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RESEARCH FOCUS AND TRENDS IN NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN Ghana: A BIBLIOMETRIC STUDY BASED ON THE INIS DATABASE, Elizabeth A. Agyeman and Albert Bilson
The peaceful application of atomic energy was introduced into Ghana about fifty years ago. This is the first bibliometric study of nuclear science and technology research publications listed in the International Nuclear Information System (INIS) Database, originating from Ghana. The purpose was to use the simple document counting method to determine the geographical distribution, annual growth and the subject areas of the publications as well as communication channels, key journals and authorship trends. The main findings of the study were that, a greater number of the nuclear science and technology records were published in Ghana (598 or 56.57% against 459 or 43.43% published outside Ghana). There has been a steady growth in the number of publications over the years with the most productive year being 2012. The main focus of research has been in the area of applied life sciences, comprising plant cultivation & breeding, pest & disease control, food protection and preservation, human nutrition and animal husbandry; followed by chemistry; environmental sciences; radiation protection; nuclear reactors; physics; energy; and radiology and nuclear medicine. The area with the least number of publications was safeguards and physical protection. The main channel of communicating research results was peer reviewed journals and a greater number of the journal articles were published in Ghana followed by the United Kingdom, Hungary and the Netherlands. The core journals identified in this study were Journal of Applied Science and Technology; Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry; Journal of the Ghana Science Association; Radiation Protection Dosimetry; Journal of the Kumasi University of Science and Technology; West African Journal of Applied Ecology; Ghana Journal of Science; Applied Radiation and Isotopes; Annals of Nuclear Energy, IOP Conference Series (Earth and Environmental Science) and Radiation Physics and Chemistry. Eighty percent of the journal articles were by multiple authors with three authored papers forming the majority. The study will be useful in evaluating research performance and also serve as a foundation for other African countries engaged in the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology.