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First ‘mega-journal’ launched for scientists in Africa

PICTURED: Attendees at this year's Next Einstein Forum conference (Image: Next Einstein Forum/Twitter)

THE FIRST scientific journal for Africa has launched at The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) conference in Kigali, Rwanda.

The journal, Scientific African, which aims to highlight African scientists and their research on a global stage, was launched last week.

Benjamin Gyampoh, the editor of Scientific African, said a lack of financial resources had prevented more Africans from publishing in many of the well-renowned journals.

“There are many reputable journals but there is a low number of Africans publishing in them partly because the costs are so high,” he said.

To have their work featured in reputable journals, academics and scientists have to pay the publications.

The cost for academics wishing to be published in Scientific African will be $200 (£141), which is approximately half of what it costs to be featured in many of the established science journals.

Scientific African has been founded is funded by NEF, an initiative from the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences and is supported by Elsevier, the global publishing brand.

At the journal’s launch event, Thierry Zomahoun, president of AIMS and chair of NEF, said: “Scientific African is central to the Next Einstein Forum’s vision of propelling Africa onto the global scientific stage.

“The NEF is committed to promoting scientific excellence and collaboration in Africa. We believe the two go hand-in-hand to improve scientific output and outcomes and we are happy that Scientific African will be led by the NEF’s brilliant community of scientists.”

Bernadine Ekpenyong, an optometrist and lecturer at the University of Calabar in Nigeria, said: “You get more recognition for your work and a better chance of promotion in our field if you’ve been published abroad. That’s why people pay so much more.”

Between 2012 and 2016, there was an almost 40% rise in the amount of research published in Africa, and the number of African scientific authors rose by 43%. Despite this, less than 2% of global scientific research came out of Africa, according to Elsevier.

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