Sub-Saharan African Countries’ COVID-19 Research for 2020 from Web of Science, Scopus and PubMed

Published: 8 October 2021| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/6fgjxkv28d.2
Toluwase Asubiaro


COVID-19 research records of all the 46 Sub-Saharan African countries were retrieved from Scopus, MEDLINE and Web of Science databases. The search was done on Jan 1 2021, to capture publications in 2020, with an update in April 2021, having noticed an increment in the number of publications in 2020. The search query was composed to retrieve publications on COVID-19 that were published by authors who are affiliated with institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. The search query included the names of all the 46 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Variants of the Sub-Saharan African countries' names (e.g. Cameroun and Cameroon) were also included so that indexes with their variant names would be captured. All the variant names of COVID-19, as specified in peer-reviewed search strings of the Medical Library Association for bibliographic database retrieval of COVID-19 publications, were also included in the search query (24). At the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, before the World Health Organization (WHO) assigned a globally recognized name, COVID-19 disease was called different names such as Wuhan coronavirus, Hubei coronavirus, China coronavirus, 2019 novel coronavirus disease, 2019-nCoV disease and Chinese Coronavirus, these names were included in our search query so that scientific publications that used such names were retrieved. Some of the names that were given to COVID-19 disease were later regarded as unethical because of their discriminatory tendencies.


Steps to reproduce

The search query implementation for retrieving Sub-Saharan Africa's publication from Scopus is as follows: AFFILCOUNTRY ( "South Africa" OR "Nigeria" OR "Angola" OR "Benin" OR "Burkina Faso" OR "Burundi" OR "Cameroon" OR "Cameroun" OR "Canary Islands" OR "Cape Verde" OR "Central African Republic" OR "Chad" OR "Comoros" OR "Congo" OR "Democratic Republic of Congo" OR "DR Congo" OR "Cote D'ivoire" OR "ivory coast" OR "Kenya" OR "Lesotho" OR "Liberia" OR "Madagascar" OR "Malawi" OR "Mali" OR "Mauritius" OR "Mozambique" OR "Mocambique" OR "Namibia" OR "Niger" OR "Principe" OR "Reunion" OR "Rwanda" OR "Sao Tome" OR "Senegal" OR "Seychelles" OR "Sierra Leone" OR "Somalia" OR "Sudan" OR "Swaziland" OR "Tanzania" OR "Togo" OR "Uganda" OR "Zaire" OR "Zambia" OR "Zimbabwe" OR "South Sudan" OR "Ghana" OR "Ethiopia" OR "Eritrea" OR "Gambia" OR "Botswana" OR "Guinea" OR "Djibouti" OR "Gabon" OR "Papua and Guinea" OR "Guinea-Bissau" OR "Equatorial Guinea") AND TITLE-ABS-KEY ( "2019 novel coronavirus disease" OR "COVID19" OR "COVID-19 pandemic" OR "SARS-CoV-2 infection" OR "COVID-19 virus disease" OR "2019 novel coronavirus infection" OR "2019-nCoV infection" OR "coronavirus disease 2019" OR "coronavirus disease-19" OR "2019-nCoV disease" OR "COVID-19 virus infection" OR "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2" OR "COVID-19" OR "COVID19" OR "COVID2019" OR "SARSCoV2" OR "SARS coronavirus 2" OR "2019-nCoV" OR "2019nCoV" OR "nCoV2019" OR "nCoV-2019" OR "Wuhan coronavirus" OR "Hubei coronavirus" OR "chin* coronavirus") A total of 2310 citations were retrieved from MEDLINE, 2400 citations were retrieved from Web of Science core collections, and 2830 citations were retrieved from Scopus. There were 3867 articles after data cleaning -removal of duplicates and errors (records with no Sub-Saharan African author). Of the journal publications, 1,979 had gold or gold hybrid OA status. The Author Processing Charges and CiteScores of 1870 articles were available (i.e. the APC and CiteScores of 1422 articles in 443 journals and 448 articles in 95 mega journals.


Subsaharan Africa, Interdisciplinary Collaboration, COVID-19