Knowledge production through scholarly publishing in Sub-Saharan Africa: a bibliometric analysis of the period 1996-2007

Ezra Ondari-Okemwa, University of Fort Hare

Abstract


This study explores the state of scholarly publishing in sub-Saharan Africa in the as a way of producing knowledge. The study also proposes ways of capitalising on the vast opportunities of enhancing knowledge production and dissemination in sub-Saharan Africa through scholarly publishing in the twenty-first century. An analysis of publication records from sub-Saharan Africa between 1996 and 2007 in the Thomson Scientific was conducted. The study further analyzes publishing records of institutions of research and higher learning as well as individual researchers based in sub-Saharan Africa. It is observed that individual researchers who lead in knowledge production by way of scholarly publishing are affiliated to institutions of higher learning or research institutions which also lead in knowledge production by way of scholarly publishing. The study looks at open access as an alternative mode of enhancing knowledge production by way of scholarly publishing in sub-Saharan Africa. The study identifies many hurdles confronting scholarly publishing and hence, knowledge production in sub-Saharan Africa. The hurdles include technological, socio-political, economic and environmental. The 21st century brings with it opportunities that may enhance sub-Saharan Africa’s visibility of scholarly publishing, and access to knowledge produced elsewhere in the world. The many hurdles aside, open access may be looked upon as the mode of scholarly communication which may enhance scholarly publishing and production, access and sharing of knowledge produced by way of scholarly publishing in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.