NATURE, PATTERNS AND TRENDS OF RESEARCH COLLABORATION AMONG ACADEMICS IN SELECTED UNIVERSITIES IN NIGERIA AND SOUTH AFRICA

  • Sani A. Fari
  • Dennis Ocholla
Keywords: research collaboration, knowledge sharing, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban University of Technology, University of Zululand, Armadu Bello University, Federal University of Technology, Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Nigeria, South Africa

Abstract

In this article, we argue that research collaboration, as an activity embarked upon by two or more individual researchers to attain common goals, is crucial in determining the breadth and depth of knowledge sharing among academics. The aim of the study was to investigate the nature, patterns and trends of research collaboration among academics in six universities in Nigeria and South Africa between 2003 and 2013. The study determined the level and extent of knowledge sharing among the actors by exploring several aspects of research collaboration. We targeted all the academic staff at the six universities whose publications appeared in the SCOPUS database for the research period. The data was first extracted from SCOPUS by using affiliation search by university for the study period. Through descriptive and evaluative bibliometrics or publication count, domestically and internationally co-authored papers and major collaborating institutions between 2003 and 2013 were determined with the hope of finding co-authorship links for the six universities. The study revealed that research collaboration does occur among academics/researchers in the universities. The South African universities, namely, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban University of Technology (DUT) and University of Zululand (UZ) collaborated with each other. However, in Nigeria, there was only one collaborative tie between Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) and the Federal University of Technology (FUT), and no collaboration with Umaru Musa Yar’adua University (UMYU). South Africa also had a higher number of universities among the top 20 universities collaborating between the two countries within the study period.

References

Adams, J., K. Gurney, D. Hook, and L. Leydesdorff. (2014). International collaboration clusters in Africa. Scientometrics 98: 547-556.

Alter, C., and J. Hage. (1993). Organizations working together. London: SAGE.

Amin, M., and M. Mabe. (2000). Impact factors: Use and abuse. Prospectives in Publishing (1): 1-6.

Bar-Ilan, J. (2008). Informetrics at the beginning of the 21st Century: A review. Journal of Informetrics 2(1): 1-52.

Boshoff, N. (2010). South-South research collaboration of countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Scientometrics 84: 481-503.

Boshoff, N. (2009). Neo-colonialism and research collaboration in Central Africa. Scientometrics 181(2): 413-434.

Charles, C. A., R. Hayman, and A. Mdee. (2012). Academic-NGO collaboration in international development research: A reflection on the issues. http://www.intrac.org/pages/en/cracking-collaboration-anew-look-at-partnerships-in-international-development-research-html (accessed May 12, 2014).

Commonwealth of Australia. (2004). Review of closer collaboration between universities and major publicly funded research agencies. http://www.dest.gov.au/Collaboration/documents/pub-pdf (accessed March 30, 2014).

Emerson, R. M. (1962). Power-dependence relations. American Sociological Review 27(1): 31-41.

Fari, S. A. (2015a). Comparative assessment of information and knowledge sharing among academics in selected universities in Nigeria and South Africa. PhD diss., University of Zululand, South Africa.

Fari, S. A. (2015b). Applying social capital theory and technology acceptance model in information and knowledge sharing research. Inkanyiso Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences 7(1): 20-28.

Fari, S. A., and D. N. Ocholla. (2015). Comparative assessment of information and knowledge sharing among academics in selected universities in Nigeria and South Africa. South African Journal of Library and Information Studies 81(1): 40-51.

Himmelman, A. T. (1996). On the theory and practice of transformational collaboration: From social service to social justice In Creating Collaborative Advantage, ed. C. Huxham. London: SAGE.

Katz, J. S., and D. Hicks. (1997). How much is collaboration worth? A calibrated bibliometric model. Proceedings of the Sixth Conference of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics, Jerusalem, Israel, June 16-19: 163-175.

Katz, J. S. & Martin, B. R. (1997). What is research collaboration? Research Policy, 26(1): 1-18

Kumar R. P., and S. Fortunato. (2014). Author impact factor: tracking the dynamics of individual scientific impact. Scientific Reports 4. doi:10.1038/srep04880.

Ngoepe, M., J. Maluleka, and O. B. Onyancha. (2014). Research collaboration in the archives and records management field across and beyond universities in Africa: An informetric analysis. Mousaion 32(3): 119-135.

Ocholla, D. N. (2008). The current status and challenges of collaboration in library and information studies (LIS) education and training in Africa. New Library World 109(9/10): 466–479.

Onyancha, O. B., and D. N. Ocholla. (2007). Country-wise collaborations in HIV/AIDS research in Kenya and South Africa, 1980-2005. Libri 57: 239-254.

Onyancha, O. B. (2009). Towards global partnership in research in Sub-Saharan Africa: an informetric study of the national, regional and international country collaboration in HIV/AIDS literature in eastern and southern Africa. South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75(1): 86-99.

Onyancha, O. B. (2011). Knowledge production through collaboration in sub-Saharan Africa: How much do countries contribute to each other’s knowledge output and citation impact? Scientometrics 87: 315-336.

Onyancha, O. B., and D. N. Ocholla. (2007). Country-wise collaborations in HIV/AIDS research in Kenya and South Africa, 1980-2005. Libri 57( 4): 239-254.

Onyancha, O. B., and D. N. Ocholla. (2009). Assessing research performance in developing countries: Is Google Scholar an alternative? Mousaion 27(1): 43-64.

Pouris, A., and Y. S. Ho. (2014). Research emphasis and collaboration in Africa Scientometrics 98: 2169-2184.

Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Rao, M. K., and K. S. Raghavan. (2003). Collaboration in knowledge production: A case study of superconductivity research in India. In. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics, eds. J. Guohua, R. Rousseau, and W. Yishan, 230-240

Roper, L. (2002) Achieving successful academic-practitioner research collaborations. Development in Practice, 12(3/4), 338-345.

Salmi, J. (2009). The challenge of establishing world-class universities. Washington, DC: World Bank.

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EDUCATION/Resources/278200-1099079877269/547664-1099079956815/547670-1237305262556/WCU_summary-pdf (accessed August 16, 2013).

Sooryamoorthy, R. (2009a). Collaboration and publication: How collaborative are scientists in South Africa? Scientometrics 80(2): 419-439.

Sooryamoorthy, R. (2009b). Do types of collaboration change citation? Collaboration and citation patterns of South African science publications. Scientometrics 81(1): 177–193.

Subramanyam K. (1982). Bibliometric study of research collaboration: A review. Journal of Information Science 6: 33-38.

Sullivan, H., and C. Skelcher. (2002). Working across boundaries: collaboration in public services. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Teisman, G. R. (2000). Models for research into decision-making processes: On phases, streams and decision-making rounds. Public Administration 78(4): 937–56.

Published
2016-07-16
Section
Articles