, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 317–349 | Cite as

The production of science in Africa: an analysis of publications in the science disciplines, 2000–2015

  • Radhamany SooryamoorthyEmail author


The importance of science in Africa has been gaining the interest of scholars and policymakers alike who find that the relationship between science and development is getting stronger than ever. Science in Africa continues to find its own place in the global world of science. However, there have not been any attempts in recent years to study the production of science in all African countries taken as a whole. In this bibliometric study, science in Africa is analyzed using the publications African countries have produced in the last 15 years i.e. from 2000 to 2015. It is not only the number of publications but also the research areas which are of great importance. Not many recent studies have examined the publication productivity of all African countries. The analysis undertaken here shows that a few countries, namely, South Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, Nigeria and Algeria are the leading countries. These produced the highest number of publications during 2000–2015. At the same time, some of the weakest countries in Africa have strengths in specific research areas and are thus able to contribute to knowledge production in those areas. The findings presented in the paper suggest the implications for development in Africa and the measures which could be taken.


Science Bibliometrics Research areas Africa 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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