n Mousaion - AIDS in South Africa : a bibliometric study on HIV / AIDS literature in South Africa from 1982 to 2002

Volume 24, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



The pandemic of HIV / AIDS has been felt by nations throughout the world. This epidemic imposes a strain on the already limited resources of a country and, therefore, a better understanding of the disease is continuously being sought. This research aims to help the information requirements of HIV / AIDS researchers in the country through a bibliometric study.

This study consisted of an investigation into the patterns of authorship and the publications of academic institutions in the sciences, medical institutions and affiliated organisations in South Africa. The focus was on HIV / AIDS literature for the period 1982-2002. Published literature in the sciences and medicine from two internationally recognised databases were used for the assessment. These were: and .
A total of 2 281 records formed the basis of the analysis. The results of the study demonstrate exponential growth in the literature (as might be expected). Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the disease, research is scattered in a variety of discipline-based journals. South African researchers publish mainly in journals and the is the most productive in the field of HIV / AIDS. It is evident that there is a certain amount of collaboration in the research work on this subject. The results also demonstrate that South African researchers are fast becoming internationally recognised in the field of HIV / AIDS research. The Medical Research Council emerged as the leader in South Africa's research efforts on HIV / AIDS. Of the academic institutions, the University of the Witwatersrand is the most productive institution, followed by the then University of Natal.

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