"We may be addressing African local issues, but we still have to be seen to be competing internationally."

Ruth Oniang'o describes why she started the Nairobi-based journal AJFAND and the funding challenge which the journal continues to face even after nearly 20 years of being operational.

"I started this realizing that personally, I had difficulty publishing, I always wanted to, I've always loved editing and sharing information. And I guess I realized that I had difficulty publishing or even when I did, it didn't matter. I mean, what impact was it having on anyone? So when I was at the university, there was money, I was put on the editorial board and investors provided funding to start the journal, but there were no manuscripts. People still wanted to go for the international, peer-reviewed, well-recognized journals, you know? My own area is food science and nutrition. So as soon as I got my full professorship and I left, I said, I'm going to start a journal. ... So the biggest challenge and even up to now has been how to get funding. ... We are published by a Trust so we would like to turn that into a private company to try and generate resources. [Now] we have more manuscripts than we can handle. 300 [inaudible] and yet we put out six issues minimum per year. So there's a lot out there that people want to, to share in their own particular fields...it [the journal] serves a need, fills a gap of my African colleagues who want to publish and the universities that we serve still have the motto of either publish or perish. So the challenge then was getting these to be indexed. You know, internationally. We may be addressing African local issues, but we still have to be seen to be competing internationally. That was a challenge and it took us a while before we got into Scopus. And it took a while before even South Africa scholars could publish with us because they kept saying, "where are you indexed? Where are you indexed?" You know? But at least now they have put us in their system. So we are now getting manuscripts from South Africa, so the challenge then became how do we raise funding. Personally I don't get paid in fact I feel I benefit more from it, because it keeps my mind going. I find it very exciting, but I have to run a system that you know that compensates those that help me to run this. So we started to charge authors. We don't charge a whole lot because none of us academics don't earn a lot," (23:14).


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