Frequently Asked Questions about the
Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
A. Questions about subscribing
B. Questions about contributing
C. Questions about AgDevOnline.com
D. Other questions
A. QUESTIONS ABOUT SUBSCRIBING
A1. Does a subscription include a print copy?
JAFSCD is an online-only journal, so you are not sent hard copies of issues. This has many advantages to subscribers, the publisher, and the environment. By providing content online, we are able to post articles as they are ready rather than waiting to gather them all into a quarterly issue. We also have the ability to make immediate corrections and to link to related articles here and as referenced in the articles. We reduce the energy footprint of JAFSCD by saving the resources that go into printing, mailing, and delivering hard copies.
We post fully formatted PDFs of individual articles as well as complete issues that can be downloaded and printed. We realize that it is not always comfortable or convenient to read on your computer; feel free to print out the issues or articles that interest you most and keep them in a folder or binder.
A2. Can I download and print a copy of an article?
Absolutely. However, we appreciate you limiting this copy to personal use and not making additional copies or broadly distributing a copy of a paper without our consent. If you are the author of a paper, you have the right to make a limited number of copies for personal or classroom use. If you are a subscriber, please contact us if you’d like to distribute more than 15 copies.
A3. I can’t subscribe right now, but can I purchase selected article(s)?
Yes. We are setting up a shopping cart and token system so you can purchase one or more articles and download them to read on-screen or print a copy for your personal reference.
A3. What currency must I pay in?
Any currency you like. Whether you use PayPal or a credit card, currency conversion is automatic.
A4. How can I encourage my library to subscribe so my colleagues, students and I can access the Journal for free?
We have set up a form to make it easy to recommend this journal to your library. Adding a personal note (see the space available on the form) helps make a specific case for the purchase of a library license.
B. QUESTIONS ABOUT CONTRIBUTING TO THE JOURNAL
B1. What is the process for submitting a manuscript?
Just a few simple steps: fill out and send a query form along with a draft of the manuscript (if you have one) to Duncan Hilchey (
). He will make a quick judgement on the appropriatness of the manuscript (usually no more than 48 hours turn around). If it looks like a good fit with the Journal, we'll provide you with access to FastTrack for registering and uploading your paper. Peer review take a minimum of one month from the time you submit the manuscript into FastTrack.
B2. Who can submit a manuscript?
Anyone! As long as the paper is empirically based, well written, and contributes to our knowledge about agriculture and food systems development — go for it. We know that practitioners, educators, applied researchers (including students), and farmers have valuable research, knowledge, and experience to share. Contact Duncan (
) to run the concept or a draft paper by him.
B3. Does the Journal pay authors for content?
No. However, we hope that by publishing cutting-edge work of authors, we are not only helping the make the world a better place, but also contributing to the career development of contributors.
B4. Who decides what papers are published?
Papers are put through a simple but effective peer-review system called FastTrack. We’ll have at least two subject matter experts read and comment on your paper. If they recommend your paper, our editorial team will have a look and suggest edits. You will receive your paper with recommendations. If you accept these recommendations and make the needed changes, we’ll publish your paper. It’s that simple.
B5. What is meant by an “applied research” paper?
For the purposes of the Journal, an applied research paper focuses on the results of quantitative or qualitative research related to an agriculture or food system development program, project, strategy, or approach.
B6. What is meant by food system and agriculture development “practitioners” or "professionals"?
When we talk about agriculture and food system practitioners, we are referring to a wide range of individuals, including Extension and other educators, USDA program staff, farm organization staff, consultants, educators, planners, economic development personnel, and farmers and agricultural businesspeople who are also leaders and organizers.
B7. Does my paper have to be perfectly formatted before I submit it?
No — not perfectly. But following the submission guidelines and manuscript template (in Microsoft Word format) as closely as possible helps expedite the peer review and publication process.
B8. How does the review process work?
The review process we use in FastTrack is called “double-blind.” This is a common approach to quality control in journal publishing in which the author does not know who is reviewing his or her paper, and the reviewer does not know the author’s name or gender. In theory, this eliminates any bias the reviewer might have toward the author’s work. While no peer review system is perfect, there is some evidence that women authors, in particular, benefit from a double-blind peer-review process.
B9. How long does the review process take?
Our goal is to get quality information out and into the hands of practitioners as soon as possible. We strive to turn around papers within six weeks of receipt.
B10. Who makes changes recommended by reviewers?
The author does. The reviewers’ comments and recommended content and grammatical changes will be sent to you via FastTrack and you will make the required changes before resubmitting the paper.
B11. What if I’d like to write a regular column on a special topic for the Journal?
Please email Duncan (
) with a brief concept proposal and a sample piece. If we like the idea we’ll work with you to develop the concept.
B12. How do I become a paper reviewer?
Reviewing papers is open to individuals with expertise (e.g., direct experience or research-based knowledge) in a particular aspect of agriculture and food systems development. To be added to our editorial committee, send Duncan (
) a brief bio describing yourself and the topic(s) you are qualified to review. You may be asked to review anywhere from zero to 3 articles per year. You are also invited to provide advice to the publishers throughout the year via online polls, etc.
B13. How do I become a book reviewer?
Reviewing books is open to individuals with the gift of deep reading and distillation skills. Send Duncan (
) a bio with a sample and a description of the topic areas in which you’d like to review books.
B14. What if my paper is not based on research, but my own personal experience?
Having personal experience is something that can qualify you as an expert. From our perspective, experience systematically analyzed is a form of empirical research. A case study is a valid form of empirical research, but it should be augmented by a survey of recent research and a systematic analysis of the case study.
C. QUESTIONS ABOUT AgDevOnline.com
C1. What is AgDevOnline.com?
AgDevOnline stands for “agriculture development online.” AgDevOnline.com is a community of practice website being developed as a sister site to the Journal to provide lots of tools and resources specifically for agriculture and food systems development professionals. The website will also serve as a repository for the plethora of “fugitive” or “gray” literature that practitioners have produced over the years, much of which has great value but very limited availability to the public.
C2. How are the Journal and AgDevOnline.com related?
The Journal and AgDevOnline.com are both published by New Leaf Publishing and Consulting. They are intended to be complementary: while the Journal focuses on the cutting edge in applied research on agriculture and food systems–related community development, AgDevOnline.com provides tools and other nonpublished resources to help practitioners in the field. You will receive a 25% discount on JAFSCD if you join AgDevOnline first!
D. OTHER QUESTIONS
D1. Who is the publisher of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Systems Development?
The Journal is published by a privately held S corporation, New Leaf Associates, Inc., incorporated in the state of New York, U.S. There currently are no international institutions, societies, or organizations that provide publishing and other information services to agriculture and food system development practitioners. Noting this lack and assessing their areas of expertise, Amy Christian and Duncan Hilchey got into the publishing industry in order to integrate their interests and talents into a family business and social enterprise. Amy and Duncan are married and have many years experience in the nonprofit sector, Amy as an editor for organizations in housing and community development, and Duncan as an agriculture development specialist and senior extension associate at Cornell University.
D2. How can I get involved with the Journal?
Send us an email (
); tell us about you and what you’re thinking you’d like to do (e.g., write a column, review papers, write a book review). We’ll look at our needs are and determine if there’s a match.
If you have additional questions, please contact Amy Christian at