In the production of scientific knowledge, as revealed by publication output, South Africa is at the forefront of many other countries in the developing world and in the African continent. This study examines for the first time the publication trends of South African engineering researchers for a period of 30 years since 1975. Drawing data from the ISI Web of Knowledge, this paper specifically looks at the publication patterns of engineering researchers in South Africa.
Scientific collaboration is growing in its importance; more so in Asian and African countries. This paper examines the scenario
of science and scientific collaboration in South Africa which had passed through the colonial and apartheid regimes before
it became a democracy in 1994. South African science under distinct political periods moved through some difficult periods
but it did not badly affect the progress and direction of South African science. Science and scientific collaboration continued
to grow under its major political phases amidst serious challenges. Despite internal conflict and boycott by the international
scientific community, South Africa could move onto a stable and steady path of growth in science and collaboration under apartheid
which is being carried on in the new South Africa. Collaborative research is encouraged at various levels of knowledge production
and in science. The importance science and scientific development is gaining in today’s South Africa is remarkable.
Being a scientifically active country in Africa, South Africa has made significant strides in the production of scientific
publications. Medicine is one branch of science that has achieved a remarkable position in this regard. Extracting and analyzing
medical publications for three decades and at regular intervals (1975–2005) from the SCI database, this paper pioneers an
attempt to find out whether the reported pace of growth in the production of scientific papers in medicine is an effect of
partnerships that scholars have with their counterparts within the organization, within the country, or with those in other
countries. This paper also presents the unique patterns of scientific research in medicine, taking into account factors such
as the count and fractional count of papers, citations, trends of growth, sectoral participation, partners, and publication
outlets, and seeks to provide new insights into the directions medical science is taking in South Africa today.
Using bibliographic records from the Science Citation Index, the paper examines the publication of South African scientists.
The analysis shows that collaboration research in South Africa has been growing steadily and the scientists are highly oriented
towards collaborative rather than individualistic research. International collaboration is preferred to domestic collaboration
while publication seems to be a decisive factor in collaboration. The paper also looks at the collaboration dimensions of
partnering countries, sectors and disciplines, and examines how collaboration can be predicted by certain publication variables.
Characteristic features are evident in both the degree and nature of collaboration which can be predicted by the number of
countries involved, number of partners and the fractional count of papers.
Bibliographic records are extensively used in the study of citations. Based on ISI data, this paper examines citation patterns
of the publications of South African scientists in recent years. In particular, the focus of this paper is on citations as
to the collaborative dimensions of South African scientists in their publications. The study reveals that the number of citations
received by a publication varies not only according to the collaboration but also to the types of collaboration of the authors
who are involved in its production. Furthermore, it emerges that the impact of citations on publications differs from discipline
to discipline, and affiliating sector to sector, regardless of collaboration.
Authors:Torben Schubert and Radhamany Sooryamoorthy
As scientific collaboration is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly important, studies on scientific collaboration are
numerous. Despite the proliferation of studies on various dimensions of collaboration, there is still a dearth of analyses
on the effects, motives and modes of collaboration in the context of developing countries. Adopting Wallerstein’s world-system
theory, this paper makes use of bibliometric data in an attempt to understand the pattern of collaboration that emerges between
South Africa and Germany. The key argument is that we can expect the collaborative relationship between South Africa and Germany
to be one that is shaped by a centre–periphery pattern. The analyses show that a theory of scientific collaboration building
on the notion of marginality and centre–periphery can explain many facets of South African–German collaboration, where South
Africa is a semi-peripheral region, a centre for the periphery, and a periphery for the centre.