, Volume 121, Issue 2, pp 675–698 | Cite as

Metrics-based profiling of university research engagement with Africa: research management, gender, and internationalization perspective

  • Jane G. PayumoEmail author
  • Jamie Monson
  • Amy Jamison
  • Bradley W. Fenwick


U.S. university engagement with Africa in various areas including global health, education, environment, and agriculture has grown in the last 15 years. However, there is limited literature that acknowledges the scholarly output and impact of U.S.-Africa university research collaboration in support of their respective institutions’ comprehensive internationalization goals. Using Michigan State University (MSU)—a public, research-intensive, land grant university with long history of engagement with Africa, as a case study, this paper aims to measure the research output, describe the collaboration patterns and research trends, and assess the impact of MSU’s research engagement on Africa for the last 10 years (2006–2015). It also attempts to determine the gender dimension of MSU’s research focus on Africa. Our scientometric and social network analysis provide strong quantitative evidence of scholarly success, research focus and diversification, collaboration, and impact on MSU’s engagement on Africa, especially in science, technology, engineering, and math-related disciplines. The co-authorship data provides evidence of greater collaboration of MSU with non-African countries on African-focused research but a growing number of partner institutions from African countries. This growing collaboration provides significant benefits on strategic research conducted and its impact, as well as increasing the recognition of African researchers as contributors to impactful international research collaborations and improving the ability of MSU and its global and African partners to co-generate knowledge and innovation that can help solve global problems more effectively. Finally, this study provides additional evidence of the increasing involvement of women in advancing knowledge and global innovation to address Africa’s socio-economic development challenges. The paper, overall, contributes to the science, research management, and gender perspectives of university internationalization goals and initiatives.


Africa Bibliometrics Internationalization International research collaboration Metrics Research management 



The assistance of Mr. Taurean Sutton and Mr. Timothy Gawne for name databases and capturing missing names of publications from Scopus, respectively are greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MSU AgBioResearch, College of Agriculture and Natural ResourcesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.African Studies Center, International Studies and ProgramsMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.Alliance for African Partnership, International Studies and ProgramsMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  4. 4.Global Strategic AllianceElsevierNew YorkUSA

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