South African corresponding authors on perceived beneficiaries and the nature of university research
CITATION: Boshoff, N. 2017. South African corresponding authors on perceived beneficiaries and the nature of university research. South African Journal of Higher Education, 31(3):46‒62, doi:10.20853/31-3-803.
The original publication is available at http://www.journals.ac.za/index.php/sajhe
About 2 000 corresponding authors of articles in the Web of Science (who had a South African university address) selected from a list of 22 categories the perceived beneficiaries of their research. A beneficiary was defined as an entity that is either directly affected by the research results or that has a direct interest in the outcome of the research. The objective was to classify the corresponding authors into meaningful clusters based on similarities in their responses about the perceived beneficiaries, and to construct a profile for each cluster in terms of eight measures of basic research. Eleven beneficiary clusters were identified and appropriately labelled. Three of the clusters with a combined share of 42 per cent had an almost exclusive focus on the research and academic community. Respectively 33 per cent and 59 per cent of ‘pure basic research’ and ‘oriented basic research’ projects appeared in clusters that contained beneficiaries from outside the public research and academic communities.