Regional Research Spotlight - Africa

July 28, 2017

IntechOpen’s Regional Research Spotlight Series focuses on successful collaborations developed by our team with particular countries or continents and its notable scientists, research institutions and companies actively involved in the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine (STM).

On this occasion we will look at our collaboration with researchers from African countries and the importance of accessibility to Open Access platforms in the equal dissemination of scientific knowledge.


Open Access enables equal access to essential research information. The two main problems many African countries face are a lack of resources to afford subscriptions to scientific journals, and the inability to integrate national research into the global knowledge pool. These problems result in the professional isolation of scientists from developing countries. Furthermore, their findings, which mostly focus on health and environmental issues specific to developing countries, are not published in the traditional journals from the developed world. (Source)

Many African institutions have begun implementing Open Access policies and encouraging their researchers to publish in Open Access as a solution to these issues. By publishing in Open Access, they can ensure their research be more readily accessible to the world's scientific community and join the global discussion on the topic at hand.

African countries leading in the implementation of Open Access policies within their educational systems are: South Africa with 8 universities, followed by Kenya with 7 and Zimbabwe with 5 educational institutions (Source).

To support our African researchers and help eliminate the financial barriers that might prevent them from disseminating their research, we offer financial support, and in doing so are helping the researchers of Africa make their mark within the scientific community. 


At IntechOpen we have collaborated with 2,009 scientists from 33 African countries. Most of our African researchers are from the South Africa (404), followed by Nigeria (359), Egypt (328), Tunisia (252) and Algeria (165). 

We have published 3,831 chapters that deal with some of the issues the continent faces, and by doing so, have shed light on these issues and promoted new discoveries. Our African researchers represent 174 different institutions. Fifteen researchers come from the best ranking African university (according to The World University Rankings 2016-2017), the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.

There have been 109 African editors from 18 African countries working on Open Access books published by IntechOpen. Most editors come from Egypt (36), followed by Nigeria (18) and South Africa (17).


Nicola Mulder, co-author of the chapter “Analysis of Duplicate Gene Families in Microbial Genomes and Application to the Study of Gene Duplication in M. Tuberculosis” is one of the top 1% World's Most Cited Researchers of 2014. The chapter that she co-authored with Venu Vuppu, with its 3,603 downloads and counting, Is IntechOpen's most downloaded book chapter written by African authors.


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the strongest contemporary supporters of Open Access publishing, was recently included on IntechOpen's list of funders. Our first Open Access chapter funded by the organization is "A Study of Household Food security and Adoption of Biofortified Crop Varieties in Tanzania: The Case of Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotato," written by Julius J. Okello, Kirimi Sindi, Kelvin Shikuku, Margaret McEwan and Jan Low from the International Potato Center in Nairobi, Kenya. The study discusses food insecurity and vitamin A deficiency (VAD) as a major health problem among poor developing country households in Africa.


Biopolymers Edited by Magdy ElnasharISBN 978-953-307-109-1 Published September 28, 2010

Times Cited (Web of Science): 115

Biopolymers are polymers produced by living organisms such as cellulose, starch, chitin, proteins, peptides, DNA and RNA. This book comprehensively reviews and compiles information on biopolymers in 30 chapters covering occurrence, synthesis, isolation and production, properties and applications, modification, and the relevant analysis methods to reveal the structures and properties of some biopolymers. 

Intelligent and Biosensors Edited by Vernon S. SomersetISBN 978-953-7619-58-9Published: January 01, 2010

Times Cited (Web of Science): 72 

The use of intelligent sensors have revolutionized the way in which we gather data from the world around us, how we extract useful information from that data, and the manner in which we use the newly obtained information for various operations and decision making. This book is an attempt to highlight the current research in the field of Intelligent and Biosensors, thereby describing state-of-the-art techniques in the field and emerging new technologies, also showcasing some examples and applications.

Toxicity and Drug Testing Edited by William AcreeISBN 978-953-51-0004-1Published February 10, 2012

Times Cited (Web of Science): 66

Modern drug design and testing involves experimental in vivo and in vitro measurement of the drug candidate's ADMET (adsorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination and toxicity) properties in the early stages of drug discovery. Only a small percentage of the proposed drug candidates receive government approval and reach the marketplace. Unfavorable pharmacokinetic properties, poor bioavailability and efficacy, low solubility, adverse side effects and toxicity concerns account for many of the drug failures encountered in the pharmaceutical industry. Authors from several countries have contributed chapters detailing regulatory policies, pharmaceutical concerns and clinical practices in their respective countries with the expectation that the open exchange of scientific results and ideas presented in this book will lead to improved pharmaceutical products.


Surpassing all borders, IntechOpen books are read by more than half a million people each month. Our large global audience is what makes our Open Access book platform a solid base for all our authors to get the international recognition they deserve.

Scientists and researchers from all parts of the world should have an equal opportunity to access new scientific discoveries and promote their own research work. As we look ahead, we will continue to support all of our international researchers make a greater impact with their findings.