LIS research in Africa : how much is it worth? A citation analysis of the literature, 1986-2006

Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha


This paper examines library and information science (LIS) literature as produced and published by researchers in Africa in order to establish the productivity and impact of LIS research in the region. Using publication counts, and more specifically, citation analysis, the paper demonstrates that the research output and impact of LIS literature on the continent is relatively low when compared to other disciplines in Africa, such as social sciences. Correspondingly, the research forms a small percentage of both the national and world total LIS research output. A comparison of countries indicates that South Africa presently leads in terms of both research output and citations, and Nigeria and South Africa account for over 70% of the total number of Africa's publications and citations. Other findings are discussed, in addition to recommendations for further research, and ways in which to improve the visibility of LIS research in Africa.

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