African research funders in global spotlight through Dimensions indexing project

18 June 2024 Categories: latest news, News, Press Releases

Monday 17 June 2024

African research is receiving a major visibility boost with the indexing of 10 national funders in Dimensions, the world’s largest linked research database.


This project is a collaboration with Digital Science, the Africa PID Alliance (APA), the Association of African Universities (AAU), the Training Centre in Communication (TCC Africa), and the Research Organization Registry (ROR).


“This project connects the research outputs from leading African funding bodies to the global research ecosystem,” said Joy Owango, Executive Director of TCC Africa and Project Lead at the Africa PID Alliance.


“Indexing and linking their data in Dimensions allows these African national funders to increase transparency around their research investments, demonstrate the impacts and outcomes of funded projects, facilitate new regional and global collaborations, inform strategic funding priorities through insights on research trends, and amplify Africa’s overall research contributions on the international stage,” she said.


Digital Science CEO Dr Daniel Hook said: “We’re excited to be able to partner with research organizations in Africa, and to help drive improved visibility of African research both to Africans and around the world. As Africa increases its investment in research, it is critical to ensure that its funding is routed to the most impactful projects that make a difference for Africans; and for Africa to showcase its research insights in a global context.


“Digital Science’s Dimensions will help researchers and decision-makers across the continent to garner deep, strategic insights into research – such as areas of strength or areas of opportunity in collaborations, expertise, and resourcing. We hope this collaboration can form part of the foundation for a stronger research ecosystem across Africa that will lead to global recognition of Africa’s unique research proposition,” he said.


“The continent has few science repositories and data there are rarely openly shared. We are, however, moving in a new direction that now opens doors for more research collaboration and increase the sharing of data, thereby promoting trust among researchers … as well as availing data to policy makers to use in making important decisions in government,” said Professor Olusola Bandele Oyewole, Secretary-General of the AAU. He urged African researchers not to fear sharing data so long as this is done in a responsible manner.  


Director Government and Funders – Middle East & Africa at Digital Science, Amna Babiker, said: “Africa’s research landscape has been undergoing rapid change, with many nations recognizing the importance of research to their future economic, cultural and societal prosperity. It’s been a pleasure working with our many partners in Africa to understand what role Digital Science can play in helping African research institutions to reach their potential, and for their voices to be heard within global research.”


The SGCI is a multilateral initiative aimed at strengthening the institutional capacities of 17 public science funding agencies across Sub-Saharan Africa. However, until now, little was known globally about the research investments and outputs from most of these key funders, except for South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF), which was already indexed.


“This lack of visibility has hindered efforts to comprehensively understand, evaluate and build upon African nations’ critical investments into advancing knowledge – something we now hope to turn around,” Ms Owango said.


ROR Director Maria Gould said: “One of the key use cases for ROR is helping funders track the research outputs they have supported, and this is especially critical to raise the visibility of research activities across the African continent. We are happy that ROR can support this effort.”


The SGCI funders now globally accessible in Dimensions are:


  • National Research Fund (Kenya)
  • National Commission For Science, Technology & Innovation (Kenya)
  • Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology
  • Uganda National Council for Science and Technology
  • Malawi National Commission for Science and Technology
  • Fundo Nacional de Investigacao (Mozambique)
  • Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) (Nigeria)
  • National Science and Technology Council (Zambia)
  • Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (Ghana)


Efforts are underway to index the remaining seven councils to fully capture funding across the 16 SGCI participating nations. 


In the long-term, indexing the SGCI funders lays the groundwork for more effective research management, evidence-based policy-making, and amplifying the impacts of African research outputs globally.


About Digital Science

Digital Science is an AI-focused technology company providing innovative solutions to complex challenges faced by researchers, universities, funders, industry and publishers. We work in partnership to advance global research for the benefit of society. Through our brands – Altmetric, Dimensions, Figshare, ReadCube, Symplectic, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, Overleaf, Writefull, OntoChem, Scismic and metaphacts – we believe when we solve problems together, we drive progress for all. Visit and follow @digitalsci on X or on LinkedIn.

About Dimensions

Part of Digital Science, Dimensions is among the world’s largest linked research database and data infrastructure provider, re-imagining research discovery with access to grants, publications, clinical trials, patents and policy documents all in one place. Follow @DSDimensions on X and LinkedIn.

About the Research Organization Registry (ROR)


ROR is a global, community-led registry of open persistent identifiers for research organizations. ROR makes it easy for anyone or any system to disambiguate institution names and connect research organizations to researchers and research outputs. ROR provides a free and open dataset and open API for more than 109,000 organizations and counting, and is used and supported in core scholarly infrastructure around the world. Find out more


About the Training Centre in Communication (TCC Africa)


The Training Centre in Communication (TCC Africa), is the first African-based training centre to teach effective communication skills to scientists. TCC Africa is an award winning Trust, established as a non-profit entity in 2006 and is registered in Kenya. TCC Africa provides  capacity support in improving researchers  output and visibility through training in  scholarly and science communication. Find out more


About the Africa PID Alliance (APA)


The Africa PID Alliance is part of the Open Infrastructure Program of the Training Centre in Communication (TCC-AFRICA). It strives to support scientists and inventors to disseminate and commercialize their research innovations. Through the Africa PID Alliance innovative projects, they provide reliable open research infrastructure services which provide access to knowledge and metadata about digital objects closer to the wider communities, including indigenous knowledge and patent metadata, starting from Africa. Find out more


About the Association of African Universities

The Association of African Universities (AAU) is the apex higher education organization in Africa and represents the voice of higher education on the continent on regional and international bodies. With over 50 years’ experience in running programmes and projects for its member universities, the Association enjoys a unique capacity for convening the higher education community in Africa to reflect and consult on key issues affecting education on the continent. The thrust of its base is the nimble deploying of advocacy, commissioning of studies, and acting and becoming the clearing house and intelligence arm for these higher education institutions on the continent. Find out more about the AAU via its website: 


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