or duplicate publication or submission elsewhere of any portion of the work

Editorial Board
   
The Editorial Board is selected by the editor-in-chief with input from the publisher to ensure a high level of professionalism and expertise from diverse geographic regions. A comprehensive evaluation of the Editorial Board is conducted every 2 to 3 years to provide opportunities for members to renew their service or retire, as well as to welcome new members. This process assists to keep the Board current, introduce new perspectives, and maintain a strong commitment to the organization's goals and objectives. Periodically, the Board may experience changes, for instance when a member chooses to resign from their position.
The Editorial Board is composed of various distinguished positions, including Member of the Editorial Board, Executive manager, and Editor-in-Chief. Each of these positions plays a pivotal role in upholding the publication's quality and integrity.

Selection Process of the Editorial Board
   
To guarantee the journal’s success, it is imperative that the Editorial Board comprises members from diverse geographic locations. A strong editorial committee is essential in maintaining the quality and integrity of the publication. All potential candidates should possess a thorough comprehension of their roles and responsibilities within the Board. It is important to note that all positions on the Editorial Board are voluntary and unpaid. The journal offers individuals the opportunity to join the Editorial Board via journal email (jfqhc.ssugmail.com). Editors are selected for the Board based on criteria such as expertise, research metrics, geographic diversity, and recognition in relevant organizations or institutions. The size of the Board may vary yearly with regard to various factors. 
Editorial board members may be selected from a group of peer reviewers, guest editors, previous authors, or individuals recommended by the board. Those interested in joining the board should submit their membership via journal email. This great opportunity permits individuals to join a team dedicated to promoting research and knowledge in their field of expertise.

Online submission
   
The manuscript should be submitted to journal office along with the completed “Authors' Statement and Copyright Form” by author(s) and a Cover Letter through online submission at journal website (jfqhc.ssu.ac.ir). In case of requirement for additional information, the corresponding author could contact with Editor-in-Chief via journal email: jfqhc.ssugmail.com (alternative email: jfqhcssu.ac.ir). Cover letter signed by the author(s) must indicate that the manuscript has not been previously published or submitted for publication in other journals in any languages. Additionally, full name, affiliation, academic degree, postal address, telephone, fax number, and email address of all authors should be indicated. ORCID ID (https://orcid.org) of corresponding author must be presented. The ordering of the authors should be discussed by authors and should then be noted in the cover letter. On the other hand, any conflicts of interest should be declared obviously in the cover letter. Prior to online submission, registration has to be accomplished at journal website by the corresponding author.
 
Language and style
   
All submitted manuscripts should be written in English. Non-native English speakers should consider acquiring professional assistance for their language skills. All contents should be typed double line spacing, numbered pages in single column format with Times New Roman font (size 12). Avoid aligning the right margin in a word processor.
 
Units of measurement
   
The authors need to utilize the metric units for measurement units of weight, height, length, and volume. Temperature should be assigned using degree Celsius. Authors are encouraged to apply the International System of Units (SI) for laboratory information. Editors have right to recommend non-SI if SI units would not be universe. Drug concentrations should be reported in SI or mass units.
 
Abbreviations/Acronyms and symbols

   Authors should use the standard abbreviations. The abbreviations should not be utilized in the title. The terms or phrases of abbreviations need to be spelled out at the first usage inside either the abstract or the text body and the abbreviation should be immediately appeared in parenthesis. There is no necessity to mention the complete words of standard units of measurement. Authors must include any abbreviations and acronyms utilized at least three times in the title page of the manuscript. If the manuscript is accepted, the list of abbreviations and acronyms will be alphabetically included on the first page of the article.


