Saturday, April 21, 2018

New Open Access Journal for Research in Africa

by Salman Hameed

There are two big challenges in scientific publishing right now: 1) Global access to high quality journals, and 2) Predatory fake journals. This latter category has all the trappings of science sounding names, but when you closely look at them, it turns out to be a scam to get money and publish anything. In this context it is fantastic to know that researchers in Africa are getting an open-access "mega-journal", Scientific African, that will focus on scientific research in Africa and help build a strong research community there. Here are the aims and scopes of the journal:
Scientific African is a peer reviewed, open access, inter- and multidisciplinary scientific journal that is dedicated to expanding access to African research, increasing intra-African scientific collaboration, and building academic research capacity in Africa. The journal aims to provide a modern, highly-visible platform for publishing pan-African research and welcomes submissions from all scientific disciplines. 
The journal welcomes submissions of full text research articles, reviews but also publishes invited perspectives and critical policy papers.
The Guardian also wrote about the journal, and here is quote from the editor of Scientific African:
Its editor, Dr Benjamin Gyampoh, said the journal would address the problem of African scientists going unrecognised for pioneering work because they lacked access to quality publications. 
“There are many reputable journals but there is a low number of Africans publishing in them partly because the costs are so high,” Gyampoh said. “We are reducing these costs while providing a platform for world-class research, across different disciplines and on par with any published around the world.”
This is all excellent and I think these kind of efforts can have genuine positive impacts.

Not directly relates science in Africa, but NYT's weekly music highlights included a single from Ras G. & the Afrikan Space Program, called The Arrival. This is how NYT described it:
The Los Angeles-based producer Ras G makes futurism feel like comfort, especially on his new album, “Stargate Music.” The tracks here seem like they might’ve been built in a lab full of microscopes and mirrors: He zeros in on small elements, giving them a sharp clarity even in the darkest environment; beats and little patterns ricochet and build on each other, like a mosaic of reflections. An avowed Afrofuturist, Ras G is making music for your soul and for your imagination, inviting a combination of close inspection and expansive thinking.
This is pretty cool stuff. But I wanted to highlight their really cool 2013 track, BLAST-OFF! featuring Eagle Nebula. Enjoy!


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