Research Metrics: Does it matter in the African scholarship and collaboration?
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Review of literature reveals that Africa’s contribution to global knowledge and innovations is still rated at low. Scholarly communication in the region is bedeviled by among others, poor discovery and access to local scientific information, low publishing levels, and low funding and collaboration in research enterprise. Scientists in the region are at pains on to remedy situation. One development that is steadily gaining popularity globally is use research metrics to evaluate research productivity, visibility, collaboration and impact at individual, institutional, national and regional levels. The overall objective of this paper is to examine the role of metrics in promoting collaboration and quality in research, publications and innovation in the African region. More Specifically the paper will evaluate first, the concept of metrics in research and publication and the rationale behind the existing research metric key tools and services. Secondly, it will examine the potential application of metrics in both higher education and research institutions as a strategy of promoting and evaluating productivity and promoting intra-Africa collaboration among scholars and institutions in the region. Thirdly, it will review areas of collaboration in the improvement of research in the African region. Fourthly it will examine the key obstacles to the use of metrics and measures required to create conducive organizational ecosystem for fruitful use of research metrics. Finally the paper will propose a unique tool that be used to identify research publications across Africa and apply conventional metrics to them