The Collaboration for Research Excellence in Africa
CORE Africa
"Strengthening Research Capacity in Africa"

'Strengthening Researchapacitypy in Africa'

The Publication Crisis in Africa


Africa accounts for 14% of world's population, and the economies of most African countries are considered to be growing. However, this is not reflected in the amount of research published by Africans. Reasons for this are multi-factorial. 

At researcher level, these may include poor research skills, lack of training on the publication process, lack of mentorship or sources of information and sub-optimal manuscript writing and presentation criteria which do not meet publication standards. Financial strains create an additional barrier, as most high impact journals are costly. Some researchers would rather put in available resources into further research projects. Hence, existing research knowledge and findings remain in the dark.

The publication crisis in Africa is also fueled by the fact that while researchers may have good articles to publish, the availability of high impact journals with quick turnaround times for review and publication is limited. Secondly, African journal platforms have insufficient editors and reviewers. These factors act in succession, painting a scenario where articles get submitted and take very long for a decision to be made, due to the lack of editors or reviewers. Available editors and reviewers may also show a low interest in research areas covered in submitted manuscripts; or have limited knowledge in those research fields.

To crown this, African governments and policymakers show a very low interest in research, hence, giving no motivation or incentive to researchers.

The availability of a network of researchers with either experience in publishing high quality research articles or with information on good publication journals would be an asset to Africa. Such a network could also help mentor researchers through the “writing for publication” process, which would in turn help increase research output and increase collaboration amongst African researchers.