, Volume 87, Issue 2, pp 315–336 | Cite as

Knowledge production through collaborative research in sub-Saharan Africa: how much do countries contribute to each other’s knowledge output and citation impact?

  • Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha
  • Jan Resenga Maluleka


This paper examines co-authorship of research articles in Thomson Reuters citation indexes in order to assess knowledge co-production in selected sub-Saharan African countries. Two indicators, namely publications and citations, were analysed to establish the patterns of knowledge co-production and its scientific impact, respectively. The study found that knowledge production through collaborative research among sub-Saharan African countries is minimal and contributes only a small percentage when compared to collaboration between sub-Saharan African countries and their foreign counterparts. Similarly, the scientific impact of international collaboration was higher than that of continental collaboration. Countries belonging to the same geographic region contributed to each other’s knowledge production more frequently than they did to the countries outside their region. It is recommended that, for knowledge co-production in sub-Saharan Africa to improve, various measures such as encouraging student and staff exchange, hosting more regional conferences and encouraging research networks need to be put in place.


Research collaboration Knowledge production Sub-Saharan Africa Citation impact 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha
    • 1
  • Jan Resenga Maluleka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information ScienceUniversity of South Africa, UnisaPretoriaSouth Africa

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