n South African Journal of Higher Education - A multi-faceted approach to research development (I) : addressing the myths

Volume 19, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Dominant discourses on research development in South Africa are characterised by a technical-rational approach combined with a focus on the individual. Working from the idea that research is best captured by the notion of communities of practice, we claim that more attention must be given to the building of intellectually engaging communities. Well-supported research communities are what ensure strong contributions dealing with the questions of the day, increased outputs on a continual basis, and long term research sustainability. Though a focus on outputs and provision of incentives are both relevant elements of research management and development, we argue that they must not take place at the expense of supporting communities of practice in research. We have identified a number of critical areas of research development, which we discuss in two separate articles: In this part, we address perceptions and myths about research. In the second article, we discuss: management and support; mentoring; engagement with post-graduate programmes; incentives; resources; and creating research initiatives. The article is directed at novel researchers, senior staff engaged in post-graduate supervision, mentoring and research development, and higher education managers.

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