By Gilbert Nakweya
The journal launched at the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) in Rwanda this week (26-28 March) aims to offer African researchers and scientists the opportunity to publish and showcase their research works.
The journal, according to Benjamin Gyampoh, its Editor-in-Chief, is dedicated to expanding access to African researchers and scientists who are largely facing the problem of not having platforms to publish and showcase their research works.
“This journal will front research on Africa by Africans that finds local solutions to local problems.”
Ron Mobed, Elsevier
The first issue of the multidisciplinary scientific journal is expected to be out in the last quarter of this year. Gyampoh speaking during the launch said that it will help build and strengthen scientific capacity in Africa and increase access to African research.
Africa, according to Gyampoh, has inadequate outlets to showcase African research while policymakers across the continent are increasingly getting interested in publications hence the need to link research to policy to help make good decisions and informed choices.
The journal will be published by the Netherlands-headquartered information analytics organisation specialising in science and health, Elsevier, on behalf of NEF at a subsidised cost.
“This will be an open access journal that aims to provide a modern platform for publishing pan-African research with a particular focus on research supporting UN’s Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development,” says Gyampoh.
Gyampoh says that the journal will be a quarterly publication that attracts subsidised low publishing charges for authors but focusing on excellence and high-quality research.
“This initiative will also provide for authorship training and capacity building,” says Gyampoh adding that a survey of the landscape for esearchers in Africa will be done to help in rigorous and transparent, gender balanced peer review to produce high quality research.
NEF’s president and the chief executive officer of the African Institute for Mathematical Science, Thierry Zomahoun, says that the journal will help advance NEF’s agenda of promoting scientific excellence and partnerships in Africa.
In an interview with SciDev.Net, Ron Mobed, the chief executive officer of Elsevier, said that scientific research output from Africa has tremendously grown in the last five years with the output standing at about 10 per cent growth.
Although there is also growth in the quality of scientific research from Africa, Mobed says, this proportion compared to the continent’s population is still low.
“This journal will front research on Africa by Africans that finds local solutions to local problems,” says Mobed. He notes that the ownership of the journal by NEF, which has a strong network of African scientists, is a good indicator for the sustainability of the journal.
Getrude Ngabirano, the executive secretary of the East African Science and Technology Commission African (EASTECO) says scientists know what to publish but getting platforms to publish their research becomes a problem.
This journal, Ngabirano tells SciDev.Net, will help local scientists showcase their work at a low price because the high cost of publishing in international journals, especially in the global north, is high and prohibits African scientists from publishing.
She lauds the journal’s capacity building segment saying that it will help support African scientists know how to publish high quality research papers.
She encourages increased investment in more Pan-African journals revealing that EASTECO in partnership with the Inter-University Council of East Africa will this year launch a scientific journal to showcase scientific research from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk.