Understanding the knowledge evolution and research-policy interaction of climate change research in South Africa
MetadataShow full item record
Scientific research is an important channel to provide valuable and feasible information for policymaking to tackle the complex social issues. Identifying a clear knowledge framework in the science and policy communities could make better use of scientific knowledge in addressing social issues. Climate change is one of the most severe social issues faced by South Africa, and the human beings as well, in the recent decades. It is reported that the implementation of policy regarding climate action in South Africa faces a range of challenges, partly due to the lack of data and information, as well as the inefficiency communication between governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. Until now, a lack of research has been conducted in South Africa to explore the knowledge structure and interaction of the science and policy communities in the field of climate change. In response to the knowledge gap, this study aims to trace the knowledge evolution on climate change study in South Africa with bibliometrics keyword and subtopics analysis, as well as the policy progression in climate governance with documentary analysis. Subsequently, the interaction between the science and policy communities is explored through keyword analysis and citation analysis. Furthermore, the performance of research institutions and the leading authors in this research field is quantified, which contributes to provide valuable information for the policymaker to select the most suitable scientific partnership according to the policy need. The results show that the scientific publication in South Africa increases dramatically from 1980 to 2019 with a significant shift of research focuses. 12 subtopics within climate change study are identified. The subtopic analysis exhibits that increasing publication ratios have been split from the natural-related topics to the anthropocentric-related topics in the recent 10 years. The research institutions UCT, SU, UP, UKZN and Wits have maintained remarkable scientific capacities on climate change study since 1980, and NMU, UR, UJ and NWU catch up in the recent 5 years. Chown S is the most productive author in field of climate change in South Africa. The research-policy interaction analysis indicates that the implementation of policy could steer research development, while no sufficient evidence is found the influence of scientific research on policymaking from the citation analysis of the policy documents.