Types of acceptable articles
   
A manuscript can be classified under one of the following categories:
- Original article
- Review article
- Short communication
- Letter to the editor
- Case report
- Editorial
- Book review
 
Preparation of manuscript

Original article
   The text should
not exceed 7000 words, excluding the references, and they should have the following format:
Title page: Title page of the manuscript should be in a separate page with no number. This page should contain the title of the manuscript; authors' names and affiliations; the name of the institution/university where the work was performed; running title; full address of the corresponding author (email, telephone, fax, postal code); as well as highlights. First character of all words in the manuscript title must be capitalized, except for prepositions and conjunctions. The title should be clear, concise and informative. Running title, as short form of the main title, is presented at the top of pages in maximum 5 words, excluding prepositions and conjunctions. Highlights are composed of three to five bullet points which provide core findings of the manuscript (particularly, results and conclusion) to assist readers to fast overview of the published article. Each bullet point must include up to 15 words with the exception of prepositions and conjunctions.  
Abstract: Abstract should be structured providing background, methods, results and, conclusion altogether should be in the range of 150-300 words. Abbreviations should not be used for repeating up to twice.   
Keywords: Keywords serve the purpose of indexing. Each manuscript should provide 3 to 6 keywords according to the Medical Subject Headings, MESH (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/MBrowser.html).

Introduction: The introduction should provide a background and specifies the research objective of the study or observation. This section must highlight the purpose and the rationale for the study. It should neither review the subject extensively nor should it have data or conclusions of the study.
Materials and methods: Materials and methods must indicate obviously the steps taken to acquire the information. It should be detailed. The company, country, or city of origin must be specified for all materials. Repeating the details of standard techniques is best avoided. The software applied for the statistical analysis and description of the actual method should be mentioned. This section ought to have some subtitles. The subtitles must be inserted as italic forms.
Results and Discussion: Results and discussion should be obviously presented in chronological sequences in the text, tables and figures. The order in which tables and figures appear in the text must be referenced with Arabic numerals, as explained further below.  The use of subtitles in this part is optional. Discussions should emphasize the novel and significant aspects of the study. Possible explanations for these findings should be mentioned. However, extensive citations and discussion of the previous studies in the literature should be avoided.
Conclusion: In this section, overall conclusion of the author(s) from the research, the limitations of the work and the implications of the finding for future researches should be noted.
Author contributions/authorship criteria: In this section, each author’s contribution must be exactly declared using initials to indicate each author’s identity (for instance, “J.C. and T.P. designed the study; J.C., D.N., and R.K. conducted the experimental work; B.A. analyzed the data; H.L. and B.A. wrote the manuscript, etc.”). Authors must fulfill all four criteria in order to qualify for authorship of a manuscript based on the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors/ICMJE (http://www.icmje.org). These criteria include making a substantial contribution to all aspects of the following:
  • The conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data.
  • Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content.
  • Final approval of the version to be submitted.
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.”
If an individual fails to meet all four of these criteria, they are not considered as an author and any contribution provided by them should be acknowledged in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript. The corresponding author should specify the authors and also the other individuals that do not constitute authorship including the ones contribute funding, data collection, or general supervision of the research group. The corresponding author should write the order of authors in the cover letter and should be approved by all authors. 
Changes in authorship: Prior to submitting the manuscript in Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control, the authors should be agreed with the order of authors listed in the manuscript. Any requested alterations in authorship including, sequence, addition, and deletion should be explained in a letter to the editor and this letter should be signed by all authors or sent through individuals' emails.
