UKZN Scoops Top Spot Third Year in a Row
UKZN has been recognised by the Department of Higher Education and Training for the most published output units in South Africa in 2014 (1708.61) – this is the third consecutive year the University has been in the top spot.
UKZN was followed by the University of Pretoria, the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and Wits.
Additionally, UKZN contributed the highest proportion of the total output units awarded by volume (i.e. un-weighted number of publications units), with 11.2%, followed closely by the University of Pretoria on 11%.
UKZN’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Professor Jonathan Blackledge, commended UKZN academics who have ‘consistently strived for excellence in research’.
The 2014 research statistics, issued by DHET, seek to ‘encourage research productivity by rewarding quality research output at public Higher Education Institutions’.
According to the Policy and Procedures for the Measurement of Research Output of Public Higher Education Institutions (Research Output Policy) (2003), all public Higher Education Institutions must annually submit their subsidy funding claims for research outputs to DHET. Based on calculations of units for approved publications, the Department allocates research subsidies.
The report states that rewarding quality research output at public Higher Education Institutions forms the basis for ‘sustaining current research and promoting increased productivity of research outputs and other knowledge outputs required to meet national development needs’.
DHET further states that the research output policy is a ‘goal-oriented and performance-related mechanism that explicitly links the allocation of funds for research output thus contributing to the social and economic development of the country’.
In the area of Journal Publication Output Units, the report acknowledged UKZN for being one of eight institutions which had 70-78% of their publications in international indices. The DHET report emphasised: ‘This is great for global exposure as it exposes South African research to a global audience.’
The report also noted ‘Overall, UKZN accrued the most journal publications with 75% in international indices and 25% in the DHET list.’