Growth, productivity, and scientific impact of sources of HIV/AIDS research information, with a focus on eastern and southern Africa

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As channels of communicating HIV/AIDS research information, serial publications and particularly journals are increasingly used in response to the pandemic. The last few decades have witnessed a proliferation of sources of HIV/AIDS-related information, bringing many challenges to collection-development librarians as well as to researchers. This study uses an informetric approach to examine the growth, productivity and scientific impact of these sources, during the period 1980 to 2005, and especially to measure performance in the publication and dissemination of HIV/AIDS research about or from eastern or southern Africa. Data were collected from MEDLINE, Science Citation Index (SCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), and Ulrich's Periodical Directory. The analysis used Sitkis version 1.5, Microsoft Office Access, Microsoft Office Excel, Bibexcel, and Citespace version 2.0.1. The specific objectives were to identify the number of sources of HIV/AIDS-related information that have been published in the region, the coverage of these in key bibliographic databases, the most commonly used publication type for HIV/AIDS research, the countries in which the sources are published, the sources' productivity in terms of numbers of papers and citations, the most influential sources, the subject coverage of the sources, and the core sources of HIV/AIDS-information.
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