, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 215–235 | Cite as

View from afar: ‘Visible’ productivity of scientists in the developing world

  • Wesley Shrum


Much of what we know about science and technology in less developed countries comes from international databases such as bibliographies and citation, indices. However, it is not clear if researchers whose work appears in international databases are representative of scientists in the developing world as a whole, or whether they differ in terms of important social characteristics. A search of international databases on agriculture and natural resource management in Ghana, Kenya, and Kerala was used to compile a bibliography that could be compared with results from a face-to-face survey of researchers. Results indicate that, many of the characteristics of those who are internationally visible differ from the wider population of scientists. The implication is that the “view from afar” based exclusively on information drawn from international databases does not accurately reflect the population of researchers or domestic productivity in less developed countries.


International Database Bibliometric Indicator National Research Institute International Productivity Publication Productivity 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wesley Shrum
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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