Open Access Comes with a Price

Off the top of my head, I was not familiar with any open access journals related to food safety as my current lab group and previous lab group would only choose specific journals for its students to submit to. In my personal opinion, I would say that these journals, the Journal of Food Protection and Food Protection Trends, are seen as more elite journals because they are not open access.

After doing some research, I found that some food safety journals allow articles to remain open to the public if the author is willing to pay a fee. Food Control is a food safety journal that I have at least heard of that encompasses this trend of allowing open access articles for payment (1). It is the journal of the European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST) and the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) (1). Food Control names itself as “an international journal that provides essential information for those involved in food safety and process control” naming areas such as risk assessment, quality assurance, consumer issues, and many more (1). When I looked up the open access fee, I was shocked. The price is $3,300, excluding taxes (1). What a statement to make! Open access is possible in some legitimate journals, but it comes with a price.

To find a legitimate food safety journal with complete open access was not as easy. The Journal of Food: Microbiology, Safety & Hygiene highlights topics such as food preservation, foodborne diseases, and food handling and is run by OMICS International (2). To illustrate the inadequacy of this journal, I will add that the “aims and scopes” link did not even work. It boasts of open access at the top of its home page, claiming that these types of journals are gaining more readers and citations (2). However, even the website design reflects that it is so very different from the food safety journals that are not open access.

Although I find it to be crucial, there are still many issues with open access. At least in the field of food science/food safety, journals that are considered reputable are typically not open access journals. I hope that there is a push for researchers to at least have the option to publish articles in a way that is accessible to everyone, especially as consumers are continuously becoming more interested in information regarding the foods that they eat.





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