This article reports the findings of a scientometric analysis of South Africa’s research
performance during the period 2000–2010. A multitude of government incentives were
introduced during the period and their effects have appeared in the country’s research
outputs. In contrast to earlier investigations, it was found that South Africa’s world share of
publications is on the verge of reaching the highest contribution ever. South Africa improved
its international ranking by two positions during 2000–2010 and was ranked 33rd in the world
during 2010. It is argued that, provided the plan of the Minister of Science and Technology to
increase the research and development expenditure in the country materialises, South Africa
may be on the verge of a scientific renaissance.
Parts of the article have been presented at the 13th
International Conference of the International Society for
Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI 2011) in Durban,
South Africa; 2011 July 4–7.