Indigenous Knowledge Research in Kenya and South Africa: An Informetric Study

  • D Njiraine
  • D N Ocholla
  • O B Onyancha
Keywords: Knowledge management, indigenous knowledge, traditional knowledge, informetrics


This article applies informetrics using descriptive bibliometrics to determine the state Indigenous Knowledge (IK) development in Kenya and South Africa. Data was analysed using the following variables: document type; growth of literature on the subject from 1990-2008; document source(s); document affiliation; subject domain; country of publication; and nature of authorship, among other attributes. International databases (OCLC – Online Computer Library Center, MEDLINE and AGRICOLA) and national databases – South Africa’s Southern African Bibliographic Information Network (SABINET databases, i.e. Current and Completed Research: CCR, Union Catalogue of Theses and Dissertations: UTD, and Index to South African Periodicals: ISAP) and Kenya’s Greenstone Database – were analysed using content analysis. Two keywords – indigenous knowledge and traditional knowledge – were used in all database searches. We found that IK was strongly represented in the SABINET and OCLC databases. The absence of a national (online) database showcasing Kenyan research output made it difficult to account for IK research in the country. Recommendations are provided for a follow up study and further research. The article could prove useful for decision support in IK management.

Keywords: Knowledge management; indigenous knowledge; traditional knowledge; informetrics.


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eISSN: 1683-0296