A comparison of the research and publication patterns and output of academic librarians in eastern and southern Africa from 1990-2006:a preliminary study

  • Grace Sitienei Department of Information Studies, University of Zululand
  • Dennis N. Ocholla Department of Information Studies, University of Zululand
Keywords: Research output, research publications, academic librarians, informetrics, bibliometrics


This paper compares the research and publication patterns of academic librarians in eastern and southern Africa. The study confined its scope to publications produced between 1990 and 2006. Bibliometric techniques through content analysis were used as a research method. Two online databases, namely LISTA and WORLDCAT were used for publication searches. Names of academic librarians were retrieved from their respective academic library websites and used as keywords for retrieving data from the two online databases. A total of 866 academic librarians, i.e. 755 from southern Africa and 111 from eastern Africa, were identified and their research publication records analysed. The results indicate that in terms of publications per librarian there was no significant difference between southern Africa and eastern Africa; South Africa was the most productive country in terms of publications; the University of Botswana Library was the most prolific library; Muswazi from the University of Witwatersrand and Pienaar from the University of Pretoria were the most productive academic librarians; academic librarians in eastern Africa preferred publishing in foreign journals while those from southern Africa published more in domestic journals led by South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science; the publication output of the two regions was inconsistent (up-down trend) during this period; the main subject area of librarians in both regions was Information Technology; most academic librarians from both regions preferred publishing individually; and the most published type of document in both regions was journal articles.
Research Articles