• Raise the profile of research in local journals


Research published in journals in the developing world must receive more recognition, says former president of the Academy of Science of South Africa, Wieland Gevers.

Few scientists in developing countries publish widely in journals indexed by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), says Gevers — for example, only about one per cent of indexed articles have an author with an African address.

But African researchers are publishing in local journals — half of South African citations in the ISI-indexed literature are to articles in local journals. The problem, according to Gevers, is that these journals do not have the same visibility or credibility as ISI-indexed ones.

Governments and research-support agencies must boost both the quality and quantity of work published in local journals, says Gevers.

And they must make this work more visible and accessible. Tools such as the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) in Brazil that index quality local journals and provide free access to their contents have already revealed local journals and articles that are highly cited both within the ISI-indexed literature and SciELO itself.

SciELO is being extended to South Africa and could easily be brought to other African countries, says Gevers. Few forms of foreign aid would make as much of an impact as facilitating a SciELO-type site across the continent, he adds.

Link to full article in Science