Journal editorial board unanimously claims censorship — 6 insights

The 22 members of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health editorial board, eight former board members and the journal's founding editor-in-chief wrote to the National Library of Medicine claiming the journal was being censored by its new publisher, ProPublica reports.

Here's what you should know:

1. The present and former editorial board members claim the journal's publisher was suppressing the publication of articles and promoting "corporate interests over independent science in the public interest."

2. The editors are concerned over "mercenary science," or studies that don't contribute to public health but exist to influence regulation.

3. The journal was known for being a space that independent scientists could publish their work.

4. The editors asked the Library of Medicine to rescind the journal's listing in the Medline index. The move would reduce its scientific influence.

5. The editors allege the new publishing group:

  • Selected a new editor-in-chief without board approval
  • Withdrew a peer-reviewed article by the journal's former editor-in-chief that was critical of "Union Carbide Corporation’s efforts to oppose workers' claims of asbestos exposure"
  • Flagged additional studies that raised "potential concerns"

6. The Library of Medicine is reviewing the group's appeal.

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