Coverage of African Related Studies in International Journals: Greater Exposure for ‘Public Intellectuals’ in Sociology and Industrial Relations?

This paper assesses the coverage of African topics in leading international journals, focussing on sociology and an important subdiscipline, industrial relations. In doing so, it evaluates whether the number of articles with an African focus has grown or declined over the last decade. The findings reveal a limited exposure of African and related debates. Moverover, the number appears to be declining, with periodic bulges in publication activity linked to journal special issues. However, there appears to be no relationship between the ranking of journals and the appearance of articles on African issues; scholars working on Africa have published in the most highly-ranked journals in the field. There are therefore some grounds for optimism. But for African scholars, this is heavily dependent on the availability of resources. Without such resources, some doubt is cast on the future ability of ‘public intellectuals’ in Africa to influence international debates. Given that many of the other problems faced by scholars in Africa centre on the lack of availability – and access to – international journals and cutting-edge texts, the availability of free online access to journals produced by the major journal publishers would provide a major boost to scholarship on the continent. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]

Title: Coverage of African Related Studies in International Journals: Greater Exposure for ‘Public Intellectuals’ in Sociology and Industrial Relations?
Authors: Wood, Geoffrey
Dibben, Pauline
Year: 2006
Periodical: African Sociological Review (ISSN 1027-4332)
Volume: 10
Issue: 1
Pages: 180-192
Language: English
Notes: biblio. refs.
Geographic term: Africa
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/afrisocirevi.10.1.180
Abstract: This paper assesses the coverage of African topics in leading international journals, focussing on sociology and an important subdiscipline, industrial relations. In doing so, it evaluates whether the number of articles with an African focus has grown or declined over the last decade. The findings reveal a limited exposure of African and related debates. Moverover, the number appears to be declining, with periodic bulges in publication activity linked to journal special issues. However, there appears to be no relationship between the ranking of journals and the appearance of articles on African issues; scholars working on Africa have published in the most highly-ranked journals in the field. There are therefore some grounds for optimism. But for African scholars, this is heavily dependent on the availability of resources. Without such resources, some doubt is cast on the future ability of ‘public intellectuals’ in Africa to influence international debates. Given that many of the other problems faced by scholars in Africa centre on the lack of availability – and access to – international journals and cutting-edge texts, the availability of free online access to journals produced by the major journal publishers would provide a major boost to scholarship on the continent. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]