Nofima senior scientist Themis Altintzoglou is the editor of the latest issue published by the prestigious Journal of International Food & Agribusiness Marketing (JIFAM).
Six articles focusing on seafood marketing were recently published in an issue of JIFAM. These articles are from six different perspectives and are presented by international scientists who Themis believes are important voices in the field. He is proud of being given the task of guest editor, both on Nofima’s and his own behalf.
“Nofima, and especially the Department of Marketing Research, has a lot of experience regarding marketing research on food and seafood. It shows a huge production and dissemination through several projects and publications. A special issue in a recognised international journal can highlight this even better. It is a kind of confirmation of what we are doing. The editor of the journal gave me the task because he believes that people at Nofima are at the forefront when it comes to seafood marketing research”, says a satisfied Themis Altintzoglou.
Acknowledgement and honour
It is far from just Nofima scientists who have been given a chance to publish their articles in the special issue of the magazine. The first article is written by Nofima scientists, and one of Nofima’s scientists is a co-author in the third article. The other authors come from various institutions in Italy, Scotland, USA, Australia, and Norway. The articles cover a wide range of scientific topics, theories and methods that are relevant to seafood marketing, at both industry and consumer levels.
“It is an acknowledgment and an honour to be asked by the editor of the journal to create a special issue about seafood marketing for the magazine. It shows that the editor is confident that I possess an overview and am motivated to take the responsibility of finding scientists with knowledge and results that are relevant in this context”, says Themis Altintzoglou.
The themes of the six articles are:
1. A review of existing research and relevant issues linked to the e-commerce of seafood products and the need for more product-specific attention.
2. Innovation and the exchange of knowledge within small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, and the need for marketing strategies and decision-making in these contexts.
3. The strength of retailers and their brand strategies for wild and farmed seafood, and its impact on the lifespan of the product.
4. A consumer-based quality framework and how it can support manufacturers in delivering products that consumers want.
5. How to target consumers with the correct presentation of product sustainability?
6. The current market situation during the COVID-19 pandemic and its influence on consumer preferences for locally produced seafood.
The choice of who should contribute to the special issue of the scientific magazine has been no coincidence. The task was announced through advertising, and a comprehensive selection process lies behind the six articles that have now been published.
“The topic of seafood marketing is a specific area of research. There is a certain risk when gathering high-quality articles within a given deadline. We received many articles and they underwent extensive assessment processes before any of them were approved for the special issue. The most important thing about my job was to be patient and critical in the process of assessing the content we were sent” says the guest editor.
Articles are submitted according to an announcement and then they undergo a review process for publication in the research journal. It is then up to the editor – Themis Altintzoglou in this case – to select those that cover the relevant topic and that are of the required quality. The articles are then sent to two research colleagues that have knowledge on the topic. These two people conduct the assessments anonymously. In order for the assessments to be unbiased and impartial, the author of the article and the reviewer do not know who each other are. Then, the articles are returned to the selected authors with suggestions and input from those who have reviewed them. Finally, the editor makes the final selections of who will get their work published.
Themis Altintzoglou assures that his colleagues at Nofima and collaborators in Norway were assessed according to the exact same criteria as the rest of the authors, and did not receive any favourable treatment. He is also very grateful to all who submitted their works for consideration.
“Without them, this special issue would not have been possible”, says Themis Altintzoglou.
He is also grateful to his research colleagues who assessed a selection of the submitted articles – many more than those who eventually got their articles published in the special issue.
“It really is a lot of work, and it is an important voluntary job that ensures all the published articles are of high quality”, says the Nofima scientist.
According to Themis Altintzoglou, seafood marketing is of global interest. Seafood is considered good for public health, and according to the Nofima scientist, seafood is products that provide a culinary and social experience that is second to none when the quality is at its best.
“Despite these benefits, many people dislike certain seafood characteristics, such as its smell when the quality is poor. Seafood quality is sensitive in relation to time and temperature, but that does not stop people from consuming and buying in a global market. This is reflected in the geographical distribution of manuscripts that have been published in this special issue of JIFAM”, says the marketing researcher.
The experience of being a guest editor in an international scientific journal has whetted the scientist’s appetite.
“One requires a comprehensive overview in order to gather good quality articles on a specific topic. It is great fun. Normally, as scientists, we find ourselves on just one side of the process, and therefore experience being assessed or having to assess anonymously. It is interesting to experience the process from a guest editor’s perspective. Knowing who is behind the anonymity and being able to follow the ‘game’ that unfolds between the author and the reviewer during the input process”, says Themis Altintzoglou.