Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

More on the end of the trade embargo

Jean Kumagai and William Sweet, U.S. Treasury Department Issues Free Press Ruling, IEEE Spectrum, April 12, 2004. Excerpt: "To the immense relief of IEEE members and its journal editors, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) ruled on 2 April that IEEE may resume peer review, editing, and publishing of scholarly manuscripts submitted by authors living in countries under U.S. trade embargo....The American Institute of Physics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, among others, refused to comply with the OFAC rules. IEEE's position angered some of its members, especially the 1700 in Iran. More than 5000 members signed a petition calling upon IEEE to reverse its position....The ruling does not, however, resolve all the issues of serious concern to IEEE members in embargoed countries. In the four affected countries --Cuba, Libya, Sudan, as well as Iran-- members still are prohibited from being elevated to a higher-grade membership; using IEEE e-mail alias and Web accounts; accessing online job listings; and conducting conferences under the IEEE name. Nor does the OFAC ruling, which applies specifically to IEEE's publishing activities, necessarily extend to other publishers. In its letter to IEEE, OFAC also effectively ruled out joint research projects and coauthored papers between scientists in the United States and their peers in embargoed countries. IEEE leaders say they will continue to work those issues with OFAC."