The State of Knowledge on Food Security in Ethiopia: Knowledge Production Trends and Publication Accessibility

Logan Cochrane, Zerihun Nigussie


Decision makers require a strong research foundation in order to make evidencebased decisions. In Ethiopia, there is an apparent contradiction regarding the availability of research and evidence. Google Scholar suggests there is a vast amount of research on food security in Ethiopia, while the Web of Science finds a small fraction in comparison. We analyzed these two research search platforms by comparing and contrasting the search results for the period of 2005 to 2016. The results are also analyzed in terms of knowledge production trends and knowledge accessibility. The findings present an analysis of the publishers, citations, the types of documents included in the search results, institutions of authors, and the role of false positives in the results. Of note, the citation analysis suggested that there are distinct circles of knowledge exchange and publication, principally revolving around the accessibility of research. In addition to outlining the landscape food security research in Ethiopia, this study has implications for systematic reviews, specifying the strengths and limitations of the respective databases as well as highlights areas for future inquiry, such as barriers to publication and the categorization of journals.

Keywords: Ethiopia; food security; state of knowledge; review

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.