About Us

About Us

IntroDUCTION

Academic Journals is a publisher of peer-reviewed open access journals. Academic Journals currently publishes over 100 open access journals covering art and humanities, engineering, medical science, social sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences and agricultural sciences. Our mission is to accelerate the dissemination of knowledge through the publication of high quality research articles using the open access model.

 


Motivation for Establishing Academic Journals

The motivation for the establishment of Academic Journals was to enable African scholars have access to high quality peer reviewed articles, and also to enable researchers across the globe have access to articles published by African researchers without any form of restriction. This led to the publication of the first journal – the African Journal of Biotechnology in 2002.  Professor Nyerhovwo J. Tonukari, co-Founder, Academic Journals captured this motivation in three of his articles published between 2004 and 2005. In these articles, Professor Tonukari argues for the need of scientific journals to adopt the open access model. He stated that open access model of publication is the most effective way to distribute research output, bridge the information gap between developing and advanced countries and help improve research productivity worldwide. See the articles below.


               Article 1: E-publishing in Developing Economies (2004)

The drive to publish the results of research is global but presents special challenges in developing economies. African researchers and publishers face many of the same problems that affect the global research community, but they are also confronted by a number of complex issues that have resulted in a lack of indigenous publishing and a lack of access to relevant material. Apart from financial problems, there are many infrastructural and cultural factors that affect the dissemination of quality information and have resulted in a poorly developed information economy and a lack of representation within the international research community.

This article provides an overview of some of the challenges facing African journal publishers, and by extension the African scholarly community, which needs to read and publish up-to-date research that is relevant to local interests while remaining international in quality. Traditional publishing models imported into the African context have not been able to deliver the desired results for a number of reasons. The emergence of e-publishing models may provide African publishers with increased opportunities for the production and dissemination of scholarship and research findings, and two examples of Internet application in Africa are discussed. However, online technology is not a panacea for all the problems inherent in publishing in the developing world, and this article considers some problems not resolved - and some perhaps even caused - by the new models…. To read the full article, kindly click here.

Pearce, C., Smart, P., & Tonukari, N. J. (2004). E-publishing in Developing Economies. Canadian Journal of Communication, 29(3/4), 329.

Article 2: An African E-Journal (2005)
One of the motivating factors that led to the establishment of the African Journal of Biotechnology – AJB, www.academicjournals.org/AJB – was to have an international journal that publicised the current research going on in African countries.

The vast majority of journals published in Africa today are languishing in obscurity because they are not known outside their institutions or region. Many journals published in Ghana, for example, cannot be found in universities or research institutions in Kenya. Furthermore, African researchers often lack access to foreign journals as most of the universities’ libraries cannot afford to buy these journals anymore. On the other hand, the scarcity of African journals in the libraries of the developed countries or on the Internet makes it difficult for anyone outside Africa to find information on some issues peculiar to the continent…. To read the full article, kindly click here

Tonukari, N. J. (2005). An African E-Journal, INASP Newsletter, (29) 4-5

Article 3: Research communications in the 21st century (2004)
Scientific inquiry thrives only in a society that fosters the free flow of ideas and information. The power of online (internet) publication in democratizing science and incorporating scientists from developing countries into the scientific community is profound. The desired and obvious properties of scientific publishing such as accessibility, economy, quality, innovation, and retrieval can be more readily achieved with electronic methods. Online publication is much cheaper and faster, and that is major reason Africa should embrace the open access model for research communication. An open access African journal (the African Journal of Biotechnology) is evaluated.

The concept of making the results of primary research freely available to anyone with an internet connection has caused a great stir in the media and science community (Lipman, 2001). The sciences are undergoing a fundamental and difficult transition - from a mode of publication that has reigned for the 335 years since the printing of the first scientific journals to a new mode made possible by computer science and the Internet. This transition is going to occur within the next decade or two, and it is now important for both scientists and publishers to influence its pace and its form. The desired properties of scientific publishing - accessibility, economy, quality, innovation, and retrieval - seem obvious, and it seems equally obvious that most or all of these properties can be more readily achieved with electronic methods (Varmus, 2001). …. To read the full article, kindly click here

Tonukari, N. J. (2004). Research communications in the 21st century. African Journal of Biotechnology3(2), 123-126

 

BRIEF HISTORY 

In November   of   2002, Academic   Journals commenced publication of the African Journal of Biotechnology (AJB) as monthly publication. From its beginning, the journal aims to have a truly global editorial board and reviewers. Thus, as a deliberate policy, the editorial board and reviewers are selected from across the world. The journal also adopted a double-blind review system.

