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1 March 2017
Research Collaboration in Ghana Print
Monday, 22 June 2015 18:31

What are the various forms and levels of research collaborations being undertaken in research institutions in Ghana? What are the factors influencing research collaboration? In other words, why do researchers in Ghana collaborate? Dr. Frederick Owusu-Nimo, a DRUSSA bursary holder, outlines research that he is currently conducting on this issue as an MPhil student at CREST, Stellenbosch University.

Advancing research in Ghana

The main players in the research system in Ghana are research performers or institutes, intermediaries or governing councils, and policymakers or government (main funders). One of the mandates of universities and other research institutions in the research system is to undertake research and to disseminate the results through various modes of publication.

An important way of advancing and effectively carrying out research work and promoting Research Use is through collaboration. According to Katz and Martin (1997), it is difficult to define what research collaboration is, but it can broadly be considered as the working together (sharing labour) of individual researchers, institutions and/or industry to achieve the common goal of producing new scientific knowledge or solving a scientific problem. Over the past two decades or so, researchers in Ghana have collaborated with researchers and institutions from both within and outside Ghana.

There is however no information on the trends as far as research collaboration in Ghana is concerned. There are therefore several questions in this regard which need to be answered. My research study investigates, by means of a bibliometric profile, the various research collaboration engagements undertaken in Ghana, and provides information to help understand the nature and profile of these collaboration activities. The study also investigates the motivations of Ghanaian affiliated researchers for engaging in research collaboration, in order to improve our understanding of the value and impact of such collaborations and future collaboration.

 

Methodology

The research study was conducted through a bibliometric analysis of published articles and an online survey of selected respondents. For the bibliometric analysis, publication of researchers in Ghana the online version of the Web of Science was used. The articles were extracted and exported to a Microsoft Access database and the data analyzed. All papers published between 1990 and 2013 were considered. The results and analysis will be published in my M Phil. dissertation.

A web interface questionnaire was also developed, using SurveyMonkey, to solicit information from the corresponding authors of the relevant articles, on themotivations for the research collaboration and the roles of their collaborators in conducting the research and publishing in a peer review journal. Ghanaian corresponding authors of the extracted papers were selected and emailed with the request to complete the online survey. The criteria for selecting these respondents were based on (i) article publication date (2009-2013), (ii) co-authored publication, (iii) being a corresponding author and (iv) availability of an email address. The survey has been designed so that the responses will be correctly linked to the authors bibliometric data or article information, but at no stage will the names of the respondents (from the article information / bibliometric data) be linked to the questionnaire responses.

The administration of the web survey is now completed, and the analysis of the responses is being undertaken. It is the hope that this study will provide information on the motivations for research collaboration in Ghana and give an indication of the trends as far as such collaboration in Ghana is concerned.


Dr. Frederick Owusu-Nimo is a Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering  KNUST, Ghana. He is also currently an MPhil Student with CREST, Stellenbosch University, frednimo@gmail.com. His thesis is supervised by

Dr. Nelius Boschoff, Snr Researcher, CREST,  Stellenbosch University, South Africa

 

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