Mathal (ISSN: 2168-538X) is an Open Access, double-blind peer-reviewed international journal published by Iowa Research Online, University of Iowa, USA. Current acceptance rate is 5.7. The main objective of Mathal is to provide an intellectual platform for scholars of Islamic thought and Islamic societies throughout history and throughout the world to share their ideas with the widest audience and in the shortest time possible. Mathal aims to promote critical multidisciplinary studies in humanities and social science and to become a repository of knowledge on the Islamic civilization, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia.


The journal publishes research papers in the humanities (arts, history, literature, philosophy…), social sciences (sociology, economics, political science...), natural sciences (biology, physics, astronomy, chemistry...), abstract sciences (mathematics, computational sciences...), and practiced sciences (law, medicine, engineering). Scholars from the aforementioned disciplines with research and teaching interests in area studies, Islamic studies, and Judaic studies are especially welcome to submit their works. Mathal publishes original papers, review papers, case studies, empirical research, technical notes, and book reviews.

Additional resources

For more information and/or to submit your work, please visit the following websites:

Mathal is indexed in the Global LOCKSS Network.

Complete metadata for all articles in Mathal is available via OAI.

Mathal is hosted by the University of Iowa Libraries' Institutional Repository (Iowa Research Online).

Peer review

Before being published in Mathal, a research article must undergo rigorous peer-review consisting of an initial editor screening followed by double-blind review by at least two scholars with expertise in the discipline.


Since one of the journal’s primary goals is the dissemination of knowledge and scholarly inquiries, authors retain exclusive rights to their work, allowing them to republish their work on their personal websites or with other journals.


Because Mathal is an online Open Access journal, accepted articles are published as soon as the peer-review and revision processes conclude. Mathal does not limit the length of articles or the size of digital files.


In Mathal, authors may publish articles in most languages including English, Arabic, Hebrew, French, Persian, Spanish, Turkish, and Urdu.

Before the digital revolution, research papers produced at American universities enriched a few for-profit companies in a market of nearly $26 billion in annual revenues, with the highest profit margin since the essential “laborers” (scholars) work for free. In return, scholars want their work disseminated to other scholars and to the general public. That, too, did not happen because these companies offer access only to those who can pay an access fee. Libraries, their primary clients, usually pay large sums for access. For example, the UC system pays Elsevier, alone, $9 million for their bundled access. Most universities subscribe to many companies who publish in different disciplines. However, universities with smaller budgets for library services cannot subscribe to these journals limiting access to the content, hence limiting the reach and impact of scholarly works.

The Open Access movement wants to change the pattern and structure described above. People associated with the Open Access movement want not-for-profit entities and libraries to publish their work and they want authors to retain copyright to their work. Articles which are published Open Access are immediately and permanently free to access by both subscribers and the reading public. Because they retain the right to their works, scholars may republish them on other platforms, on their library digital repository, on their own websites, and/or on any other platform and means that would increase reach and access.

Mathal is part of the Open Access movement. Although many universities are supportive of this movement, administrative practices remain an obstacle in front of scholars who wish to support Open Access journals. Some schools require faculty members, for tenure and promotion purposes, to publish in specific “prestigious” journals, most of which still follow the traditional model: produced by for-profit publishers and available through subscription only. Supporters of Open Access journals encourage tenured faculty, and those not required to publish in specific journals to publish in Open Access journals to break the monopoly enjoyed by for-profit companies over academic publishing.

Many of the Open Access journals, like Mathal, adhere to the same standards for review. In fact, many traditional journals rely on one report. Before being published in Mathal, a research article must undergo rigorous peer-review consisting of an initial editor screening followed by double-blind review by at least two scholars with expertise in the discipline.