Research by academic librarians at public universities in Ghana: emerging patterns from a survey and a bibliometric study

Keywords: Academic librarians, Collaboration, Ghana, Google Scholar, Research


This study explores how the academic environment facilitates the ability of academic librarians at public universities in Ghana to fulfil their research and publication mandate. A web survey of academic librarians was conducted to explore the opportunities and resources for research. Based on a bibliometric analysis of journal articles, the study also investigated the nature of research production of academic librarians in Ghana, specifically their co-authorship patterns, publication outlets and research visibility. The results show that academic librarians mainly produce single-authored articles and articles that are co-authored within their home institution, with a preference for publishing in local journals. Their research visibility, operationalised as time-based citation scores derived from data in Google Scholar, is also limited in light of a lack of international co-authorship. Opportunities and resources for project participation, funding, conference participation and publishing are all mostly linked to having completed a research qualification. The results further suggest that, for some librarians, it seems indeed possible to engage in research despite the odds.

Author Biographies

Nelius Boshoff, Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (SciSTIP), Stellenbosch University
Nelius Boshoff is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), Stellenbosch University, South Africa. CREST is the host of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (SciSTIP).
Richard Bruce Lamptey, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Richard Bruce Lamptey conducted the study as part of the requirements for an MPhil in Science and Technology Studies at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He is a Senior Assistant Librarian in the College of Science at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.


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Research Articles