- Responsibilities of authors: The authors of Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control are required to adhere to the guidelines set by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) in order to be considered for authorship of a manuscript. This involves verifying the accuracy of all statements and data, confirming the correctness of all reference information, and obtaining permission from the original author and publisher of any previously published material included in the manuscript. The corresponding author will be provided with an edited manuscript for their final approval. 
Conflicts of interest: Submitting a manuscript must be accompanied by a statement from the authors disclosing all financial and personnel relationships that might bias their work, if any. Moreover, they are requested to provide evidence of the presence or absence of upcoming conflicts. A separate page should cover this proclamation and if there are further details, they could be mentioned in the covering letter. If an organization encompasses any financial interest in the outcome of the study, the authors are appealed to provide a declaration that has full access to all data in the study and take complete responsibility for the integrity of data and the accuracy of data analysis.
Acknowledgments: Acknowledgments should be mentioned for any technical assistance or general, financial, and material support or contributions that require acknowledgement.
Funding and Ethical consideration: Ethical approval (for human or animal subjects) and funding resources should be stated at the end of the manuscript prior to the references. The source of funding  needs to be clearly specified. If there is no funding support in the study, it must be disclosed as: “This study did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors”. Authors are needed to declare the ethical approval of the study in institutional review board (IRB) or independent ethics committee (IEC); (the approval code number should preferably be written).
References: Only credible scientific sources such as journals, books, and official websites are acceptable. Abstracts presented in congresses or seminars, as well as non-official websites should not be used. The references should be cited by in the Harvard citation style as outlined:
A) Citation in text: Each reference cited in the text should be mentioned in the reference list and vice versa. All citations in the text should follow the below principles:
1. Single author: the author's name and the year of publication (e.g., Smith, 2009)
2. Two authors: both authors' names and the year of publication (e.g., Jay and Reid, 2007)
3. Three or more authors: first author's name followed by 'et al.' and the year of publication (e.g., Ferguson et al., 2013)
Citations can be included either directly within the text or in parentheses. Groups of references should be arranged first alphabetically, then chronologically.
B) List: References should be listed alphabetically by authors' names and should be as full as possible. It should be emphasized that journal full names must be capitalized for each word (excluding prepositions and conjunctions) and written in italics. If two or more references belong to the identical author (s) in the same year, the letters (a, b, c, etc.) must be placed following the publication year. The DOI (Digital Object Identifier) of all references must be indicated (if any). If an in-press article (without volume number) is cited, insertion of DOI is sufficient. If a reference consists of more than 12 authors, the first 12 authors should be listed followed by 'et al.'. Several instances of references are as below:  
- Journal: Marin S., Ramos A.J., Cano-Sancho G., Sanchis V. (2013). Mycotoxins: occurrence, toxicology, and exposure assessment. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 60: 218-237. [DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.07.047]
- Book: Jay J.M., Loessner M.J., Golden D.A. (2005). Modern food microbiology. 7th edition. Springer Science, New York. pp: 42-67.
- Chapter in an edited book: Farouk M.M., Bekhit A.E. (2013). Processed camel meats. In: Kadim I.T., Mahgoub O., Faye B., Farouk M.M. (Editors). Camel meat and meat products. CAB International, London. pp: 186-191.
- Web: Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran (ISIRI). (2007). Raw frozen hamburger. National Standard No. 2304. URL: http://www.isiri.org/portal/files/std/2304. pdf. Accessed 20 August 2013. 
Figures: Each figure should contain a caption. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the visual. Minimize text in the figures, but provide explanations for all symbols and abbreviations. Figures should only be presented if they improve the manuscript. Legends must identify all symbols, abbreviations, acronyms, or letters that appear on the prints. The maximum number of figures should be 6.
Tables: Tables succinctly capture information and should be titled and numbered consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text. The title of each table should be self-explanatory. The footnotes should be positioned below the table body. Tables should be used sparingly and the data presented in tables should not be duplicated elsewhere in the manuscript. Tables should be submitted as editable text (not as an image). Vertical rules are not allowed. Each column of the table should have a heading preferably in abbreviated form, which must be explained in footnotes. All nonstandard abbreviations in footnotes should be assigned symbols. References mentioned in the tables should be included in the main references list. The maximum number of tables should be 6.

