n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Indigenous knowledge research in Kenya and South Africa : an informetric study

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1683-0296



This article applies informetrics using descriptive bibliometrics to determine the state Indigenous Knowledge (IK) development in Kenya and South Africa. Data was analysed using the following variables: document type; growth of literature on the subject from 1990 - 2008; document source(s); document affiliation; subject domain; country of publication; and nature of authorship, among other attributes. International databases (OCLC - Online Computer Library Center, MEDLINE and AGRICOLA) and national databases - South Africa's Southern African Bibliographic Information Network (SABINET databases, i.e. Current and Completed Research: CCR, Union Catalogue of Theses and Dissertations: UTD, and Index to South African Periodicals: ISAP) and Kenya's Greenstone Database - were analysed using content analysis. Two keywords - indigenous knowledge and traditional knowledge - were used in all database searches. We found that IK was strongly represented in the SABINET and OCLC databases. The absence of a national (online) database showcasing Kenyan research output made it difficult to account for IK research in the country. Recommendations are provided for a follow up study and further research. The article could prove useful for decision support in IK management.

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