The first issue of the journal saw the publication of 4 articles. A total of 12 articles were published at the end of 2002. These articles received significant positive response from researchers. The following year, AJB continue to receive significant support from researchers through their manuscript submission. Same year, the journal witnessed significant submission from both within and outside of Africa. 145 articles were published by December of 2003. The number of published articles declined in 2004 to 118. This trend was reversed in 2005 and this saw the total number of published articles at the end of the year rising to 284.

With the unexpected growth of the African Journal of Biotechnology between 2002 and 2005, Academic Journals was encouraged to start new journals. Our goal was to bring the open access model to other areas of research and broaden the opportunities for African researchers to publish their manuscripts using the open access model. This led to the establishment of seven new journals in 2006.

African Journal of Agricultural Research
Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Research
Educational Research and Reviews 
International Journal of Physical Sciences
International NGO Journal
Scientific Research and Essays

The new journals were well received by researchers and submissions were received both from across the world. At the end of 2006, the total number of articles published by Academic Journals surpassed 1,000 articles.
2006 was very significant year for Academic Journals for two major reasons. First our experiment with open access publishing has not only succeeded, but we managed multiple journals successfully. In addition, our scepticism about availability of internet is being overcome as more people gain access to the internet. This means that more researchers now have access to articles published by Academic Journals. Secondly, after years of operating with mostly ad-hoc staff, we were able to generate adequate revenue to recruit full time employees. Academic Journals was restructured, several full-time employees were recruited, and the CEO resumed full time to lead the management and provide strategic direction for the company.

Encouraged by the success of 2006 and renewed confidence in our mission of enabling African scholars have access to high quality peer reviewed articles, Academic Journals launched 12 new journals in 2007 bringing the total numbers of journals to 20. In the same year, the total number of articles published since inception of Academic Journals exceeded 2,000 articles.

The following year, although there were plans to launch more journals, the task of managing 20 journals was quite challenging and the resources in terms of recruitment of new of employees and office space was simply unaffordable. The total number of published articles at the end of 2008, exceed 3,500.

Academic journals witnessed major changes in 2009. New office space was rented, and the number of employees doubled to over a hundred persons. Several new journals were launched. At the end of the year, 77 journals were published, and the number of total articles surpassed 7,000.

The growth continued into 2011 and Academic Journals continue to expand its resources to accommodate the growth. By the end of 2011, there were more than two hundred and twenty employees and 107 journals. The same year also the total published articles exceeding 25,000 and by the end of 2016, the total number of published articles surpassed 50,000.

Inclusion in Jeffrey Beall’s List
In 2012, Academic Journals name was included in Jeffrey Beall’s list. This significantly impacted on Academic Journals. Several editors resigned from the various editorial board. The number of manuscript submission declined, including several withdrawals.  This decline was steep and fast, and impacted on our ability to support our team. At the end of the year, under this very difficult condition, Academic journals was forced to downsize the number of employees. Almost half of all members of the team was affected by the downsizing. Over a hundred and twenty employees lost their jobs.

In 2014, Academic Journals submitted a formal appeal to Jeffrey Beall. The appeal was very detailed, highlighting item by item as stated in the requirements of Jeffrey Beall. Academic Journals provided clear answers to all of Jeffrey Beall’s requirements. In his response, Jeffrey Beall stated, “that Academic Journals looks pretty good” and “is the most detailed appeal document that I have ever seen” and that “Predatory might be too harsh of a word for this one”. However, Jeffrey Beall declined to remove Academic Journals from his list. He cited low quality and also mentioned an article similarity with another previously published article. However, the mentioned article was published prior to the Academic Journals’ implementation of the iThenticate software for plagiarism detection.

