Recently, my girlfriend, who is a Ph.D. scholar in an institute in India, and currently awaiting her thesis submission, submitted an article to Hindawi.Ltd., in which she is the primary author and her guide is the corresponding author. There was an Article Publishing Charge (APC) of USD 775, that the concerned research group was supposed to settle, conditionally, once the article gets accepted.
The research article was accepted, and the research group was instructed to make the settlement for the APC. Instead of duly paying the APC, her professor totally ignored responding to the mail. Even though he was prompted, on multiple occasions, to either pay the amount or respond to the email, he simply postponed taking any step to address the issue. Emails kept coming regularly reminding the professor of strictly paying the APC, and seeking a valid explanation as to what blocks him from duly responding to the emails and initiating the payment process.
His stand/ opinion was that it could be due to a miscommunication between the team that manages the APC and that that is associated with publishing the article. In other words, the professor was looking forward to a possible scenario where there would be no longer any emails from the Publication house, or there would be a relaxation/ waiver in the APC, put forward by the Publishing group.
Recently, the research team received two emails, dated a week apart:
Debt collection – Payment request
Total outstanding amount: USD 775
Dear Sir or Madam
As an international operating debt collection company, we have been instructed by our client Hindawi Ltd. The Atrium
to secure immediate settlement of this outstanding amount. Our client advised us that they have not received a satisfactory explanation for your non payment and we therefore require that you send your remittance until
in USD to Hindawi, bank account no.
After receiving this email, the professor sent an email, apologizing to the publishing group for not duly responding and requesting the publishing group a waiver and not toss the article out.
He received the following response.
Thank you for your message. We suggest that the authors share the fee. Please make a payment directly to Hindawi and send a proof of payment. Otherwise it may cause problems to place future publications with Hindawi or Wiley. The publishing fee can not be waived. Your manuscript has been reviewed and published. The service has been provided and must be paid. We hold all below stated authors and Universities/Institutes liable for the claim. The debt collection procedure will be continued until receipt of payment.
Now, the professor is asking the first author (my gf) to help him make a decision and suggest a response that could reply to the recent email. She is currently on a fellowship and she is yet to receive the forthcoming installment (According to the funding agency she needs to wait for another three months).
What is the solution to this problem? Is there any way this problem can be settled?
Is there any way the professor can avail of a waiver in the APC?
Will it affect my girlfriend's future scientific career, in case she wants to continue in academia? Another article from the same group, co-authored by her is still under review, with Willy.
What are the preventive measures she should take so that any consequences of the said issue do not befall her?