The motivation for the establishment of Academic Journals was to enable African scholars have access to high quality peer reviewed articles, and also to enable researchers across the globe have access to articles published by African researchers without any form of restriction. This led to the publication of the first journal – the African Journal of Biotechnology in 2002. Professor Nyerhovwo J. Tonukari, co-Founder, Academic Journals captured this motivation in three of his articles published between 2004 and 2005. In these articles, Professor Tonukari argues for the need of scientific journals to adopt the open access model. He stated that open access model of publication is the most effective way to distribute research output, bridge the information gap between developing and advanced countries and help improve research productivity worldwide. See the articles below.
Article 1: E-publishing in Developing Economies (2004)
The drive to publish the results of research is global but presents special challenges in developing economies. African researchers and publishers face many of the same problems that affect the global research community, but they are also confronted by a number of complex issues that have resulted in a lack of indigenous publishing and a lack of access to relevant material. Apart from financial problems, there are many infrastructural and cultural factors that affect the dissemination of quality information and have resulted in a poorly developed information economy and a lack of representation within the international research community.
This article provides an overview of some of the challenges facing African journal publishers, and by extension the African scholarly community, which needs to read and publish up-to-date research that is relevant to local interests while remaining international in quality. Traditional publishing models imported into the African context have not been able to deliver the desired results for a number of reasons. The emergence of e-publishing models may provide African publishers with increased opportunities for the production and dissemination of scholarship and research findings, and two examples of Internet application in Africa are discussed. However, online technology is not a panacea for all the problems inherent in publishing in the developing world, and this article considers some problems not resolved - and some perhaps even caused - by the new models…. To read the full article, kindly click here.
Pearce, C., Smart, P., & Tonukari, N. J. (2004). E-publishing in Developing Economies. Canadian Journal of Communication, 29(3/4), 329.
Article 2: An African E-Journal (2005)
One of the motivating factors that led to the establishment of the African Journal of Biotechnology – AJB, www.academicjournals.org/AJB – was to have an international journal that publicised the current research going on in African countries.
The vast majority of journals published in Africa today are languishing in obscurity because they are not known outside their institutions or region. Many journals published in Ghana, for example, cannot be found in universities or research institutions in Kenya. Furthermore, African researchers often lack access to foreign journals as most of the universities’ libraries cannot afford to buy these journals anymore. On the other hand, the scarcity of African journals in the libraries of the developed countries or on the Internet makes it difficult for anyone outside Africa to find information on some issues peculiar to the continent…. To read the full article, kindly click here
Tonukari, N. J. (2005). An African E-Journal, INASP Newsletter, (29) 4-5
Article 3: Research communications in the 21st century (2004)
Scientific inquiry thrives only in a society that fosters the free flow of ideas and information. The power of online (internet) publication in democratizing science and incorporating scientists from developing countries into the scientific community is profound. The desired and obvious properties of scientific publishing such as accessibility, economy, quality, innovation, and retrieval can be more readily achieved with electronic methods. Online publication is much cheaper and faster, and that is major reason Africa should embrace the open access model for research communication. An open access African journal (the African Journal of Biotechnology) is evaluated.
The concept of making the results of primary research freely available to anyone with an internet connection has caused a great stir in the media and science community (Lipman, 2001). The sciences are undergoing a fundamental and difficult transition - from a mode of publication that has reigned for the 335 years since the printing of the first scientific journals to a new mode made possible by computer science and the Internet. This transition is going to occur within the next decade or two, and it is now important for both scientists and publishers to influence its pace and its form. The desired properties of scientific publishing - accessibility, economy, quality, innovation, and retrieval - seem obvious, and it seems equally obvious that most or all of these properties can be more readily achieved with electronic methods (Varmus, 2001). …. To read the full article, kindly click here
Tonukari, N. J. (2004). Research communications in the 21st century. African Journal of Biotechnology, 3(2), 123-126