Profiling African Health Journals: A Bibliometric Study

Oloruntoba Ogunfolaji, Adrien Tangmi, Olaoluwa Ezekiel Dada, Lorraine Arabang Sebopelo, Dawin Sichimba, Olga M. Djoutsop, Hazem S. Ghaith, Jebet Beverly Cheserem, Ahmed Negida, Nancy Abu-Bonsrah, Ulrick Sidney Kanmounye, Ignatius Esene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: This study aimed to map out African health journals using publicly-available information on major databases. Methods: The authors searched the African Journals Online Library (AJOL) and Scientific Journal Rankings (SJR) databases from their inception in 1998 and 1996 respectively to 17 October 2020, and identified African health journals. The authors extracted data on journal scope, PubMed indexation, open-access status, publishing fees, Journal Publishing Practices and Standards rating and bibliometrics. The data were compared with health journals from other regions using the Chi-square test and odds ratio. Results: AJOL had 173 health journals registered on its database. One hundred (57.8%) journals were actively publishing. Fifty-seven (32.9%) had a 1-star Journal Publishing Practices and Standards rating and 4 (2.3%) had 2-star ratings. 112 (64.7%) had no star rating. The journal scope spanned all aspects of health. Few health journals were PubMed (n = 20) or SJR (n = 22) indexed. On average, African journals had lower total publications (median [IQR]: 52.0 [29.0–74.8] vs. 140.0 [75.8–272.5]), total references (55.0 [19.5–74.8] vs. 160.0 [42.0–519.8]), and H-index (12.2 [5.0–14.0] vs. 39.1 [10.0–53.0]) (P=0.01) compared to other regions. Conclusion: African health journals face unique challenges that require targeted interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1604932
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2022


  • Africa
  • African health
  • PubMed
  • PubMed indexation
  • bibliometric study
  • journal scope
  • open-access
  • research


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