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Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

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

D Njiraine, D N Ocholla, O B Onyancha

Abstract


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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