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South African Journal of Industrial Engineering

On-line version ISSN 2224-7890
Print version ISSN 1012-277X

S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. vol.22 n.2 Pretoria  2011


Collaboration in South African engineering research



R. Sooryamoorthy

Sociology Programme, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.




The production of scientific publications in engineering in South Africa has expanded over the last three decades. Because engineering is an important science, this expansion has implications for the growth and development of the economy. Drawing on a sample range of years of the publications stored in the ISI Web of Knowledge, the engineering publications of South Africans for a 30-year period from 1975-2005 are analysed. This analysis shows that the production of scientific publications in engineering by South African researchers has increased during the analysed period; that the number of researchers per publication has grown; that the number of countries collaborating with South Africa has increased; and that the number of sole-authored papers has decreased. Domestic collaboration (between researchers within South Africa) has decreased, while international collaboration has grown considerably. The key objective of the paper is to find out whether the production of publications is related to the level of collaboration, and to see how collaboration can be regressed from other known variables. It is clear from the study that collaboration is a decisive factor in the production of scientific publications in engineering in South Africa.


Die produksie van wetenskaplike publikasies in ingenieurswese in Suid-Afrika het oor die afgelope drie dekades toegeneem. Aangesien ingenieurswese 'n belangrike wetenskap is, beïnvloed dié toename die groei en ontwikkeling van die ekonomie. Deur na 'n monster van voormalige publikasies op die "ISI Web of Science" te kyk, is die publikasies in ingenieurswese deur Suid-Afrikaners oor 'n 30 jaar periode van 1975-2005 geanaliseer. Die analise toon dat die produksie van wetenskaplike publikasies in ingenieurswese deur Suid-Afrikaanse navorsers toegeneem het oor dié tydperk; dat die aantal navorsers per publikasie gegroei het; dat daar 'n toename was in die hoeveelheid lande wat met Suid-Afrika saamgewerk het; en dat die aantal artikels van enkelouteurs verminder het. Plaaslike samewerking (tussen Suid-Afrikaanse navorsers) het afgeneem, maar internasionale samewerking het aansienlik toegeneem. Die hoofdoelwit van die artikel is om te bepaal of die produksie van publikasies verband hou met die vlak van samewerking, en om vas te stel hoe samewerking vanaf ander bekende veranderlikes terugbereken kan word. Uit die studie blyk dit duidelik dat samewerking 'n beslissende faktor is ten opsigte van die produksie van wetenskaplike publikasies in ingenieurswese in Suid-Afrika.



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