When the Nigerian Government set the Nigeria Vision 2020 project in motion, investment in research was cited as one of the central pillars. The project, which aims to make Nigeria a Top 20 world economy by the year 2020, recognized the need to not just bring research content into Nigeria, but also to make Nigeria's research more visible to the world. It needed to give researchers the best chance at publication and visibility, and to give research institutions the tools to monitor the impact of that research.
A new agreement between the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) and Elsevier aims to do exactly that. The four areas the collaboration will cover are:
- Access to research
- Training workshops
- Research analytics tools
- Journal production and hosting
"Access to Elsevier's content and tools is an important step in delivering an information infrastructure necessary for growing Nigeria's R&D – a key step to achieve the 2020 vision," said Professor Michael Faborode, AVCNU's Secretary General. "I'm confident this collaboration will increase our significance in the global research community."
Researchers at 79 government-funded institutions across the country will have continued access to ScienceDirect, Elsevier's full text platform for research literature, as well as Scopus, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature, and SciVal, part of Elsevier's Research Intelligence portfolio of tools and services. "We want to not only provide access to content but to make more and more Nigerian research visible to the world," said Ibrahim Mohammed, Regional Manager for Research Management at Elsevier, based in Egypt.
To do that, researchers will be able to attend workshops offering training on how to extract relevant data from ScienceDirect and Scopus, and how to prepare and submit research papers for publication and the common mistakes to avoid. With the agreement including production and hosting of various journals on ScienceDirect, researchers' papers will have visibility from a global audience.
The research analytics element of the collaboration also provides Nigerian institutions with the capability to address some of the current challenges on the way to achieving the Vision 2020 goal. "One of the reasons (research analytics) was included is because Nigerian researchers were leaving the country and working abroad," said Mohammed. "With SciVal, universities can examine why that's happening and look at what research areas they need to invest in to prevent that brain drain."
It will also help universities assess the extent to which academic research supports commercial industry, one of the key ways in which investment in research can help achieve the country's economic goals.
"The idea was always to help the researcher at every stage of the process — to give them the access to high-quality content and the tools and training to use that content," said Ahmed Abd Elnaby, Account Manager for Africa at Elsevier. "We will provide the training to help them write high quality articles, and with the publishing and hosting element, offer a highly visible place to publish their articles. And then after publishing, with SciVal they can judge how they're performing against their objectives."
Elsevier Connect Contributor
Ian Evans is Communications Business Partner at Elsevier, based in Oxford. He joined Elsevier two years ago from a small trade publisher specializing in popular science and literary fiction. Prior to this he worked for several years on a leading trade magazine for the electrical retail industry, reporting on new technologies and market trends in consumer electronics. He holds a degree in English literature from the University of Wales, Cardiff, and spends his spare time reading, writing, and playing drums.