Research by academic librarians at public universities in Ghana : a realistic expectation?

Boshoff, Nelius ; Lamptey, Richard Bruce (2020)

CITATION: Boshoff, N. & Lamptey, R. B. 2020. Research by academic librarians at public universities in Ghana : a realistic expectation?. South African Journal of Library and Information Science, 86(1):38-51, doi:10.7553/86-1-1833.

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Academic librarians at public universities in Ghana are expected to perform and publish research. This study asked whether the expectation is realistic, given that the main duties of academic librarians are library related. A web survey of academic librarians was conducted to explore the opportunities and resources for research. Based on a bibliometric analysis of journal articles, the study also investigated the nature of research production of academic librarians in Ghana, specifically their co-authorship patterns, publication outlets and research visibility. The results suggested both a pessimistic and an optimistic answer to the question posed. On the one hand, academic librarians mainly produced single-authored articles and articles that are co-authored within their home institution, with a preference for publishing in local journals. Their research visibility, operationalised as time-based citation scores derived from data in Google Scholar, was also limited in light of a lack of international co-authorship. Opportunities and resources for project participation, funding, conference participation and publishing were all mostly linked to having completed a research qualification. On the other hand, despite challenges, some academic librarians do publish articles, which implies that the research expectation is not entirely unrealistic.

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