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Health and Environmental Issues in Iran:  
Moving Forward
Health and Environmental Issues in Iran:  Moving Forward is a collection of 14 articles which is under press by UPM Press. The collection is here for more detailes. 

Preface of this Edition

The complexity and diversification patterns of changes in the current century have resulted in significant social, cultural, and political transformation across the world. Big or small, developed or least developed countries, these transformations tend to have far-reaching repercussions. Iran is no exception due to the population growth, demographic transitions, globalization, and emerging of new information and communication technologies. Iran has encountered many profound social, cultural, economic, and political changes and transformations in the last three decades. From a political point of view, four different governments with their own typical discourses took power and governed the nation. From a social point of view, due to the emergence of the internet and proliferation of social media, the perception of the younger generation and their way of understanding the world is critically different from older generations. Women's level of education increased dramatically as did their demand for improving their quality of life and their position in society. From a cultural point of view, traditional norms have been questioned by the young generation and social interaction and cultural traditions have profoundly changed both symbolically and substantively.
During the mentioned periods, much academic inquiry has tried to understand, examine, and predict these transformations from each disciplinary point of view using interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches. Some research have focused on Irian history and politics (Katouzian, 2003, 2020, Bayat, 1997, 2013), while some others concentrate on religious and Islamic rules in society (P. Norris & Inglehart, 2011; Abramson & Inglehart, 2009; Tezcur & Azadarmaki, 2008), some on cultural evolution and changes (Inglehart, 2018; M. G. L. C. P. P. Norris, Norris, Bennett, & Inglehart, 2009) with focus on the younger generation (Inglehart, Welzel, & Press, 2005; Montazeri, Sadighi, Omidvari, Farzadi, & Maftoon, 2009), marginalized groups (Bayat, 1997, 2013; Zebardast, 2006), social welfare (Harris, 2010; Katouzian, 2004), citizens' participation in the society (Hans-Liudger Dienel, M. Reza Shirazi, Sabine Schröder, & Schmithals, 2017) dialog and civilization(Gheytanchi, 2001; Khaniki, 2005), the transformation of the public sphere(Mohammadzadeh, 2015; Paya & Ghaneirad, 2007), knowledge of health issues (Akhtari-Zavare, Ghanbari-Baghestan, Latiff, Matinnia, & Hoseini, 2014), especially with focus on women (Ansari & Martin, 2014; Koolaee, 2009) and family (Inglehart, Norris, Norris, Press, & Ronald, 2003; Abbasi-Shavazi, Morgan, Hossein-Chavoshi, & McDonald, 2009) as well as the future of the social, cultural and religious order in society.
To gain a more detailed understanding of the importance of social sciences issues in Iran and its deliberation in the academic world, some researchers have found out 4666 scientific articles (from 2000 to 2017) in Web of Science (WoS) only, which all of them were related to Social Sciences in Iran. In their research, using the scientometrics approach, they found the annual number of "Iran's Social Sciences" issue's publication grew from 56 in 2000 to 533 in 2017. The growth of publications has remained constant between 2000 and 2005; however, there was significant growth in the publication each year since the year 2005 until 2017 (SM. Etemadifard, H. Khaniki, A. Ghanbari Baghestan, & Akhtari-Zavare., 2018).
In their work, Etemadifard and his colleagues had raised two important issues related to the landscape of social sciences research in Iran presented in scientific databases (such as WoS):
1-most of the scientific papers pertaining to the social sciences in Iran were written by non-social sciences academicians and researchers. In other words, most of the papers representing social sciences issues in Iran were written by scholars with medical, technical, and engineering backgrounds. They said: “It is worth to highlight that in total, 2,083 affiliations were recorded in the 4,666 articles related to issues pertaining to the social sciences in Iran, searched under “Iran’s Social Sciences in WoS”. However, among the top 30 organizations (universities and research centres) that have appeared as affiliations in 4,084 (87.52%) out of 4,666 articles, surprisingly, the authors with “health & medical science” and “technical & engineering” organization affiliations appeared to have more contributions as compared to none “health & medical” or “technical & engineering” affiliations. Even though it is not possible to exactly differentiate between the two categories,{…}, those authors with the exact affiliation of “medic.scie org” or “technical & engineering org” who had published 2,449 articles, which consisted of 52.4% of the total publications. Iran has some long established and prominent universities and research centres with an exclusive focus on the Social Sciences disciplines such as cultural studies, women and family studies, welfare and social development, anthropology and demography and rural development, among others.{…} However, a look at their relative contribution shows that they have had less participation in scientific production in the WoS database” (SM. Etemadifard, H. Khaniki, A. Ghanbari Baghestan, & Akhtari-Zavare., 2018, pp. 1165-6).
2-“Health” and “Environmental” issues have been at the centre of much attention (both quantitative and qualitative) in all scientific papers pertaining to Iran’s social sciences issues in WoS. They said: “to understand the dominant concept and meaning framework on all scientific publications related to the social sciences in Iran, it was found that quantitative wise, "health" and "environmental" issues were among the top scientific papers published within Iran in the same period of time (2000-2017). Qualitative wise, the result of content analysis of the top 500 articles with the highest average citation per year (ACPY) also showed that the most frequent themes in all analysed documents were "Health-related" issues followed by "Rural", "Environmental", "Health Care; Health Care Services", and "Mental Health" related issues (SM. Etemadifard, H. Khaniki, A. Ghanbari Baghestan, & Akhtari-Zavare., 2018, pp. 1168-9).
The above arguments draw the editors' attention to systematically focused on the “Health” and “Environmental” issues in the context of Iran, specifically from the pure social sciences point of view. Put succinctly, due to their importance in recent trends of scientific research, this edition of the collection explores mainly "Health" and "environmental" related issues and challenges in Iran within the scope of the social sciences. All the 14 articles presented in this edition are written by over 30 social scientists (academic staff and researchers) from Iran, Malaysia, and New Zealand who are affiliated with high prestigious research and academic centres (such as University of Tehran (UT), Allameh Tabatabi' University (ATU), Islamic Azad University, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti of Malaya (UM) and the University of Auckland).

This edition is organized around both case studies, review papers, and to some extent policy papers. As a matter of fact, each chapter is an independent paper. Although the issues discussed in these chapters are very much central to Iran and Iranian communities, they will strike a chord with global readers because both themes highlighted in this edition share certain common concerns globally. These chapters present significant contributions as they highlight remarkable components related to the “health” and “environmental” issues that are current and therefore, pertinent to all those who are facing the same issues and challenges in different countries. In line with this, it is therefore expected this collection will be of significant important interest for readers across the world, specifically among the academicians, scholars, researchers, policymakers, and government officials.
All the papers published in this edition underwent a stringent peer-review process involving a minimum of two reviewers comprising internal as well as external referees. The papers have been revised accordingly by their respective authors based on the comments and suggestions provided by the reviewers. This was to ensure the quality of the papers justified the high ranking of the journal, which is renowned as a heavily cited journal not only by authors and researchers in Malaysia but by those in other countries around the world as well.
The editors of this edition wish to sincerely thank the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran (UT) for its support and commitment towards publishing this edition. We would also like to state that we have learned much from our collaboration with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in preparing this edition for publication.
 
Editors:  Abbas Ghanbari Baghestan (Dr.), Aini Ideris (Prof. Datin Paduka Dato’ Dr.) and Mohd. Nizam Osman(Dr.)
2021