Journal Article

Factors enabling and constraining research in a small, research-intensive South African University

Jen D Snowball and Charlie M Shackleton

in Research Evaluation

Volume 27, issue 2, pages 119-131
Published in print April 2018 | ISSN: 0958-2029
Published online January 2018 | e-ISSN: 1471-5449 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvy002
Factors enabling and constraining research in a small, research-intensive South African University

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  • Research Methods
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Abstract

Research is increasingly regarded a core facet of university endeavours globally, and research profiles of universities, institutes, and colleges are commonly used as one measure for ranking them. University administrations and funders would be better able to stimulate research if they had insights into context-specific, institutional constraints, and enablers. Yet, there is surprisingly little research on the determinants of research productivity amongst academics employed in the higher education sector, particularly in the global south. Barriers and enablers of research at the individual level may differ, and experience of such may vary across career stage. The objective of the research reported here was to determine what enables and motivates some academics at Rhodes University (South Africa) to do research, what problems and constraints may be making it difficult for those who may wish to do more, and how do these vary in relation to research career stage. An anonymous online survey, with follow-up focus group discussions was used to collect the data. Results show similarities to studies in developed countries, but also reveal disciplinary and career stage differences, which suggest that institutional policies need to take these factors into account when designing support or incentives.

Keywords: research; enablers; constraints; productivity; career stage

Journal Article.  10758 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Research Methods ; Biological Sciences ; Knowledge Management ; Social Research and Statistics

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