, Volume 84, Issue 3, pp 863-885
Date: 06 Feb 2010

Medical research in South Africa: a scientometric analysis of trends, patterns, productivity and partnership

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Abstract

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.