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Concept Note: Scholarly Publishing and knowledge dissemination




The Continental Education Strategy for Africa: Higher Education Series

Scholarly Publishing and knowledge dissemination

Book Series Editor/Coordinator:
Professor Damtew Teferra


About the African Higher Education Series

The Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) 2016-25 Higher Education Series is a strategic intervention in the advancement of higher education in Africa in keeping with the framework of CESA’s Higher Education Cluster. The Series is intended to systematically produce evidence-based knowledge in the thematic areas of the Higher Education Cluster through a rigorous process of collective academic and professional engagement with direct implications for policy, discourse and actions from continental perspectives guided by the African Union’s blueprint compass, Agenda 2063. The initiative is further intended to contribute to building the next generation of academics, researchers and policy makers in higher education.

The CESA Higher Education Series will publish thematic issues in a series along the established sub-cluster themes of the Higher Education Cluster. Each theme will be assigned a lead editor who will work closely with the coordinator of the Series.

The following five themes are identified to start the Series: (1) Harmonization, quality assurance and accreditation; (2) Research and graduate education; (3) Private higher education; (4) Scholarly publishing and knowledge dissemination; and (5) Curriculum, teaching and learning.


Call for Papers

Scholarly Publishing and Knowledge Dissemination

Volume Editors:

Prof. Thierry M Luescher, Dr François van Schalkwyk, Dr Samuel N Fongwa and Prof. Damtew Teferra


Brief Overview of the Volume

The edited volume Scholarly Publishing and Knowledge Dissemination in Africa will be a collection of high-quality, original, research-based chapters to be published in the new HES Series. The book will be edited by Prof. Thierry M Luescher, Dr Francois van Schalkwyk, Dr Samuel Fongwa and Prof. Damtew Teferra. The volume seeks to document, map and analyse the current state, key trends and contemporary themes and developments in scholarly publishing as they relate to the production and dissemination of knowledge by universities in Africa.


Rationale for the book

The book will present a robust compendium of the historical development and most important current issues on scholarly publishing and knowledge dissemination in Africa. It is anticipated to provide in-depth knowledge, rich perspectives and robust analyses on the subject through rigorous study and research by experts and leading authorities in the field from across the continent and different regions of the world. In doing so, it will serve as a viable platform for conceptualising, analysing, deliberating and disseminating knowledge in continental developments in scholarly publishing in Africa.

Anticipated contributions from all the sub-regions of the continent, blended with thematic issues, will not only bridge a critical knowledge gap in the field but also shape the discourse—one key objective of the African Higher Education Series. It is envisaged that the book will provide an authoritative source, among others, for policy makers, scholars, development partners, academic institutions and industry players on the topic. Every chapter will include:

  • an overview of the key issues arising from the data
  • a presentation and analysis of most recent available empirical data
  • implications for the further development of higher education on the continent
  • pertinent recommendations for policy makers as well as
  • recommendations for future studies.

This will be couched against the context of the historical development and present challenges and opportunities, and an overview of past studies.


The book

The book is anticipated to include up to twelve chapters, each written by experts, individually or collectively, who will be commissioned following the review of their resumés and approval of chapter proposals by the editors. In addition to the expertise of the authors, the editors will consider regional representation, gender, as well as collaboration between established and emerging researchers as criteria in their selection of commissioned contributors. The book manuscript and each chapter will be subjected to a rigorous editorial process as well as double-blind review. Each chapter may be between 8,000-10,000 words including references, that will follow an APA style. All manuscripts are produced in English (but the possibility of including abstracts for each chapter in French).

Subsequent to the acceptance of the final version of a manuscript, each participating author may need to contribute policy/think pieces on professional and popular platforms, such as the University World News and International Higher Education.


Proposed Chapters / Topics

The following is a list of anticipated chapters for this book. The content and structure of each chapter will be provided to help guide the discussion between the contributor and the editor/s. We welcome recommendations for the inclusion of additional chapters provided they are supported by a motivation outlining what gap is being filled by the proposed chapter and why the chapter makes an important contribution to the edited volume. (As agreed these are just proposed chapters which we anticipate to be flushed out further as all possible partners are meeting.)


Chapter 1—Introduction

The introduction chapter starts with a brief history of higher education and scholarly publishing in Africa along with some key change drivers impacting on scholarly publishing. In the process, the chapter clarifies key concepts. Against a discussion of the policy on scholarly publishing and knowledge dissemination within the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA), the chapter leads into a background to the book series and the scope and focus of this volume, the rationale for the collection, eventually providing an overview of chapters.


Chapter 2—The politics of knowledge production

This chapter will open up the problematique of knowledge production, publication and dissemination in Africa by asking who produces knowledge in Africa? It will consider local versus global knowledge systems, the national or regional hegemonies that influence the production of knowledge, the way governments are supporting the production of knowledge on the continent, and the role of science funders in knowledge production.


Chapter 3—The continental landscape of scholarly publishing

This chapter provides an up-to-date overview of key actors in the scholarly publishing ecosystems, with reference to editors, publishers (number, types), production (infrastructure, skills), libraries, repositories and platforms, distributors, and booksellers


Chapter 4—University presses in Africa

Chapter 4 focuses on university presses in Africa one of the key role-players in the scholarly publishing system. It provides an overview and discussion of active university presses on the continent, new university presses, new university press models (e.g. “library presses”), and the constraints and opportunities encountered by university presses in Africa.


Chapter 5—International scholarly publishers on the continent

This chapter focuses on international publishers that are active in scholarly publishing on the continent. It takes a critical look at the impact of international publishers on local scholarly publishers and at scholarly publishing in a ‘reputational economy’.


