Biomedically-focused research productivity by Namibian authors and institutions 1995-2010.
Publications are the result of individual scientists or ‘webs’ of collaborators who present their scientific observations and share them with the scientific community. A study of authors and institutions who have published provides way to assess a country’s research environment. Using PubMed and ISI Web of Science, this study identified Namibian authors and institutions which published biomedically-focused studies between 1995 and 2010. Results consisted of 150 different biomedically-oriented publications by a total of 190 different authors from 44 different institutions. 89% of the articles by Namibian authors were the results of collaboration, either foreign or Namibian-based. 47% of the papers were 1st authored and 11% were single authored by Namibian-based authors. The majority of Namibian authors (72%) only produced one article while 28% produced 2 or more papers. Further analysis indicated that there has been a negative trend in the number of publications since 1998 which contrasts with the increasing number of institutions which have published at least one article during that period. In total, these results indicate that the biomedical science environment in Namibia has potential to develop and expand. However, it needs support from a national biomedical research strategy based on Namibian-informed research priorities, investment in potential authors and institutions and empowered tertiary institutions taking the lead to equip and build capacity in local collaborators in order to reach its true potential.