Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Judit Dobránszki, Jean Carlos Cardoso, and Songjun Zeng had submitted the manuscript, “Genetic transformation of Dendrobium,” to GM Crops and Food: Biotechnology in Agriculture and the Food Chain earlier this year. It was accepted on July 29, and posted online on October 30.
Taylor and Francis — who recently took over the journal from Landes Biosciences — had requested $1,000 in page charges, and $340 in color charges. But Teixeira da Silva — who has been made persona non grata by an Elsevier journal following “personal attacks and threats,” and had a paper retracted by a Springer journal after he demanded the editors’ resignations — insisted in an email to the publisher that
Review papers had no page charges, only open access fees, certainly not at the time when our paper was submitted to CM Crops and Food, and before the transfer of this journal – and our paper – from Landes Bioscience to Taylor and Francis.
He provided Retraction Watch with this set of screenshots to back up his claim.
But Anthony Trioli, editorial director of Taylor & Francis’s US Science, Technology, Medicine & Health Journals Program, responded to Teixeira da Silva saying he was incorrect and instead offering the authors a discount on the page fees:
We have reviewed your allegations and have confirmed with the Editor that your submission was indeed accepted as a Review paper, and is therefore subject to page charges as noted in the Author Guidelines under “Manuscript Preparation: Reviews.”
Also, you will note that on the Journal Publication Costs Form, there is a check box under the color charges estimate noting “Check if you wish the publisher to convert color figures to black and white in the print edition and remove the color charge.” If you do not wish to accept the charges for color printing, you will need to check this box and discount this fee from the total charges.
Again, we do apologize for any misunderstanding as a result of the omission of “Reviews” from the initial page charge language in the Author Guidelines. We would be happy to offer you and your co-authors a partial waiver of 30% on the page charges for your accepted article. As a result, your total page charges due will be $700.00. We will notify our Production team and ask that they send you a revised Journal Publication Costs Form reflecting this partial waiver.
Please feel free to respond to me directly with any questions.
Trioli clarified in a later email:
Per my attached response to you dated September 29, 2014, page charges for Review papers accepted to GM Crops and Food: Biotechnology in Agriculture and the Food Chain do indeed apply (see “Reviews” in the Instructions for Authors), and we have kindly offered you a 30% discount on those charges resulting in a total of US$700 due. I ask that you please re-read the attached.
With regard to the Landes Bioscience website, clear notification was made as to when the site would be closed down (October 31, 2014). All GM Crops and Food content, including the information for authors are available at http://www.tandfonline.com/
We have deliberately maintained the policies and pricing structures that were established by Landes Bioscience throughout the transition to Taylor & Francis. All page charges, optional color fees, and optional open access fees and scales have not been changed/increased.
Please do let me know if you have further questions. Otherwise, I do expect that you will submit the required payment, so that we may proceed with publishing your paper. If payment is not received promptly, we shall disregard your submission and remove the author accepted manuscript from the Journal’s website.
That did not satisfy Teixeira da Silva, who said the team would not pay the fees. Trioli responded:
As a result of your refusal to submit payment of the discounted page fees that apply to your accepted submission, “Genetic transformation of Dendrobium”, to GM Crops and Food: Biotechnology in Agriculture and the Food Chain (see previous email from me dated September 29, 2014), we have removed your paper from our production workflow and shall not proceed with publication. Also, the Author Accepted Manuscript that is currently available on the Journal website shall be removed immediately.
You are free to submit your paper for publication elsewhere.
The paper was formerly available here.
Regardless of whether there should or shouldn’t have been a charge to publish the manuscript, it seems odd that Taylor & Francis would put the paper online before receiving the fees.
For those interested in the distinction between a withdrawal and a retraction — which we believe is nonexistent, hence our headline — here’s some background.