Springer Open Teams Up with Iranian University

Springer Open

The logo for Springer Open

Islamic Azad University

The logo for Islamic Azad University

The scholarly open-access publisher Springer Open has partnered with Iran’s Islamic Azad University (IAU) to publish at least ten platinum, open-access journals (listed below). 

On each journal’s website, the following statement appears:

The journal enjoys the full support of the IAU, who provide funds to cover all costs of publication, including the Article Processing Charges (APC’s) for all authors. Therefore the journal is both free to read and free to publish in for everyone.

Ostensibly, this is great because the publishing process is free for both authors and readers. This is called platinum open-access publishing. In gold open-access publishing, author fees finance the journals’ publication.

This is an interesting arrangement, but I don’t know the specifics. Is the IAU really paying Springer to fund the journals? Where are they getting the money from? Will the University accept papers from all countries, including the ones its government wants to annihilate or the one it refers to as the Great Satan? Is Springer Open complying with all laws regarding doing business with Iran?

I notice that most of the editorial board members listed on the journals’ boards are from Iran. Only a couple of these journals have any content yet; they are brand-new. The website for each does say it is now “accepting submissions.”

In theory, I think that the platinum open-access is preferable to gold open-access because there is no built-in conflict of interest. In the gold open-access model, publishers can make more money by accepting more papers, so there is a temptation to accept unworthy papers just for the income.

We’ll continue to monitor this arrangement and see how it progresses.

List of Springer Open Titles Sponsored by Islamic Azad University:

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