Academic Journals considers Jeffrey Beall unfair and insincere with regard to the inclusion of Academic Journals in his list. Since Academic Journals met all the requirements as stated, it would have been only appropriate and fair for Jeffrey Beall to remove Academic Journals from the list. Academic Journals doubts the sincerity of the Jeffrey Beall’s list. We perceive that the list is deliberately biased towards open access journals. In addition, we consider Jeffrey Beall’s methods questionable and lacking in rigor in a matter as important as the evaluation of academic publishing. We welcome a fair, transparent and rigorous evaluation of all our activities.

Academic Journals remains resilient and will continue to pursue its purpose. We will continue to bridge this critical gap in the dissemination of researches from Africa to a global audience and create an excellent publishing platform for both African and non-African researchers.

 

ADVISORY BOARD
 

Prof. NJ Tonukari, Delta State University
Prof. George Nkem Ude, Bowie State University
Dr. Bright Agindotan, Montana State University  

 

OUR TEAM

Nyerhovwo John Tonukari (Founder & President)
Tonukari is a Professor of Molecular Biotechnology at the Delta State University, Abraka. He obtained his B.Sc. in Biochemistry (First Class Honours) from the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria in 1987, M.Sc. from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1990 and Ph.D. from Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA in 2000. He was also briefly at the University of Naples, Italy in 1992 and Washington University, St. Louis, USA in 1994. He is a recipient of the Thoman Fellowship, USA (1999), the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, USA (1994) and Federal Government (Nigeria) Postgraduate Scholarship (1990).

Professor Tonukari was previously a Research Associate at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria (1991 to 1996); Postdoctoral Fellow, James R. Randle Research Center, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Decatur, USA (2000 to 2002); and Associate Scientist, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya (2002 to 2004).

Professor Tonukari is the founder Academic Journals whose objective was to enable African researchers to have access to up to date, high quality peer reviewed articles, and also to enable researchers across the globe have access to articles published by African researchers without any form of restriction. Professor Tonukari is the editor of the African Journal of Biotechnology and the Nigerian Journal of Science and Environment. He has authored and co-authored several academic and opinion articles, a book and two patents.

Clement Onou (Chief Operating Officer)
Clement joined Academic Journals in 2005 as an editorial assistant to Professor Tonukari. He was very instrumental in the organization of Academic Journals operations in the early days. He worked in various departments before assuming his current role as the Chief Operating Officer of Academic Journals.  Clement holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and post-graduate diploma in Business Administration.

Dr. Oghenetega Avwioroko (Editorial Office)
Dr. Avwioroko joined Academic Journals in 2009. He is a member of the editorial office team. His activities include liaising with the various units of the editorial office to ensure that all published articles meet high quality standards.  Dr. Avwioroko holds a B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD in Biochemistry.

Tega Tonukari (Chief Executive Officer)
Tega joined Academic Journals full time in 2006. He is responsible for leading the management team and providing strategic direction for Academic Journals. He holds an MBA from the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and a BA from Delta State University. His management education also includes programmes at the Lagos Business School, Harvard Business School and IESE Business School. He has spent almost two decades in various leadership, mentorship and entrepreneurship roles. Tega is also doctoral candidate at the Swiss Business School.

Linda Eraga (Editorial Office)
Linda joined Academic Journals in 2004 as an editorial assistant. She is a member of the quality assurance team of the editorial office. Linda holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biochemistry and she is also at the final stage of her PhD (Biochemistry) programme.

Gregory Agadaga (Director, Partnership Programmes)
Greg joined Academic Journals in 2006. He is responsible for managing the Academic Journals partnership programme. He supports partner journals to adopt best publishing practices while making the transition to Academic Journals platform. He works closely with various editors to grow their journals. Greg studied statistics at both the undergraduate and post graduate levels. He also holds a post graduate diploma in Business Management.  

 

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Academic Journals is registered in Nigeria and Kenya
73023 Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
ICEA Building, 17th Floor, Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya
37B New Ogorode Road, Sapele, Nigeria (Editorial Office)