 
Short communication
   These articles are like those of original ones except that these are shorter and prepared in minimum 1500 and maximum 3000 words. The results and discussion sections should preferably be merged.
 
Review article
   It should be prepared according to one of the following styles:
− Systematic reviews: This kind of manuscripts should be in form of meta-analysis, meta-synthesis or without statistical analysis. These manuscripts contain original articles’ parts. They should contain 2500-7000 words.
− Non systematic reviews: This kind of manuscripts should be written by researchers who are expert in the related field. Different parts of such articles include abstract (with no structure), introduction, main text, and conclusion. They should contain at least 25 references and the range of 3000-10000 words including the references and captions.
 
Case report
 This kind of manuscript should include abstract, keywords, introduction, case report, discussion, conclusion, author contributions, conflicts of interest, acknowledgment, and references. Case report should have 1500-3000 words. The title should include the words ‘case report’ as well as a description of the reported phenomenon (e.g., reporting of new and rare food borne pathogen).
 
Editorial

  These manuscripts lack structure and do not have an abstract. The total word count should not exceed 2000 words, including references, with a maximum of 10 references.
 
Letter to the editor
   It should be about criticism of previous articles in this journal or the others and analysis of a related scientific topic with journal scope. These manuscripts need no structure and have not abstract.
 
Book review
   
In this type of manuscript, a new published internationally and valuable book regarding to the scopes of the journal, is introduced in maximum 1000 words. These manuscripts need no structure and have not abstract.
 
Reporting guidelines
   
The Journal of Food Quality and Hazards control supports the work and reporting of health research. The authors should use the following guidelines for drafting their manuscripts:
-CONSORT for reporting randomized controlled trials: The authors should submit the completed CONSORT checklist which is available at http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/consort/, and indicate the page number where the required information is provided.
- STROBE for reporting observational studies: Authors should submit the completed STROBE Checklist which is available at http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/strobe/, and indicate the page number where the required information is provided.
- PRISMA for reporting meta-analyses and systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials: Authors should submit the completed PRISMA Checklist, which is available at http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/prisma/, and indicate the page number where the required information is provided.
-PRISMA for harms for reporting harms in systematic reviews, whether harms are a primary or secondary outcome: Authors should submit the completed PRISMA harms checklist which is available at http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/prisma-harms/, and indicate the page number where the required information is provided.
-STARD for reporting studies of diagnostic accuracy: Authors should submit the completed STARD Checklist which is available at http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/stard/, and indicate the page number where the required information is provided.
-MOOSE for reporting meta-analyses and systematic reviews of observational studies: Authors should describe in the cover letter, how followed the MOOSE guidelines which is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.283.15.2008.
-CHEERS for reporting economic evaluations of health interventions: Authors should submit the completed CHEERS checklist which is available at http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/cheers/, and indicate the page number where the required information is provided.
-SQUIRE 2.0 for reporting on quality improvement in health care: Authors should submit the completed SQUIRE 2.0 checklist which is available at http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/squire/, and indicate the page number where the required information is provided.

 
Ethical guidelines

- Clinical trial registration: According to the International Committee of Medical journal Editors (ICMJE) "a Clinical Trial is any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes". Authors from this kind of work should register their trial with one of the ICMJE-recognized trial registries. The number of clinical trial registration and the name of registry must be appeared in the "Materials and methods" section. All Iranian clinical trials must be registered in Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (www.irct.ir) to consider for publication. The clinical trials that have been registered in any registration site approved by WHO, could be considered for publication. The registration site approved by WHO are as follow:
- http://rctregistry.tums.ac.ir
- http://www.clinicaltrials.gov
- http://www.anzctr.org.au
- http://isrctn.org
- http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/index.asp
- http://www.umin.ac.jp/ctr
All studies must be approved by the rele­vant Ethics Committee/ Institution review boards of the respective institutions. Informed consent of the patients participating in the study should be under­taken. The study itself should follow the ethical standards of the Helsinki Declaration, as revised in 2013 and available at:
https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects/
   
