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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Evaluating the Impact of Science and Technology Research at the University of Botswana
Author:Riddoch, IndraISNI
Periodical:Botswana Notes and Records (ISSN 0525-5090)
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
Subjects:natural sciences
Education and Oral Traditions
Development and Technology
science and technology
University of Botswana
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40980271
Abstract:The database of the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) was used to determine the quantity and quality of scientific papers attributed to the University of Botswana (UB). Quantity was evaluated in terms of the number of papers in impact factored journals over the period 1995-1999, and quality was evaluated in terms of citations over the same period. Individual productivity was low, and impact was variable but generally low. The publication rate of staff in the Faculty of Science has not kept pace with increased staffing levels, and the citation rates for UB-centred papers were low. Why is the impact of UB-centred science so low? The answer is that there is no incentive for quantity and no opportunity to achieve quality. UB practices a system that evaluates research solely in terms of numbers of papers published. Furthermore, this system encourages professionally unethical practices and scientific misconduct, which ultimately damage the reputation of the individual and the institution. In order to improve the impact of UB-centred science, UB can start by moving away from crude paper counts as indicators of research effort and start to reward quality of research. Furthermore, policymakers should consider the question of whether good research is feasible - is the environment conducive, are staff given a fair chance to do good research? Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]