“I have not before heard of an editorial board asking the NLM to remove a journal from PubMed,” which includes the Medline database, Philippe Grandjean, an adjunct professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, tells The Scientist in an email. “I’m afraid that outside interests are trying to turn this scholarly journal into a communication medium for industry views. We already know that this is the case with a journal like Critical Reviews in Toxicology.”
See “Opinion: Problems with Hidden COI” by Philippe Grandjean
Earlier this year, IJOEH’s editorial board expressed discomfort with the hire of new editor-in-chief Andrew Maier, who has ties to industry and was appointed by the Taylor & Francis Group without consultation, Retraction Watch reported in May. The withdrawal of the asbestos article and possible cancelation of the three other papers appear to have triggered the group to take its concerns directly to the NLM. “Suppression of an accepted paper is a direct assault on academic freedom,” the board members wrote in their letter, according to ProPublica.
IJOEH provided an outlet for “scientists whose work is independent of the corporations that manufacture chemicals,” George Washington University researcher David Michaels, who has published in and been a peer reviewer for the journal, tells ProPublica. “The silencing of that voice would be a real loss to the field.”