n Mousaion - Research collaboration in the archives and records management field across and beyond universities in Africa : an informetric analysis

Volume 32, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



Due to technological developments, innovation and globalisation, research is becoming more complex, requiring wide-ranging skills. A lack of resources and publishing platforms has led to low research output in archives and records management (ARM) in most developing countries in Africa. However, experienced researchers from different countries can collaborate by sharing and transferring knowledge and making optimal use of resources that will lead to the sustainability of research output. Utilising informetrics analysis, as well as co-authorship as the measure for collaboration, this article examines the nature, trend and type of ARM research collaboration in Africa by identifying individuals, institutions and countries that collaborate in order to recommend ways of improving such activities. Quantitative data was extracted from the database of African Journals Online (AJOL) and analysed. The key finding suggested a low level of collaboration among ARM researchers, with the work produced emanating mostly from one institution. The study argues that social and physical proximity contribute to research collaboration in ARM in Africa. The scarcity of literature on ARM in Africa led the article to recommend more collaborative projects whereby established researchers nurture and mentor novice researchers to become self-sustainable in producing scholarly literature. Hopefully, this would help to formulate research agendas to address grand societal challenges, such as a lack of accountability, poor audit results and poor service delivery, which all stem from a breakdown in the records system and a non-sustainable ARM profession in Africa, in order to become on par with the rest of the world.

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