Research publications are important performance indicators of university medical education in African countries.
Research publications constitute sensitive indicators of output performance in university education. The patterns of publications in the East African Medical Journal shows that between 1962-1970 Uganda was the leading contributor due, primarily, to the research activities of Makerere Medical School. Thereafter the events in Uganda brought about a sharp drop in research output from that country. The establishment of the Nairobi Medical School in 1967 resulted in Kenya becoming the leading contributor to the journal followed by Nigeria which took the position that had previously been occupied by Uganda. The East African Medical Journal is the main clinical publication in East Africa. It has grown to become an international monthly publication, during the past seventy-five years, serving primarily the medical scientists working in the region. This paper aims at showing that university medical schools are important in increasing the output of health research, using the patterns of publications in the East African Medical Journal for the 32-year period between 1960 and 1991 as an example