Mapping the Categories and Overlapping Roles of Publics/Stakeholders in University Research in Nigeria and South Africa

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 4:00 PM
Room: 301
Oral Presentation
Nelius BOSHOFF , Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
University researchers are increasingly faced with the challenge of multiple demands from both the publics and stakeholders of their research, and often these two groupings overlap. Publics are interpreted as the receivers of a research message, i.e. the target audience or intended beneficiaries. Publics are not necessarily passive receivers because they may also be involved in the production, tailoring, communication and transfer of the research message as well as in the actual research that generated the data/information for the message. Publics are also stakeholders to the extent that they may have a direct stake in the creation, dissemination or uptake of the message, and/or in the creation of the research behind the message. The aim of the current study is to map the different categories of publics/stakeholders in Nigerian and South African research published between 2010 and 2012, and to demonstrate their overlapping roles. The first focus of the paper is a bibliometric analysis of research articles by universities in the two countries, extracted from the Web of Science, and highlighting the role of funders and collaborators in the research. The second focus is more specific, as it investigates the co-occurrences of publics/stakeholders at different stages of research (creation, transmission and uptake) and how these relate to other factors of research production, such as research field and the nature of the research (curiosity-driven research; research addressing grand challenges; and research contributing to economic growth, job creation and innovation). The methodology for the second focus involves an electronic survey of the corresponding authors of the published research articles.