Authorship patterns of the literature on HIV / AIDS in Eastern and Southern Africa : an exposition of the responsible authors, institutions and countries, 1980-2005

  • Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha University of South Africa, Department of Information Science
Keywords: Authorship patterns, Eastern and Southern Africa, HIV/AIDs, Informetrics


Research is commonly evaluated through an analysis of research outputs (i.e. theses and dissertations, papers in scholarly journals and conference proceedings, etc.) and research outcomes (i.e. new discoveries, Nobel prize winners, graduating students, new developments of drugs, etc.) using research units (e.g. persons or bodies responsible, sources in which the findings are published, medium of communication, nature of information conveyed, timing and frequency with which information is conveyed, amount of information conveyed, etc). Some of the methods of research evaluation that have been proposed and are commonly used include peer-review and informetric approaches. This paper reports findings of an informetric study of HIV / AIDS literature published by and on Eastern and Southern Africa in order to find out the number of countries engaged in the publication of HIV / AIDS literature; the most productive authors, institutions and countries; and the countries in which the literature is published. A comparison is made between regional (i.e. African) and foreign (or international) productivity. Results indicate that foreign authorship dominates the scene and that majority of the publications are published in foreign countries. The implications of this pattern of publication for researchers based in Africa are discussed. Finally, recommendations based on the findings are provided.
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