Ethical considerations in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation must be addressed in the ‘Materials and methods’ section. Evidence for approval by a local Ethics Committee (for both human as well as animal studies) must be supplied by the authors on demand. The related items should be inserted under the ‘Materials and methods’ section. A copy of the permission must accompany the manuscript if it is requested by the editorial board.
- Human and animal studies: Sensory evaluation, whether conducted by trained or inexperienced panelists, as well as other sensory-consumer research, inherently involve human subjects and therefore necessitate an ethical declaration. In cases where national laws do not mandate ethical approval, authors must explicitly mention that an exemption from an ethics committee was obtained, providing the relevant reference number. Alternatively, if no human ethics committee or formal documentation process exists, the statement should clarify this and affirm that appropriate measures were taken to safeguard the rights and privacy of all participants throughout the research. These measures may include ensuring voluntary participation, disclosing study requirements and risks, obtaining written or verbal consent from participants, refraining from sharing participant data without their knowledge, and allowing participants the freedom to withdraw from the study at any point.
In research involving vulnerable populations, such as children, individuals with diminished capacity, and socially or economically vulnerable individuals, permission must be obtained from parents or guardians for their participation. Additionally, publication of photographs revealing a participant's identity requires a signed release from the participant. In non-interventional studies, such as surveys or questionnaires, participants must be fully informed about the research purpose, data usage, and any associated risks. Nevertheless, there are situations in which complete transparency is unnecessary, such as in studies involving social media, where de-identified data or subject blinding may be essential. All such information should be specified in the Ethical Statement, and participants must be given appropriate debriefing. It is crucial to uphold privacy safeguards concerning the revealing of subject identities.
   All animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and should be carried out in accordance with the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986 and associated guidelines, EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments, or the National Institutes of Health guide for the care and use of Laboratory animals (NIH Publications No. 8023, revised 1978) and the authors should clearly indicate in the manuscript that such guidelines have been followed.
It is necessary to specify the gender of animals and, when relevant, discuss the impact of gender on the study results. In accordance with the euthanasia and killing regulations outlined in DIRECTIVE 2010/63/EU, sections L 276/72 and L 276/73, all papers must provide a concise yet detailed explanation of the procedure employed by the researchers to euthanize or slaughter any animals utilized for scientific research purposes.

- Plagiarism: Plagiarizing text from a previously published article by the same or another author is a serious publication offense. Small portions of text can be utilized, but only where the source of the quoted material is obviously acknowledged and the text is inserted in quotation marks. If there is an allegation of plagiarism, scientific misconduct, or fraud, the journal will adhere to the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (http://publicationethics.org/) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (http://www.icmje.org/). This journal employs iThenticate's CrossCheck software to identify instances of overlapping and similar text in submitted manuscripts. All submitted manuscripts were evaluated in two stages: immediately after submission and before publication.
- Informed consent: "Informed consent" is required for both human and animal research studies.  It is necessary that all participants have informed consent prior to inclusion in the study. Any information about the participants should not be published by authors. This journal has right to request the related documents from the authors. 
- Ethic of scientific publishing and author misconduct: 
The Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control will follow the COPE guidelines on dealing with any potential misconduct. We are dedicated to maintaining the highest ethical standards in all aspects of our operations and scholarly publications. Our policy on misconduct is designed to support integrity in the research and publication process, and to address any issues in a fair and timely manner. Fabrication, Falsification or Plagiarism are considered as the serious publication misconducts by Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control team. In order to maintaining the research integrity, authors should determine the following rules:
-Authors should clarify that they have not been submitted the manuscript in more than one journal (duplicate submission).
-Authors should not publish the submitted manuscript in the Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control elsewhere previously as part or full (duplicate publication), unless some new results would be considered. In this situation, authors should clear the re-use of material in order to avoiding the self-plagiarism.
-Authors should avoid "salami-publishing". It means the authors should not split up the results of a work to publish them in more than one journal.
-Authors should not use the data that have been fabricated or manipulated such as images in order to support the conclusions.
-Authors should mention clearly the data, text, or theories by other authors using quotation marks or writing in acknowledgement.
-Authors should permit for using the material that is copyrighted and secured.
-All authors should have consent about the responsible authorities.
-Authors in the submitted manuscript should have sufficient contributions to the scientific work and have responsibility for the results.
-Authors should be informed that any changes in authorship or in the order of the authors in the submitted manuscript in Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control would not be considered by this journal after acceptance and prior to publishing the manuscript. But, if all authors have a written approval with explanation in detail about deletion or adding another one(s), this journal will consider the changes.
- Authors should prepare and send to the journal the relevant documents or data to verify the validity of the results.
- This journal could not accept plagiarism. Authors should not copy or paraphrase any material from other authors without citation.
- Authors should avoid self-plagiarism. It means they do not use the previous own published materials without acknowledgment of the source.
- Authors should use the relevant references inside the manuscript.
- Authors should avoid fabrication and falsification.
If the Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control finds the potential or suspicion of misconduct, this journal will follow the COPE guidelines. If the journal confirms the misconduct, this journal will contact to the author and request the author to address the issue. After establishment of the doubt, Editor-in-Chief will follow:
- If the manuscript is under consideration, it may be returned to the author or rejected.
- If the article has been published, it may retract and therefore the reason in detail will be published as retraction note. Also, this journal may publish an erratum with explanation in detail.
- Finally, this journal will contact the author's institution.

