A bibliometric analysis of drinking water research in Africa


  • Enos W Wambu Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, School of Science, University of Eldoret, P.O. Box 1125−30100, Eldoret, Kenya
  • Yuh-Shan Ho Trend Research Centre, Asia University, No. 500, Lioufeng Road, Wufeng, Taichung County 41354, Taiwan




Africa, bibliometric review, drinking water, publications, research collaborations, water research


A total of 1 917 publications of drinking water research in Africa from 1991 to 2013 were identified from the data hosted in online version of SCI-Expanded, Thomson Reuters Web of Science, for bibliometric analysis. The analysis included publication output, distribution of keywords, journals and subject areas, and performances of countries, institutions, and authors. Citation trends and highly-cited publications are also reported. We found that the publication output of related documents increased over the entire period of study. The results showed that ‘water’, ‘drinking water’, and ‘oxidative stress’ were the most frequent terms in publication titles, authors’ keywords and KeyWords Plus. The top three subject areas were ‘water resources’, ‘environmental science’, and ‘environmental and occupational public health’. The ten most productive institutions were located in South Africa and Egypt, and the University of Pretoria was the overall most productive institution. Thus, a quarter of all of the articles published were from South Africa. It was found that articles became increasingly collaborative with greater numbers of authors, page counts and bibliographies. More than half of the internationally collaborative articles were co-authored with researchers from Europe. French and US institutions contributed to the highest number of collaborative articles.


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How to Cite

Enos W Wambu, & Yuh-Shan Ho. (2016). A bibliometric analysis of drinking water research in Africa. Water SA, 42(4 October). https://doi.org/10.4314/wsa.v42i4.12



Research paper