4 November 2019

It is a special milestone along a PhD journey to have an opportunity to present your research on an international stage. That is why Similo Ngwenya, PhD student at CREST, seized the opportunity to attend the 17th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics that took place early in September 2019 in Rome, Italy. Her presentation focused on the participation of so-called ‘international national organisations’ (or INO’s) in African research, with a specific focus on agricultural and health research in Zimbabwe.

An INO in the context of her research refers to an international organisation (or initiatives of international organisations) that are based in Zimbabwe – i.e. that have a Zimbabwean country address. Looking at the research output in Zimbabwe from 1980 to 2016 (a data set of more than 11 000 articles), her research shows that an INO was involved in 36% of these articles in the agricultural field, compared to 15% in health-related research. In the majority of cases where INO’s are involved, other international partners are also co-authors of the research articles.

“With this study, we have also been able to show that relatively small tailor-made bibliometric datasets, developed for African countries with small science systems, have the potential to produce new insights and frameworks to direct future studies on the African research landscape”, says Professor Nelius Boshoff, the supervisor of Similo’s PhD research.