Months after an editorial mutiny, publisher decides to shutter public health journal

Less than a year after the entire editorial board of a public health journal resigned in protest of moves by publisher Taylor & Francis, the publisher has decided to call it quits for the journal, Retraction Watch has learned.

In November, the editorial board resigned en masse because its members were unhappy with how the publisher had chosen a new editor, Andrew Maier, who had ties to industry. Maier is chair of the fellows program at Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA), which they described as a “corporate consulting firm” in a letter to Taylor & Francis. What’s more, now-former members protested the unexplained withdrawal — after publication — of a paper by the previous editor, David Egilman about how companies use research to “manufacture doubt about the health hazards of products.”

Recently, the journal has been contacting authors who submitted manuscripts to tell them that

In the time since you submitted this article, the decision has been taken to discontinue the publication of International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health following the completion of Volume 24 (2018).

Regrettably, this means that it will not be possible to consider your submission for publication in the Journal.

The publisher tells Retraction Watch:

Due to taking on increased commitments elsewhere, Dr Maier has taken the difficult decision to stand down as Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. We have taken the opportunity to review the development plans for the journal and have concluded that it will not be possible to deliver on these. Therefore, we have taken the decision not to continue the publication of the journal beyond the 2018 volume, which Dr Maier will oversee.  

We place great importance in supporting journals that deliver a balanced, nuanced and evidenced-based approach to occupational and environmental health research and we continue to offer this community a list of high-quality journals in this subject area.

IJOEH told authors that they could transfer the manuscripts to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, another Taylor & Francis title.

Update, 1400 UTC, 7/28/18: Barry Castleman, a former IJOEH editorial board member, tells Retraction Watch:

The former members of the Editorial Board of IJOEH are now considering asking Taylor & Francis to give the journal back to them, and I expect that request will be made within days to Mr. Bannerman at T&F.  The proposal to revive the journal and restore it to its former self has been warmly received by the editors.

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