COVID-19 Pandemic Related Research in Africa: Bibliometric Analysis of Scholarly Output, Collaborations and Scientific Leadership

Maxime Descartes Mbogning Fonkou, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Emmanuel Kagning Tsinda, Yagai Bouba, Gideon Sadikiel Mmbando, Jude Dzevela Kong
2021 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  
Scientometrics enables scholars to assess and visualize emerging research trends and hot-spots in the scientific literature from a quantitative standpoint. In the last decades, Africa has nearly doubled its absolute count of scholarly output, even though its share in global knowledge production has dramatically decreased. The still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the way scholarly research is conducted, published, and disseminated. However, the COVID-19-related research focus,
more » ... the scientific productivity, and the research collaborative network of African researchers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic remain to be elucidated. This study aimed to clarify the COVID-19 research patterns among African researchers and estimate the strength of collaborations and partnerships between African researchers and scholars from the rest of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, collecting data from electronic scholarly databases such as Web of Science (WoS), PubMed/MEDLINE and African Journals OnLine (AJOL), the largest and prominent platform of African-published scholarly journals. We found that COVID-19-related collaboration patterns varied among African regions. For instance, most of the scholarly partnerships occurred with formerly colonial countries (such as European or North-American countries). In other cases, scholarly ties of North African countries were above all with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In terms of number of publications, South Africa and Egypt were among the most productive countries. Bibliometrics and, in particular, scientometrics can help scholars identify research areas of particular interest, as well as emerging topics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. With a specific focus on the still-ongoing viral outbreak, they can assist decision- and policy-makers in allocating funding and economic-financial, logistic, organizational, and human resources, based on the specific gaps and needs of a given country or research area.
doi:10.3390/ijerph18147273 fatcat:uvm5xngtszhd5a3xqefifhj2n4