African scientists to get new open-access publishing platform for their research
The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) has announced plans to launch AAS Open Research, a new open-access publishing platform that will allow AAS-affiliated researchers to publish without barriers. The platform, powered by F1000, a publisher of services for scientists and clinical researchers, will be launched early next year to provide an innovative and transparent way to showcase African research on the global stage.
One of the challenges to publishing research in Africa that the AAS believes AAS Open Research will address is the lack of a level playing field in research publication, where editors, who have control over what is published and when, may often be influenced by the varying perceptions of research from lower income economies as against those from higher income economies1. Articles published on AAS Open Research, however, will go through a more transparent peer review process led by experts from around the world and driven by authors, within the bounds of strict criteria.
The immediacy and transparency of the platform will be particularly beneficial to early career researchers, who will have the opportunity to complete qualifications that will advance their careers and develop and sustain the skills needed to effectively share and discuss their research broadly.
Speaking to Nature, an international weekly journal of science, Prof. Gordon Awandare, Director of the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, explained that, although the risk of publishing on little-known platforms is a concern, the AAS platform will be good for African science as it will help to chip away at the grip of the big journals.
“Our approach has always been to spread our research across several platforms,” says Prof. Awandare. “So we will continue to do that.”
1. Harris, M. et al. BMJ Open 5, e008993 (2015).
For more information on the AAS Open Research platform, click here
For the full Nature article, click here