Open-access publishing has contributed to Africa's research output

28 Apr 2014
Open-access publishing has contributed to Africa's research output

“Open access publishing has helped Africa to double its research output [in the past decade],” states the Healthcare Information for All (HIFA) campaign

Work from the African continent is underrepresented in scientific literature, partly due to issues with funding and internet access in the poorer countries. However, the movement towards open-access publishing seems to have stimulated the consumption and production of research in countries such as Nigeria. 

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, coordinator of the HIFA campaign, suggests that accessibility of published research, increasing skill levels, ease of publication, and wider-spread Internet availability have all contributed to increasing the research output of African countries. Open-access advocates state that it is easier for researchers to learn, develop, produce and use research when it is made accessible at low- or no-cost. The increasing output of African research, much of it published in open-access journals, could support these claims. 

Ylan Schemm of Research Trends says that while this trend is promising, "The returns could be many times greater over the next decade if awareness, usage and research capacity are tackled in a collaborative and integrated manner by African institutions, access programs and publishers."


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