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This study aims to find out the coverage of biomedical journals published in Sub-Saharan Africa in four authoritative international databases-Web of Science, Scopus, MEDLINE and EMBASE and two Africa-focused scholarly databases-Africa Journals Online (AJOL) and African Index Medicus (AIM). Lists of active journals that are published in the 46 Sub-Saharan African countries were retrieved from the Ulrich periodical directory to create master journal lists. Unique journals from other databases that were not found in Ulrich were added to the master journal list. The six databases included in this study were searched for journals on the master lists. Only 23 of the 46 Sub-Saharan African countries had at least one biomedical journal. Only about one-quarter (152) of the 560 biomedical journals from Sub-Saharan Africa were found in at least one of the biomedical databases. South African journals accounted for more than 50% of all the Sub-Saharan journals in the international scholarly databases. AJOL contains the highest number of biomedical journals from Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Scopus and EMBASE. AJOL asserts its importance by covering the highest number of unique journals and having a representative number of journals in all biomedical sub-disciplines. The majority of studies from Sub-Saharan Africa are left out when biomedical evidence-based researchers only retrieve studies from authoritative international databases. Searching Google Scholar and the African research databases of AJOL and AIM would increase the number of studies from the region. Copyright © 2023 Toluwase Victor Asubiaro.


Toluwase Victor Asubiaro. Sub-Saharan Africa's biomedical journal coverage in scholarly databases: a comparison of Web of Science, Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE, African Index Medicus, and African Journals Online. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA. 2023 Jul 10;111(3):696-702

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PMID: 37483369

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