PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH

Resources for Journals

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Host your journal on AJOL / suggest a journal:

AJOL is a web platform for African-published journals. It is a partnership of journals committed to increasing the international profile of Africa's scholarly work and improving access to African-originated knowledge. By joining together as a large group of journals, this service has attained great international recognition, and visibility on the internet.

AJOL provides the following services for each of its participating journals:
  • Free journal home page on AJOL (includes contact details, editorial information and instructions to authors)
  • Free meta-data hosting
  • Free full text hosting (closed for subscription-based journals, free pdf article download of articles from Open Access journals)
  • International exposure to over 100,000 researchers each month
  • Potential extra revenue stream from article downloads (subscription-based journals only) Currently, the loading of journal content to the AJOL site is done by AJOL staff. Going forward, Publishers / Editors will be encouraged to take ownership and control of this process themselves.
Please email us at applications@ajol.info for these instructions on the application process.

Applicant journals need to comply with various criteria for inclusion, including (but not limited to) the following:

  1. The journal must be scholarly in content, actively publishing and contain original research articles
  2. The journal’s content must be peer-reviewed and quality controlled
  3. The journal must have a functional Editorial Board, with all people listed actively involved with the journal and up to date. Accurate names of all people listed as members of the Editorial Board and any Advisory Committee are required, as well as the primary institutional affiliation for each person, and the country in which they live. As part of the application, AJOL also requires full contact details for each person listed on the Editorial Board and Advisory Committee, as well as key journal staff. 
  4. The journal must have a registered ISSN and eISSN
  5. The journal agrees to upload or provide all content for inclusion on AJOL (tables of contents, abstracts, and full text) in electronic format and in a timely manner and agrees that the journal is responsible for ensuring their content AND all information about the journal on AJOL is accurate and up to date
  6. The journal guarantees all requisite permissions are granted to allow AJOL to operate an article download service
  7. The journal must be published by a clearly stipulated publishing entity (e.g. professional publishing company, scholarly research association, university, research institute, etc.) that is based in the African continent. Management of publishing strategy, peer-review, and production operation should be run from an African country or countries, and at least half of the Editorial Board should be based in Africa (ideally from multiple institutions… not all the same university, for example).

More detailed criteria for assessment can be found here: www.journalquality.info  

If your journal meets the above criteria and is able to provide all necessary supporting documentation and information, you may submit an application to join the AJOL Pan-African partnership, and will then be able to access the various free support services AJOL provides.

 

To apply for your journal to be hosted by AJOL, the following items are required: 

 

  1. A completed AJOL Application Form (this form is available on email request to applications@ajol.info). The fully completed form should be emailed back to applications@ajol.info. This is vital for the journal evaluation process. Please make sure you provide as much accurate and detailed information as possible, and complete the entire form.

     

  2. Full text article PDF access to your journal’s past issues:
  • If your journal does publish a hard copy version, we require a print/hard copy of the most recently published issue. This must be posted to the AJOL offices (the postal address is in AJOL email signatures and on our website). 
  • If your journal is fully electronic with no hard copies, please make a note of this on the information form and provide us with the journal’s URL (and password if required) so we can view the online content. 
  • Should the journal be approved for inclusion on AJOL, we require the full archive of all PDF articles from all past issues to be added to the AJOL platform. We prefer that partner journals upload their own content to the AJOL platform once accepted. Instructions on how to do so will be sent to you if your journal is approved.

3. Additional Journal information/documents required: 
  • The journal’s Guidelines To Authors document
  • A comprehensive, detailed and accurate explanation of your journal’s peer-review and quality control processes, including the type of peer-review, roles and responsibilities for implementation of peer-review, how reviewers are sourced, and each step of the peer-review procedure, and the methods the journal uses to detect plagiarism. There is a space for this information in the application form, but we encourage submission of a separate document to allow for all the detail required. 
  • Guidelines for Reviewers (if the journal does not yet have guidelines for peer-reviewers this must be noted in the information form) 
  • Full details of the journal’s Editorial Board Members and any Advisory Committee Members or similar (specifying full names, primary institutional affiliation, country and comprehensive contact information for each member including email addresses)
  • Full information of any fees of any kind charged by the journal (subscriptions / page charges / APCs or any other charge levied by the journal 
  • Any other policy and procedures documentation used by the journal, for example Open Access policy statement and license type, and policies on publishing malpractices.

Kindly note that the journal will not be submitted for assessment until all the above required information has been received by AJOL.

Questions and queries to applications@ajol.info 

For suggestions on useful links that should be added to this collection, or to notify us about broken links, please contact AJOL at webmaster@ajol.info

Please note that AJOL is not responsible for the content, products or services offered by externally linked websites.

