As Researchers Produce 300,000 Covid-19 Publications, UI Leads Nigerian Institutions

As Researchers Produce 300,000 Covid-19 Publications, UI Leads Nigerian Institutions

As the second wave of Covid-19 continues in some states in Nigeria, available information indicates that Nigerian researchers in varied institutions contributed 1,634 publications out of 305,479 global publications released by publishers between December 2019 and February 7, 2021.

This was gleaned from the real time monitoring of academic publications, clinical trials and funding of the disease across the world by the Dimensions, a global organisation that focuses on data mining and dissemination to the public.

Dimensions uses a variety of sources including Crossref, PubMed, Europe PubMed Central, arXiv and direct contacts with more than 130 publishers to create a baseline metadata model for publications data.

The 305,479 publications were produced by 21,328 organisations in 196 countries. According to the data, with 4,209 organisations, the United States of America led all the countries. China followed with 1,845 organisations while the United Kingdom and India had 1,342 and 1,298 organisations respectively. Analysis further indicates that Germany [969], France [920], Japan [769], Italy [631], Spain [585], Brazil [463], Russia [432], Canada [446] and Australia [389] had a significant number of organisations.

In Africa, Nigeria led other countries with 158 organisations. South Africa followed with 113 organisations. Analysis also reveals that Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Algeria had a significant number of establishments, where researchers have produced publications. Examination of the data using fields of research reveals that medical and health sciences, studies in human society, biological sciences and psychology and cognitive sciences dominated during the period of publications [December, 2019 to February, 2021]. In all these fields, researchers from the Harvard University, University of Oxford, University of Toronto, Johns Hopkins University and University College London led.

Exhibit 1: Publications by Fields of Research

Source: Dimensions COVID-19 Report, 2021; Infoprations Analysis, 2021

Out of 1,634 publications produced by the Nigerian organisations [in our context, we referred them as institutions], researchers from the University of Ibadan produced 198 publications, excluding those produced by researchers at the University College Hospital (UCH). The 1,634 publications were produced by 158 institutions. More than 25% of these institutions had one publication. Seventy-eight institutions, representing 49.4% were public institutions while 33 [20.9% of 158] were private institutions.

University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, University of Ilorin, Ahmadu Bello University, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Bayero University, University College Hospital, Lago University Teaching Hospital and Nnamdi Azikiwe University followed University of Ibadan in terms of publications. Once again Covenant University leads other private universities with a total 32 publications. The Landmark University and the Redeemer’s University had 14 and 13 publications respectively.

Our analyst notes that four of the South African universities edged out the University of Ibadan, from claiming the top spot in Africa. The University of Cape Town had 459 publications. Stellenbosch University [301], University of KwaZulu-Natal [240] and University of Pretoria [279] followed accordingly. University of Ibadan only leads the University of Johannesburg, which had 168 publications. University of Ibadan also had more publications than Ain Shams University Cairo. Beyond the Africa, analysis also indicates that the University of Ibadan is ahead of the University of Reading, University of Oklahoma and Carleton University Canada.

Exhibit 2: Number of Publications and Institutions

Source: Dimensions COVID-19 Report, 2021; Infoprations Analysis, 2021

Exhibit 3: Top 20 Institutions and Their Number of Publications

Source: Dimensions COVID-19 Report, 2021; Infoprations Analysis, 2021

In the previous analysis, our analyst had noted that stakeholders need to explore academic sources more for better understanding of the containment and mitigation messages. This is imperative on the basis that scholars in medicine and health related fields have been saddled with the responsibilities of conducing evidence-based research on various diseases and health conditions for quality living of all.

Now that a number of publications have emerged from Nigeria, the results of the publications must be pushed further by the concerned stakeholders. Findings need to be translated into concrete solutions. In this regard, our analyst notes that the management of the University of Ibadan needs to consider creation of a strategic team or committee that would explore the findings and create a strategic plan for the management of the disease in the University Community and Nigeria in general. Nigerian government equally needs to provide an enabling environment for academic and independent researchers for more studies on the disease.

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