 
Conflicts of interest: Authors should describe the relevant funding, patents, and stocks. The authors should disclose all sources of conflict of interest, including interests or relationships, financial or otherwise. The potential sources of conflict of interest include patent or stock ownership, membership on a company's board of directors or advisory board, or receiving speaker's fees from a company. If authors have not declared any conflicts of interest, they should state this inside the manuscript. The corresponding author is responsible for reviewing this policy with all other co-authors. The corresponding author should list the mentioned items in the cover letter (if applicable) to the Editor-in-Chief.
- Reviewers: Reviewers for the Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control are required to disclose any conflicts of interest to the journal editors that could potentially bias their evaluation of a manuscript. If there is a potential for bias, reviewers should excuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts. Failure to disclose conflicts of interest could imply that conflicts exist but were not disclosed, or that there are no conflicts of interest at all.
As part of the review process, it is imperative that reviewers explicitly state whether they have any conflicts of interest. It is essential that reviewers refrain from using any knowledge of the work, prior to its publication, for their personal gain. Moreover, reviewer may consider it unethical to reassess a paper for the Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control if they have already reviewed it for a different journal, to ensure fairness to the authors. It is essential for reviewers to explicitly declare any potential conflicts of interest when evaluating a manuscript. Furthermore, it is imperative that they refrain from using their knowledge of the work before its publication to advance their own interests.
- Editors and Journal staff: Editors and staff members of the Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control must not have any personal, professional, or financial connections to the issues they are evaluating when making final decisions on manuscripts. If editorial staff has any financial interests that could influence their judgments, they must disclose this information to the editors and refrain from participating in the decision-making process. Additionally, editorial staff is prohibited from using any information obtained from working with manuscripts for personal gain. The journal editors are required to regularly disclose any potential conflicts of interest involving the commitments of journal staff.

Confidentiality
   
It is crucial for all editorial board members and reviewers to maintain strict confidentiality during the review process. Any discussions regarding the manuscript should only be restricted to the individuals directly involved in the review, such as laboratory colleagues designated by the editorial board member.  If consulting with experts from other laboratories is required, the Editorial Board Member must approve it to prevent unintentional exclusion of anyone by the authors.