Click here to find out how to increase your journal's international visibility

Links of General Use or Interest

  • AJOL strongly recommends that journals give specific guidelines to their peer-reviewers. This document can help as a template.
  • The ISSN Internation Centre Home Page http://www.issn.org/
  • A very useful document from the PKP called Starting a new Scholarly Publishing Journal in Africa. A large download for people with slow internet connections, though.
  • The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) system is for identifying content objects in the digital environment. DOI's can be assigned to any entity for use on digital networks. They act as a URL and allow the article/object in question to be found on the net even if it regularly moves location.
  • Free anti-virus software (English, French and Portugese options)
  • Free anti-spyware software (English, French and Portugese options)
  • The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) is an organization of journal editors concerned about dealing with possible breaches in research and publication ethics. Includes guidelines on good practice, articles about specific topics, and statistics and case studies on fraud and misconduct.
  • African Books Collective (ABC), founded, owned and governed by African publishers, seeks to strengthen indigenous African publishing through collective action and to increase the visibility and accessibility of the wealth of African scholarship and culture. Print on Demand is amongst the services offered.
  • World Association of Medical Journal Editors (WAME) is a voluntary association of editors from countries throughout the world who seek to foster international cooperation among editors of peer-reviewed medical journals.
  • The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)
  • ResearchGATE is an online social networking platform where researchers can network, form groups, upload papers, hunt for jobs, find info on conferences, use the unique self-archiving repository to connect with one another. ResearchGATE is a free of charge service, hosting meta-data of around 35 million articles and publications and tens of thousands of full-texts, focused on the sciences but open to all disciplines.
  • OASIS aims to provide information on all things Open Access, covering the concept, principles, advantages, approaches and means to achieving it. The site highlights developments and initiatives from around the world, with links to diverse additional resources and case studies.

Links to relevant Open Source Software

  • Open Journal Systems (OJS) is free internet-based publishing software developed by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) in Canada. Provided that the journal has a decent internet connection, you can install and use this software to great effect, and there are resources on the site to help you learn how to use it. AJOL uses amended OJS as part of its own software platform, and we are planning to expand this later in 2009, to offer hosting the full OJS functionality for Open Access journals.
  • The PKP resource for online courses in how to use Open Journal Systems software for Editors: http://pkpschool.sfu.ca/ojs-for-editors/
  • Statistics Software:
    • StatPages is a powerful, conveniently accessible, multi-platform statistical software package.
    • Graphpad software offers a selection of free online calculators for doing quick statistical calculations.

Links on Open Access (OA)

  • This is a link to a comprehensive overview on Open Access , with links to other resources on the subject.
  • SPARC's Open Access Journal Publishing Resource Index - a collection of resources useful to OA publishers
  • An excellent and comprehensive outline of income models for Open Access by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).
  • The Open Access Scholarly Publishers’ Association (OASPA) offers a forum for bringing together the entire community of Open Access journal publishers. OASPA’s mission is to represent the interests of Open Access (OA) journal publishers globally in all scientific, technical and scholarly disciplines.
  • The Open Society's Business Plan template to help journals plan a viable move from a subscription-based to an Open Access publishing model, or to launch a new OA journal.
  • How to get a journal included in the international Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - click here for instructions.
  • Other useful information on the DOAJ
  • OASIS aims to provide information on all things Open Access, covering the concept, principles, advantages, approaches and means to achieve OA. The site highlights developments and initiatives from around the world, and is used by researchers, librarians, publishers and administrators.

AJOL plans to add resources and links to this section, with a particular emphasis on the viability of Open Access publishing in Least Developed Countries. Suggestions would be most welcome; please see the email address in the dark green box above.

Links on Copyright and Access to Knowledge Issues

Links on Detecting and Preventing Plagiarism

This is an area that seems to be of concern to many African educators and journal editors. The internet may be used as a tool to prevent plagiarism. These links can provide some ideas of how to do that.
  • The Plagiarism Portal on the Wits University Library website. It has a large number of excellent online resources, including links on plagiarism definitions, referencing styles and detection software.
  • eTBLAST and Deja vu have both been recommended to AJOL by several partners as a useful and free way of checking many international databases for plagiarised text.
  • http://www.shambles.net/pages/staff/ptools/ Not all of these tools are free, and all of them need careful checking and verification after use - they are not perfect.
  • http://faculty.millikin.edu/~mgeorge/plagiarism/
  • www.crossref.org CrossRef has now launced 'CrossCheck', a new initiative to aid publishers in verifying the originality of scholarly content. Following on the success of CrossRef's recent pilot of CrossCheck, this service is now open to all CrossRef member publishers.
  • http://www.scanmyessay.com/ "Viper" is a free-to-download anti-plagiarism and detection tool. Useful for editors and authors alike.
  • This page from the 'Guide to Online Schools' website offers teachers & students a comprehensive guide to understanding, detecting and preventing plagiarism. Interesting facts as well as useful tools, tips and resources are also available here.
AJOL African Journals Online