Food Chain instructions for authors
Food Chain is an international peer-reviewed journal for professionals involved in developing the supply of high-quality foods from the ‘farm gate to the plate’ and for those promoting the use of food processing to alleviate poverty and hunger. It is essential reading for researchers, practitioners, academics, and policy-makers. Food Chain aims to bridge the gap between research and practice: we encourage papers written by researchers for the benefit of people who put ideas into practice in the field, and those written by practitioners to inform the need for further research. The content will cover all aspects of promoting food security and food chains, from on-farm processing and post-harvest storage, to the operation of small food processing businesses, supply of food processing or analytical equipment, hygiene and quality assurance, food standards, marketing, distribution, finance and the place of small-scale processing in the wider business environment. Agriculture and nutrition will not feature per se in the journal, but it will include aspects of crop supplies and their quality, nutrition/food security and food relief operations, where these impact on local food processors.
Food Chain aims to promote sustainable supplies of high-quality foods by exploring all aspects of the food chain from the practical to the political at every level across a broad geographical base.
- Practical solutions are essential to address many of the difficulties experienced in producing and processing foods at a small scale. However, the impacts of government and international policies as well as institutional influences on the food sector are also key to addressing issues in the food chain.
- Food Chain tries to cover as wide a range of geographical areas as possible. Articles describing particular projects in a given country should also include international comparisons, or at least some discussion of how local practice relates to what is done in other parts of the world.
- Sustainability is key to improvements in the food chain. This can mean, for example, how much programmes cost to run and how income is achieved to cover costs, or how the private sector is involved in new ways of working.
Word limits for our regular articles, including title, abstract, and references, are:
- full-length articles (6000 words);
- field reports covering specific projects and field-based experience (2000–3000 words);
- technical reports (2000);
- Reviews (1000). These are commissioned, but we welcome suggestions of books and other material to review, and reviewers.
- Crossfire (2800). This is a commissioned debate around a live issue in our field; we welcome suggestions of ideas to debate and people to debate them.
The editor welcomes authors sending 100–150 word outlines of their proposed article for discussion and guidance prior to writing the full article.
Please submit your article as a Word document including:
- Title (up to 12 words), abstract (100–150 words, covering the main learning points of the article), keywords (up to 6), authors’ names (followed by a short sentence about each author’s affiliation/expertise, and their email address)
- Text This may include a maximum of three levels of sub-heading, all in sentence case: primary heading (bold, followed by hard return), secondary heading (italic, followed by hard return), tertiary heading (italic, with the text carrying on along the same line).
- Tables and Boxes should be set up in Word, numbered consecutively, and remain in the text where they should appear. Tables, Boxes and Figures are all numbered separately.
- Figures that were originally composed in Excel, should be linked as an object in the Word file, and also sent as separate files. Data may be displayed in colour for the online version, but please ensure that light and dark colour contrasts are used that will also display successfully in greyscale. Line images (e.g. flow diagrams) should be submitted in black and white, at a resolution of 600 dots per inch for a size of up to 11 cm wide; files must be in jpeg, tiff, or eps format. All figures should appear in 2-D rather than 3-D. All figures should be referred to in the text with the figure title, numbered consecutively, and labelled clearly e.g. Jones Figure 1.
- Photographs. If you are sending photographs, please send in tiff or jpeg format (at least 300 dpi for size 11 cm wide). Please always send photos as separate files, not embedded in the Word document.
- No footnotes or endnotes. Material of this type should either be incorporated into the text (possibly in brackets) or omitted.
- No annexes. The most relevant material can be incorporated into the main article, the rest omitted.
- References (please keep to a minimum, and list only those cited in the text). Full details of how to present these are in the house style guide. In summary, they should be presented in the Harvard style e.g. (Smith, 2001) in the text, together with, in a list at the end: Smith, John (2001) ‘Quality assurance in the coffee supply chain’, DFID report, London. Please check any web addresses are live, and add e.g. [last accessed 12 May 2012]. Where available, include the DOI number (digital object identifier) at the end of the reference. This can be found on the opening page of most journals, and if included in your references helps readers to find the article via a persistent link i.e. one that doesn’t go out of date.
- Acknowledgments are not encouraged but, if they are essential, please keep them to one sentence.
At article submission, authors will be asked to make the following declaration: ‘The work I have submitted has not been published or accepted for publication, nor is being considered for publication elsewhere; the work is original and all necessary acknowledgements have been made; all authors and relevant institutions have read the submitted version of the manuscript and approve its submission; all persons entitled to authorship have been so included; all work conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it was carried out.’
The journal's policy is to acquire copyright for all contributions. All named authors should download, sign, and scan the copyright assignment form, and once the article has been reviewed and revised, the form(s) must be uploaded to the Editorial Manager site along with the revised article. The original copy should be posted to Journals, Practical Action Publishing, The Schumacher Centre, Bourton-on-Dunsmore, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ, UK or faxed to +44(0)1926 634401. Co-authors can sign a single form, or may each sign separate forms, whichever is more convenient.
As an author, you are required to secure permission if you want to reproduce any figure, table, or extract from the text of another source. This applies to direct reproduction as well as ‘derivative reproduction’ (where you have created a new figure or table which derives substantially from a copyrighted source). For a standard permissions request letter, please see the last item in our House style guide.
Submission, editorial selection procedures and publication
Articles should be submitted as email attachments. Once received, they will be acknowledged by the editor, who will check that the article is within the scope of the journal. If so, they will then be read by at least two other reviewers. When the reviewers’ comments have been received, usually within six weeks, the editor will convey the decision of the reviewers to the author. The decision will be either:
- not to publish;
- to invite a major revision and resubmission;
- to request minor changes/clarifications and to publish.
If it is agreed that the article is suitable for publishing, the final decision on which issue the article is most suitable for is made at the editorial committee meeting, approximately three months before the issue will be published. The Managing Editor then edits the article and prepares it for publication. She will send each author a single copy of the issue when it is published: please send her the postal address to which copies should be sent.
Articles should be submitted to the Managing Editor, Clare Tawney, via email at email@example.com
Payment and extra copies
Food Chain is published by Practical Action Publishing, part of the registered charity Practical Action, and we regret that we cannot pay authors.
We don’t distribute offprints or pdfs but authors who would like to order extra copies are eligible for an author discount and are invited to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Practical Action Publishing provides authors or their research sponsors and funders with the option of paying a publishing fee and thereby making an article permanently available for free online access – open access – immediately on publication to anyone, anywhere, at any time. This option is made available once an article has been accepted in peer review by negotiation with the Managing Editor.