Peer review process
Peer Review Metrics
  • Submission to first decision: 7 days
  • Review time: 42 days
  • Revision time: 32 days
  • Final decision: 10 days
  • Proof copy: 3 days
  • e-Publish and publishing in issue: 20 days
  • Submission to acceptance: 90 days
Double blind peer reviewing: Each submitted manuscript is assessed by Editor-in-Chief, at first for its quality, accuracy, novelty, relevance and significance. If the manuscript meets the minimum standards, it enters the double-blind peer review process in maximum six weeks. If submitted manuscript is considered out of journal's scope or inappropriate to publish, it will be rejected or returned to corresponding author without entering the peer-review process. The manuscript will then be sent at least to one in-office and two out of office reviewers for review. All the selected reviewers should be experienced researchers in respective sciences. Also, the reviewers should be faculty members in academic organizations or universities worldwide. The other important criteria for reviewers include suitable experience in peer-reviewing, strong academic skills, and effective international collaboration.
Selecting reviewer: All the reviewers must be advanced and proficient in English language levels. Authors can suggest to the journal office if they do not wish their manuscript to be reviewed by a particular reviewer because of potential conflicts of interest but, it is up to the editor-in-chief to accept it. Editor can reject manuscript at any time before publication even after acceptance if concerns arise about the integrity of the work. In the peer review process, research protocols and plans for statistical analysis will be reviewed. Editorials, letters, and book reviews will not be entered to peer-review process.
Revision: Manuscripts may be returned to the corresponding author for modification of the scientific content and/or for language corrections. Revised manuscript and a letter listing point-for-point response to the reviewers must be submitted to the editor and must be accompanied by a copy of the original version. Suggestion by the editor about resubmission does not imply that a revised version will necessary be accepted. If a manuscript that is returned to the authors for modification is not resubmitted within about one month it will be regarded as having been withdrawn and any revised version received subsequently will be treated as a new manuscript and the date of receipt will be altered accordingly. Authors who resubmit a manuscript that has previously been rejected must provide the original manuscript and a letter explaining in detail how the manuscript has been modified.
Proofs: A computer printout will be sent to the corresponding author to be checked for only typographical errors and other essential small changes before publication in order to avoid any mistakes. Major alternations to the text cannot be accepted at this stage. Proofs must be returned to the editor within 3 days of receipt.
Corrections or erratum: Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control will be published corrections if important errors are found. The corrections should be distinguishable from retractions and statements of concern relating to misconduct. If errors would be enough fundamental to make invalid the work, the journal have right to retract the published paper. Additionally, this journal will be published with the necessary correction if the author/contributor list would be incorrect including, a deserving author who has been omitted or the individual who does not meet the authorship criteria that has been added.
Retraction and expression of concern: Retraction will be published by Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control if errors affect the interpretation of the results or it is proven serious ethical misconduct, including duplication, redundant publication (publishing the data elsewhere without cross-referencing, permission or justification), disagreement of all authors for publication, plagiarism, miscalculation, experimental error. Expression of concern will be published by Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control if editors receive inconclusive evidence of research or publication misconduct by the authors, unreliability of the findings, an investigation would be underway but a judgment will not be available for a considerable time.
Withdrawal of articles: If legal infringements, defamation, false on inaccurate data would be occurred especially those could pose a serious health risk, the Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control have right to remove or withdraw the article. In this circumstance, a retraction statement will be published by this journal and an explanation will be given about the circumstances of removal or withdrawal.
   Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control is committed to follow and apply guidelines and flowcharts of Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in its correction, retraction policy, withdrawal, corrigendum, reviewing, and publishing process and issues. For more information on COPE’s Guidelines and Flowcharts please see: (https://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts-new/translations).


Appeals Process
   Prior to manuscript submission, authors are advised to thoroughly review all guidelines and policies related to the processing and publication of their work. Here at Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control, we are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of academic and research integrity. While we strive for excellence, we acknowledge that disagreements or issues may arise post-editorial decisions. Our appeals process is in place to offer authors the opportunity to challenge editorial determinations on their manuscripts. An appeal will be reviewed if the author(s) believe there has been:
- A significant error or misunderstanding by the editor or reviewers.
- A decision influenced by a clear conflict of interest.
- Proof of bias or insufficient consideration of the manuscript.
Authors wishing to submit an appeal should do so by following these steps:
To initiate an appeal, authors are required to adhere to the following guidelines:
  1. Within 30 days of the decision date, authors must submit a formal appeal via email (jfqhc.ssugmail.com).
  2. The appeal letter should be comprehensive, clearly stating the reasons for the appeal and addressing any concerns mentioned in the decision letter.
  3.  It is essential to include any pertinent supporting documentation or data that can validate the claim.
- Upon receipt of an appeal: Upon receiving an appeal, the editorial team will promptly send an acknowledgement of receipt within a week. The appeal will then undergo a thorough review by a senior editorial member who was not involved in the initial decision. If necessary, the reviewing editor may seek input from additional reviewers or consult with the editorial board. Typically, a decision on the appeal will be conveyed to the author(s) within six weeks of its submission. In the event that the appeal is upheld, we may either overturn the original decision or request a revised submission. However, if the appeal is rejected, the original decision will remain unchanged, and subsequent appeals on the same grounds will not be entertained.
   Decisions regarding appeals should be made carefully, and the responsibility of providing evidence lies with the author(s). Appeals that do not adhere to the criteria mentioned above may be declined by the Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control. Please be aware that this procedure is intended for reviewing certain Editorial Board Members’ decisions and does not promise a changed result. The credibility of our review process is of utmost importance, and the appeals policy is established to maintain fairness and uphold high academic standards. For submitting appeals or any questions, please get in touch with the editorial office at jfqhc.ssugmail.com.
- Selecting reviewers: Reviewer selection plays a crucial role in the review process, and it is the duty of our Editorial Board Members to carefully choose suitable referees. Their decision is influenced by various factors such as expertise, specific recommendations, and past experience. It is important to note that invitations to review a manuscript are treated with utmost confidentiality.
 

