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The impact of electronic theses and dissertations: a study of the institutional repository of a university in South Africa


  • Siviwe Bangani

    () (North-West University)


Abstract This paper investigates the academic and societal impacts of the engineering electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) at the North-West University. The citation counts obtained through Google Scholar (GS) and the altmetrics data obtained from Dspace on the North-West University institutional repository are used to determine these impacts. Further, the conversion rates of ETDs from an educational output into an academic research output are determined using data from GS and the North-West University institutional repository. The results show that the 612 theses and dissertations attracted 931 citations which translates to 1.52 citations per thesis on average. A total of 41.2% theses and dissertations received at least one citation and the conversion rate into academic research output was 16.8%. The conversion rates in the last 3 years that are part of this research is 27.3% which suggests an improvement. An average of 323 PDF views were received per thesis. The citation and PDF views data show that the Engineering ETDs have commendable academic and societal impacts. Nonetheless, the academic impacts show scant correlation with the societal impacts although some positive trends are noticeable when looking at the origin of PDF views and citations by country.

Suggested Citation

  • Siviwe Bangani, 2018. "The impact of electronic theses and dissertations: a study of the institutional repository of a university in South Africa," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(1), pages 131-151, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:115:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2657-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-018-2657-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

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