Chapter 6— Economics of scholarly publishing: established and emerging models

Chapter 6 contains three main sections. Firstly, it provides an analysis of various scholarly publishing models (university press, independent presses, NGO publishers). Secondly, it reviews and considers the viability of new/emerging models (including open access; social enterprises), and thirdly, it discusses product diversification (monographs, edited volumes, textbooks, study notes, trade books, journals/e-journals) in the publishing industry and their respective implication for publishing in Africa.


Chapter 7 — Knowledge dissemination, publishing networks and collaborations

Against the context of the global flow of knowledge, this chapter provides an analysis of the state of scholarly knowledge dissemination in Africa (national, cross-border, international distribution). It critically considers book donation programmes and provides an appraisal of scholarly publishing networks (past and present) that impact on African knowledge dissemination.


Chapter 8 – The current language landscape of publishing and indigenous languages

Chapter 8 starts with an empirical overview of the current language landscape of scholarly publishing in Africa. It then focuses on the question of publishing in indigenous languages, opportunities for publishing in indigenous languages and support for indigenous language publishing. The final section will consider the diaspora as a market for publishing in indigenous languages.


Chapter 9 – ePublishing, Open Access, and the future of publishing in Africa

This chapter starts with an empirical overview of ePublishing in Africa, focusing on periodicals (e-journals) as well as non-periodical e-publications (e.g., open access monographs) to show the extent of uptake of electronic by scholarly presses in Africa and other role-players. The chapter concludes with a consideration of the sustainability of open access publishing.


Chapter 10 – Ethical issues in scholarly publishing

Predatory publishing has increased sharply with the advent of various e-publishing platforms. Against a framework of ethical issues in scholarly publishing, this chapter first discusses the nature and extent of predatory publishing in Africa. It then considers the question of publishing incentives and rewards to scholarly authors and their impact on scholarly publishing and on the socialisation of young and emerging scholars.


Chapter 11 – Scholarly publishing at the chalk face

This chapter will provide a first-hand account of scholarly publishing as it manifests itself in two select countries specific scholarly publishing projects as regards production and dissemination, as well as scholarly recognition and promotion, among others.


Chapter 12 —Conclusion

The concluding chapter will provide a synthesis of the key insights from the chapters. It will review certain theoretical considerations and highlight remaining knowledge gaps and opportunities for additional research. The chapter concludes on practical and policy implications and recommendations from each chapter.


January – March 2021

  • Establish editorial team
  • Develop concept note
  • Identify contributors/authors


April – May 2021

  • Develop book structure and chapters
  • Develop extensive guidelines for contributors
  • Invitation to contributors
  • Online briefing of contributors with editors


June – December 2021

  • Abstract proposal submission and review
  • Online meeting of authors and editors
  • Research and writing up


December 2021 – February 2022

  • First Draft submission
  • Editorial review of drafts
  • Revision


March – May 2022

  • Final Submission
  • Editing (including language editing)
  • Manuscript to publisher for peer review
  • Final touches


May – June 2022

  • Publishing


June – December 2022

  • Book launches
  • Seminars with policy makers, scholars and industry players
  • Articles in scholarly and popular media



The African Higher Education Series is supported by the joint initiative of the Commissions of the African and European Union for higher education development within HAQAA2 Framework coordinated by OBREAL, in Spain.

Each selected contributor will be paid a modest, pre-determined honorarium at the submission of the final and edited version of the manuscript, ready for typesetting.



Professor Thierry M Luescher is the lead editor of the volume. He is the research director for higher education at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and associate professor for higher education at the University of the Free State (UFS) in South Africa. He is an NRF-rated researcher. Luescher is the head of the Sub-Cluster for Scholarly Publishing and Knowledge Dissemination in Africa under the Higher Education Cluster of Africa Union’s Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA). He coordinates the editorial team’s relationship with other volume editors, the series editor, and the cluster overall.

Dr François van Schalkwyk is a South African expert on scholarly publishing in Africa and a research fellow at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Van Schalkwyk has widely researched and published in the areas of scholarly publishing, science communication and higher education. He is a trustee of the open access scholarly publisher African Minds and a member of the editorial board of the ISI-journal Learned Publishing. He is a member of the Sub-Cluster for Scholarly Publishing and Knowledge Dissemination in Africa under the Higher Education Cluster of Africa Union’s Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA). Van Schalkwyk will lead the editorial team with respect to his scholarly expertise and knowledge of the industry.

Dr Samuel N Fongwa is the managing editor of the book. Fongwa is a Senior Research Specialist in the Inclusive Economic Development division of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in South Africa. Fongwa is an expert on Higher Education and Development in Africa and has published widely on related topics. He is currently editing a book on university – community engagement in secondary cities in Africa. Fongwa coordinates the day-to-day relationship of the editors with contributors.

Prof. Damtew Teferra is one of the editors of the book and General Editor of the book series. His expertise in scholarly publishing will be invaluable to the success of the volume.



The Higher Education Series will be headed and coordinated by Prof. Damtew Teferra. Teferra is professor of higher education studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is the Founding Director of the International Network for Higher Education in Africa at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the co-coordinator of the CESA Higher Education Cluster, and book series editor of The Higher Education Series. For more details see: http://www.inhea.org/the-african-higher-education-series/



Dr Sam Fongwa, Corresponding Editor; Senior Research Specialist, Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa. Email: sfongwa@hsrc.ac.za

Prof. Thierry Luescher, Lead Editor; Research Director, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town. Email: tluescher@hsrc.ac.za

Prof. Damtew Teferra, Book Series Editor; Professor of Higher Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. Email: teferra@bc.edu