The journey of a thousand miles: resources to assist researchers

This is a selection of external links that AJOL hopes will be useful additional sources of information to researchers.

If you are looking for instructions on using AJOL itself, click on the link under "How to use AJOL" on the left of the page.

We would welcome any suggestions of links that should be added to this collection, or alerts to any links present that are no longer working. Please contact AJOL for these purposes at Please note that AJOL is not responsible for content, products or services on externally linked websites.

NB: If African researchers make use of free journal collections from the Developed Global North, we must please not do so at the expense of using the important and relevant research from our own continent!

What is the state of scholarly journal publishing in Africa?

A few years ago, AJOL conducted its own research into the state of the field on the continent. The report is available here.

Collections that are free for most African Researchers (or to researchers from Low Income Countries):

Collections that are free to all users:

  • The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a collection of thousands of free, full-text, quality-controlled scientific and scholarly journals from all over the world. Over a quarter of these are searchable at article level.
  • The AfricaPortal is an online resource of policy research on African issues.
  • Bioline is a non-profit journal aggregator of Open Access (free full text) biomedical journals containing research from developing countries.
  • BioMed Central is a publishing initiative committed to providing immediate open access to peer-reviewed biomedical research.
  • Free electronic newspapers and journals on and from Africa.
  • AMEDEO is a free information resource for healthcare professionals. Also see
  • Open Doar: Directory of Open Access Repositories is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories.
  • The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource.
  • SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online is a model for cooperative electronic publishing of scientific journals on the Internet. Especially conceived to meet the scientific communication needs of developing countries, particularly Latin America and the Caribbean countries.
  • ResearchGATE is a free of charge, online research platform with meta-data of around 35 million articles and publications and tens of thousands of full-texts available, focused on the sciences but open to all disciplines. ResearchGATE also acts as a social networking platform where information on jobs, conferences and new publications can be shared between individuals and groups.
  • Over 3000 Open Access books, journals and digital documents relating to African policy issues can be found at the African Portal Library.

Other useful links:

  • Open Education Resources for teaching and learning are available at OER Africa.
  • AJOL was a founding Member of the WWS Alliance, the multilateral governance structure for, which is a global science gateway connecting you to national and international scientific databases and portals. WorldWideScience accelerates scientific discovery and progress by providing one-stop searching of global science sources.
  • The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) is an independent Pan-African research organisation with a primary focus on the social sciences, and is the apex non-governmental centre of social knowledge production on the continent.
  • The Science and Development Network — news, views and information about science, technology and the developing world.
  • The University of Paris online education portal.
  • This link allows you to retrieve Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for journal articles, books, and chapters by simply cutting and pasting the reference list into the box provided on the page. You may use the form with any reference style, although the tool works most reliably if references are formatted in a standard style.
  • "Viper" is a free-to-download anti-plagiarism and detection tool, useful for editors and authors alike.
  • AuthorAID is a global research community that provides networking, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in developing countries.
  • The Digital Object Identifier (DOI®) System is for identifying content objects in the digital environment. DOI® names are 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.
  • 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, and is used by researchers, librarians, publishers and administrators.

Style and Writing Guides:

  • This shows the Harvard Style.
  • This shows the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) Style.
  • This guide is intended to provide general content, style, and format guidelines for biology students learning to write papers in a standard, scientific journal style and format that can be easily adapted to specific journal requirements or disciplinary conventions.
  • The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material. Researchers, students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects.

Avoiding Plagiarism:

Getting an ORCID number

This tool allows researchers/authors to get an ORCID, a global online identification that helps others track your publications wherever they are online: