Bringing African research out of the shadows – Part 3

In the third and final blog in this series, Miriam Conteh-Morgan, Head Librarian, Institute of Public Administration and Management, University of Sierra Leone, wraps up her discussion on the routes for researchers to improve visibility of their research and tips on how researchers can use 2.0 technologies to bring their findings and ideas into the global academic conversations

Visibility through greater representation in the global research community and recognition of one’s (or in this case, a continent’s) contribution to knowledge production are basic to measuring scholarly impact, and these are more easily achievable these days because of new media.

The subtitle of a book by John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison — The power of pull: How small moves, smartly made, can set big things in motion – captures the essence of what researchers in Africa can do to join global academic conversations. “Pull,” the authors argue, is built on 3 A’s: access (that is, finding and getting to people and resources), the ability to attract potentially valuable people and resources, and how these can help one achieve new levels of performance and influence. If practiced well, especially by developing a “share research and flourish” agenda, some potential benefits of pull to African and developing-world researchers include:

  • Increased participation in and contribution to the global open knowledge commons;
  • Taking responsibility for shaping one’s own academic profile and expanding one’s global reach;
  • Increased ROA (return on awareness), manifest through enlarged networks and new collaborations; and
  • Receiving constructive (particularly pre-publication) feedback on one’s research in a timely manner.

There is a lengthier discussion of the topic by this author, and a handy guide to managing one’s academic online presence put out by the University of Cape Town.

What do you think?  Have you used any of these tools to share your research and meet fellow researchers? Are there any you would recommend?  Is this an effective approach?

A Spanish version of this post is also available on the AuthorAID website.


Gregg, Melissa. (2006). Feeling ordinary: Blogging as conversational scholarship. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 20 (2), 147–60

Hagel III, John, Brown, John Seely, & Davison, Lang. (2010). The power of pull: How small moves, smartly made, can set big things in motion. New York, NY: Basic Books

Full article:


Comments are closed.