Scientific Journal Highlighting African Research Launched
This past week, a new peer-reviewed scientific research journal showcasing cutting-edge African research was published in Kigali, Rwanda for the first time.
The new multidisciplinary journal, called the Scientific African, was launched during the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), held from March 26-28 in Rwanda. The journal will provide a platform for African leaders in various fields of scientific research to present their findings in an Africa-specific context. According to Ron Mobed at Elsevier, a Netherlands-headquartered global information analytics company specializing in science and health, “this journal will front research on Africa by Africans that finds local solutions to local problems.”
Benjamin Gyampoh, the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, proves determined to use this new achievement as a way to provide access to the many African scientists facing barriers in publishing their research. African scientists have typically been disadvantaged in this regard due to the simple fact that they live in Africa. In order for their research to be accepted within the international community, it must be published in a top peer-reviewed journal, few of which exist in Africa. This is often particularly difficult for Africans, who face excessive logistical barriers to receiving publication globally.
The publication will primarily be targeted at academics and cover a variety of issues in fields such as health sciences, biology, physics, and astronomy. However, those at Scientific African hope that the journal will not cater exclusively to this category of researchers. Given their belief in the global nature of scientific methods, the publication is encouraging submissions from any individual undertaking significant scientific research.
The journal aims to be successful based on its impact on global research. That is, the journal will be deemed more successful the more it is cited by other journals on the international stage over time. At the NEF event, some African scientists expressed concern about whether or not it is worth publishing their research in a regional journal if there is a possibility that it could be picked up by a larger international publication. However, Nina Dudnik, whose company, Seeding Labs, provides equipment to many African scientists, notes that a rigorous process for selecting research to publish in the journal will be crucial to quell these concerns, and ensure that this journal will become highly respected in its own right.
The creation of this journal comes at an opportune time. With many African countries recently making major developmental gains, and leading world rankings in economic growth, it is high time that research on Africa by Africans takes centre stage. This publication could serve as a productive platform for the dissemination of new-found information from Africa into the international community. The journal’s first edition particularly highlights developments from the region’s commitment to develop agricultural technology.