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European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, ISSN: 2347-5641,Vol.: 6, Issue.: 3 (July-September)


Country Differences in the History of Use of Health Claims and Symbols


Sophie Hieke1*, Nera Kuljanic1, Laura Fernandez1, Liisa Lähteenmäki2, Violeta Stancu2, Monique M. Raats3, Bernadette Egan3, Kerry Brown3, Hans Van Trijp4, Ellen Van Kleef4, Erica Van Herpen4, Andrea Gröppel-Klein5, Stephanie Leick5, Katja Pfeifer5, Wim Verbeke6, Christine Hoefkens6, Sinne Smed7, Léon Jansen8, Anita Laser-Reuterswärd9, Živa Korošec10, Igor Pravst10,11, Anita Kušar10,11, Marija Klopčič11, Jure Pohar11, Azucena Gracia12, Tiziana de Magistris12 and Klaus G. Grunert2

1European Food Information Council, Sablon Tower, Rue Joseph Stevens 7, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.

2MAPP Centre, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 10, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

3Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU27XH, United Kingdom.

4Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands.

5University Saarland, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany.

6Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, 9000 Gent, Belgium.

7University of Copenhagen, Nørregade 10, 1165 København, Denmark.

8Schuttelaar and Partners, Zeestraat 84, 2518 AD, Den Haag, The Netherlands.

9This Work was Carried Out when Anita Was Still Working at the Swedish National Food Agency, Livsmedelsverket, Box 622, SE-751 26 Uppsala, Sweden.

10Nutrition Institute, Tržaška Cesta 40, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.

11University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical University, Groblje 3, 1230 Domžale, Slovenia.

12Agrifood Research and Technology Centre of Aragon, Avda. Montañana 930, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain.

General Comment

1. Up to 6th August 2012, all SDI journals followed strict double-blind review policy to ensure neutral evaluation. During this review process identity of both, the authors and reviewers are kept hidden to ensure the unbiased evaluation. More information is available at this link.


2. We have migrated to transparent and toughest ‘Advanced OPEN peer review’ system (Detailed general information is available at this link). The identity of the authors and reviewers will be revealed to each other during this review process. This transparent process will help to eradicate any possible malicious/purposeful interference by any person (publishing staff, reviewer, editor, author, etc) during peer review. As a result of this unique system, all reviewers will get their due recognition and respect, once their names are published in the papers (Example Link). If reviewers do not want to reveal their identities, we will honour that request. In that case, only the review reports will be published as ‘anonymous reviewer report’.


3. Additionally ‘Advanced OPEN peer review’ greatly helps in ‘continuity and advancement of science’. We firmly believe that all the files related to peer review of a manuscript are valuable and hold an important place in the continuity and advancement of science. If publishers publish the peer review reports along with published papers, this process can result in savings of thousands of hours of future authors during experiments, manuscript preparation, etc. by minimising the common errors after reading these previously published peer review reports. Therefore, as per our new official policy update, if the manuscript is published, all peer review reports will be available to the readers. All files (like the original manuscript, comments of the reviewers, revised manuscript, and editorial comment (if any)) related to the peer review, will be available in “Review history” link along with the published paper (Example Link).


4. Additionally, we believe that one of the main objectives of peer review system is ‘to improve the quality of a candidate manuscript’. Normally we try to publish the ‘average marks (out of 10)’ a manuscript received at initial peer review stage and at final publication stage to record its history of improvement during peer review. This process further increases the transparency. It is more important to record the ‘strength and weakness of a manuscript honestly’ than claiming that 'our peer review system is perfect’. Therefore, these transparent processes (i.e. publication of review history files and scores of a particular manuscript) additionally give a clear idea of the strength and weakness of a published paper to the readers. This process enhances the chances of proper use of the result of research (and or reduces the chances of misuse of the weakness of the findings of the paper). Thus this transparent process may prove to be highly beneficial for the society in the long run.


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