Copyright

   This open access (no charge) Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly. The manuscript should not be copy or published any materials contained on the journal without the prior written permission of it or the appropriate copyright owner. The authors should sign the copyright agreement which presents inside the journal website and transfer it alongside with submitted manuscript. If authors submit any material to which they do not own copyright, they will need to secure permission to use the copyrighted materials.

Page charge
   
Currently, there is no article processing charge (APC) for publication in this journal. Furthermore, the Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control does not charge for submitting and reviewing the manuscripts.


Preprint
   A preprint is a document that is shared openly with the public through a group. Publish your work online before or at the same time as sending it to a journal. Preprint servers are platforms that enable the posting of papers before they are formally published. Before submitting a manuscript for publication, it is becoming more frequent to have it peer-reviewed across various fields. The Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control will not consider for review articles available as preprints.

Open Access Policy
   
The Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control is an open access publication, making all content freely available to users without any costs. Readers have the right to access, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles without needing permission from the publisher or authors. This open access policy aligns with the BOAI definition, providing benefits to the scientific community. However, with these advantages come responsibilities, and our journal adheres to ethical publishing standards set forth by organizations such as DOAJ.

Archiving Policy
   
All studies published in Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control, along with their supplements, are freely and continuously accessible and stored on our website as well as in various international databases worldwide. This ensures long-term digital preservation through platforms such as Scopus, DOAJ, Chemical Abstracts Service, FSTA (Food Science and Technology Abstracts), EBSCO, Index Copernicus, Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC), Barakatkns, Electronic Journals Library, Academic Keys, WorldCat, OAJI, SIS, Directory of Science, Google Scholar Citation, ULRICHSWEB, Medical Journals Links, NLM Catalog, Root Indexing, Eurasian Scientific Journal Index, CABI, and EuroPub. The journal provides complimentary printed copies free of charge and encourages authors to self-archive their published articles in institutional and public databases. Authors are advised to use the final PDF version from the journal's website for self-archiving. The Publisher permits authors to use the final published version of their articles for self-archiving. Additionally, all articles published in Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control, are archived by Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences.

Advertising Policy
   
The journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control does not feature any form of advertising, whether it be in print or online.

Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control’s process for authors to submit a complaint
   
Authors are required to thoroughly review all guidelines and policies related to manuscript processing and publication before submitting their work to Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control. The journal views complaints as a chance to improve the current manuscript processing procedures.
How to complaint? If authors wish to lodge a complaint regarding any misconduct in policies and ethical guidelines, they can do so by submitting a letter to jfqhc.ssugmail.com. Complaints may pertain to issues such as Plagiarism, Copyright violation, Deception in research results, improper research results, undisclosed conflicts of interests, or unusually delayed manuscript processing. According to this information, the PDF file of the draft article should be uploaded with the review of the corresponding author. Upon receipt of a complaint, an acknowledgment letter will be sent to the complainant, assuring them that appropriate action will be taken in a timely manner. The investigation process will be initiated under the guidance of the Editor in Chief, and upon completion, the decision will be communicated to the complainant via email.
  • Complaints should first be evaluated by the relevant member of the Editorial Board or the Executive Manager. If they are unable to resolve the issue, it will be escalated to the editor in chief or the executive manager.
  • Complaints that are beyond the control of the Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control Editorial Board will be referred to the chairman of the Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control.
  •  If the complainant remains unsatisfied, the complaint should be escalated to the Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences Ethics Committee, whose decision will be final.
  • If the complainant is still unhappy after exhausting the university Ethics Committee’s process, they may lodge a complaint with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). COPE will consider complaints against editors only after the journal's internal complaints procedures have been completed. COPE's code of practice for editors of scientific, technical, and medical journals can be found at http://www.publicationethics.org.

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