Publication productivity and scholarly impact of academic librarians in Tanzania: a scientometric analysis

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Purpose – The purpose of this scientometric study was to conduct an analysis of the research productivity and scholarly impact of academic librarians in Tanzania for a period of 30 years from 1984 to 2013. Design/methodology/approach – Data were obtained using the Publish or Perish software which uses Google Scholar to retrieve scholars’ publications, citations and related metrics. For each librarian, the retrieved metrics were the number of papers, papers per author, citation counts, average citations per paper, average papers per author, average citations per year, average citations per author and four indices, namely, the h-index, g-index, Hc-index and the HI-norm. Findings – The study findings indicate that 434 publications were recorded for all librarians, giving an average of 14.5 publications per year. The year 2008 had the most (9.9 per cent) publications followed by 2010 (7.8 per cent), while the years 1985 and 1987 had the lowest (0.2 per cent) number of publications. About 43 per cent of the publications were single-authored and the degree of collaboration was 0.57. The top-ten ranked librarians contributed more than half (53.2 per cent) of all publications, although they showed considerable variation among different metrics. Only three journal articles had 25 or more citations. Originality/value – Previous studies on the topic are scarce, and, therefore, this paper provides useful recommendations to library and information science (LIS) schools, libraries and universities to improve research productivity of their academic librarians in Tanzania and other countries with a similar setting.


New Library World, 2014; 115 (11/12): 527 - 541


Citation analysis, Academic librarians, Publication patterns, Research productivity, Scientometric analysis