Q: Asked to pay book publishing fee after more than a year

Detailed Question -

I was asked to write a book chapter for intech open and they went away with publishing without asking me to pay the publishing fee. Now after a year and a half they are repeatedly asking me to pay and have even given me a 50% reduction of fees. What should I do?

1 Answer to this question

IntechOpen appears to be a publisher of open access books. In the open access model, payment of fees is expected as it allows readers immediate access to full-text versions of one’s research without subscriptions or pay-per-view fees. We cannot conclusively state the predatory nature of IntechOpen. While it appears in at least one online list of predatory publishers, it is listed in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB). It is also claimed to be indexed in Web of Science’s Book Citation Index.

In this case, we cannot be sure if (i) the publisher had promised to publish the chapter for free and have now gone back on their word (if so, this was unethical on their part) or (ii) if you were not aware of the fees although it had been indicated by them. On their webpage about open access publishing fee, it is clearly stated that they charge 1400 GBP per chapter upon acceptance following peer review of the manuscript. If this information was available on their website at the time you submitted your manuscript, the publisher cannot be blamed. However, it is unusual that they did not request payment after acceptance (rather than publication), as indicated. This is often a tactic used by dubious publishers to extract fees once the paper is already published. Had doubts arisen before publication, you could have requested a withdrawal of your manuscript. Now that the chapter has been published, the options for you are as follows:

  1. Approach your institution/library to know more about funding for open access publishing and covering your book publication fees.
  2. You could try seeking funds from funding bodies listed by IntechOpen here.
  3. You could reach out to the publisher at oapf@intechopen.com for assistance if you face difficulty with the above two options (they have even suggested this on their FAQ page).
  4. You could apply for a waiver. You state that they have offered a 50% waiver, but you could request for a full waiver as well.

Hope this helps!