The bane of publishing a research article in international journals by African researchers, the peer-review process and the contentious issue of predatory journals: a commentary

  • Elvis Enowbeyang Tarkang Department of Population and Behavioural Science, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences PMB 31 Ho, Ghana; HIV/AIDS Prevention Research Network Cameroon, Kumba, Cameroon
  • Luchuo Engelbert Bain The Pan African Medical Journal, Nairobi, Kenya; Athena Institute for Research on Innovation and Communication in Health and Life Sciences, Vrije University, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Keywords: Peer-review; African journals; predatory journals; international journals; African academics and researchers


Scholarly publication in a peer-reviewed journal is the highest form of disseminating research findings. However, the process of publishing in peer-reviewed journals remains a daunting task for researchers and academics in Africa. This commentary will assist authors in Africa to understand the peer-review process, to appreciate the length of time it takes a manuscript to be published and to encourage them to publish in local peer-review journals. The authors argue that the peer-review process is essential because it acts as a quality control mechanism to ensure that valid and reliable research is published. Although peer review does not guarantee exclusive publication of reliable and valid research, it remains central in the scientific activity. Authors need to take seriously the comments from reviewers and editors, even in cases of rejection seriously and in the positive sense, in order to improve upon the quality of their work. Rejections by some journals happen not to be scientifically grounded. It happens that African authors suffer more from this flaw. This could justify why some naïve authors easily turn to publish in predatory journals. Authors argue that publishing in local journals is imperative for Africans scholars. Initiatives to encourage publication in these journals are highly needed.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688