Trends in biomedical research in Namibia: 1995-2009.
Noden, Bruce H.
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Research publications are often used as proxies for the scientific progress and development of a particular country. Country-specific bibliometric studies reflect national strategies to build capacity in tertiary education, research, and health services. In Namibia, no study to date has analyzed trends at the country level. The aim of this study was to evaluate the biomedical publication patterns in Namibia between 1995 and 2009. Using the keyword ‘Namibia’ in PubMed and ISI Web of Knowledge, resulting papers were hand searched for information on subject areas, types of studies undertaken, first authorship patterns, and institutions involved in biomedically-focused publications. This study identified 450 publications between 1995 and 2009. Only 129 (28.6%) involved Namibian authors. Just over half (58%) of the studies were carried out in Namibia but varied dramatically by subject area. 52% of Namibian-authored papers were Namibian first-authored with a decreasing trend since 2004. Only 7.5% (34) of the publications involved authors from Namibian universities. Namibia has a strong potential to develop in biomedical research but there is a need for tertiary institutions to modify current policies, continue to diversify sub- areas and become equipped to build capacity with local and international collaborators.
- Health Sciences