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The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), one of the world's largest scientific societies, is under fire for barring researchers from five ‘rogue’ nations from publishing in its journals. Globally, the IEEE publishes 30 per cent of the world's literature on computing, electronics and electrical engineering.

In a bid to comply with US law, in 2002 the IEEE prevented scientists from Iran, Cuba, Iraq, Libya and Sudan — all nations subject to US trade sanctions — from receiving membership privileges. With 1,700 members, Iran has suffered the most.

The society’s leadership is now under fire from numerous critics in academia and the science community. It remains to be seen whether IEEE’s rank-and-file members support the policy.

Link to Science news story

Reference: Science 301, 1646 (2003)