In both the
Essential Science IndicatorsSMfrom
Reuters, the journal LWT – Food Science
and Technology (LWT) has shown the highest percent
increases in total citations in its field of
Agricultural Sciences. The record for the journal is
945 papers cited a total of 2,912 times between January
1, 1998 and October 31, 2008, placing it among the top
11 journals in its field.
LWT was founded in 1968 and has been published by
Elsevier since 2004. Its Editor-in-Chief is Dr. Katrin
Hecht from the ETH Zürich Institute of Food
Science and Nutrition.
In this interview, Publisher Wendy Hurp
talks with ScienceWatch.com about the
journal's history and citation record.
Would you give us a brief history of the
LWT – Food Science and Technology (LWT) has been published
by Elsevier since 2004, following its acquisition of the journal’s
previous publisher, Academic Press. Ownership of the journal has recently
transferred to Elsevier from the Swiss Society for Food Science and
LWT began publishing in 1968 following the initiative of a group of food
scientists at ETH Zurich, the Technical University of Karlsruhe, and the
Federal Research Institute for Food Preservation (now Nutrition) in
Karlsruhe, Germany. Publishing as LWT – Lebensmittel
Wissenschaft-und Technologie, its focus was on new innovations and
sound science, with papers accepted using common sense, not necessarily
looking at high citation potential. Papers were to be interesting and
innovative, and publication of papers repeating results with different
products was discouraged.
How would you account for the increased citation rate of
"Although the journal started
slowly, there was a sound knowledge base,
with those involved with the journal working
closely together, along with strong support
of the host institute..."
In 2000, the journal underwent a name change in Clarivate (then ISI),
which resulted in it being listed twice, under two different names. For the
2000 Journal Citation Reports®, the title Food Science &
Technology-Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft & Technologie had an impact
factor (IF), while the concurrent title (Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft-und
Technologie) had no IF listed. In 2001, both titles were listed with
separate IFs. In 2002 and 2003 the journal was listed as
Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft und Technologie.
When Elsevier began publishing LWT in 2004, discussions had
already been underway to change the journal name to a title that would
reflect its subject more easily to English readers—thus the name
LWT – Food Science and Technology was chosen. This period of
blurred identity may explain why the journal is now achieving the growth in
citations that it has recently seen, as its citations are no longer split
between two separate titles, and as non-German speaking authors can
identify that LWT is indeed a food science journal.
Did you expect LWT to become highly cited, or
is this surprising to you? Was there a change in policy or editorial
direction that might account for this?
The new Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Katrin Hecht, took over the role in
January 2008, succeeding Dr. Irene Studer-Rohr. Dr. Hecht is not surprised
at the high citation rate of the journal. Although the journal started
slowly, there was a sound knowledge base, with those involved with the
journal working closely together, along with strong support of the host
institute (ETH, in Zürich, Switzerland).
The appointment of a Reviews Editor (Prof. Shri Sathe) has led to an
increase in review papers, and the continuing input of Prof. Rakesh Singh
and Dr. Melanie Loessner as Editors has helped to improve manuscript
turnaround times. The publisher has also raised the profile of the journal
through marketing and display at major food conferences.
How do you see your field(s) evolving in the next few
years? What role do you see for your journal?
Dr. Hecht sees the role of LWT to serve as a source of
innovative research. LWT accepts a broad spectrum of research;
this, combined with the improved IF, has resulted in a large increase in
the number of manuscripts submitted to the journal. The editors maintain a
policy of high standards, stricter reviews, and higher rejection rates. It
is vital that submissions not only report a description of results and
methods, but also provide justification for why the research was carried
She sees food science evolving to include research into new or modified
ingredients with enhanced functionality, antioxidants including functional
foods, innovative processing technology, and packaging. Key growth areas in
LWT include antioxidants, particularly those from plants. Hot
topics will continue to be functional foods, shelf life, and healthy
LWT – Food Science and Technology Dr. Katrin