Obstacles to Research and Publication in Zimbabwean Higher Education Institutions: A Case Study of the Research and Intellectual Expo



The study was aimed at exploring the quantum and quality of research in higher education institutions (HEIs) in light of the stringent requirements for staff appointment, tenure and promotion. The case study method which falls within the qualitative research paradigm was employed. Documentary analysis was used to determine the trends in the number of articles submitted to the Research and Intellectual Expo (RIE) and those that are eventually published in the Journal of Zimbabwe studies from 2011 to 2014. In addition, interviews with 111 respondents (25 peer reviewers, 11 members of the Journal’s editorial staff, 45 academics, 10 Research Directors and 20 members of the organising Committee) were performed for purposes of obtaining explanations and justifications for the trends obtained from the case study. Results indicate that although the number of articles submitted to the RIE had increased over the years (from 218 in 2011 to 498 in 2014), there are serious deficiencies in research and writing skills among academics in HEIs. However, variations in publication rates exist depending on academic field with those in the science-related disciplines producing better quality research articles than those in education, arts, humanities and social sciences. The major reasons for rejection of papers were poor research and writing skills as well as plagiarism. New forms of academic dishonesty namely: ‘ghost’ researches and unjustified multiple authorship were unearthed. The major challenge faced by the academics in conducting research was the pressure to publish in an environment characterised by high teaching loads and inadequate resources. The paper recommends collaboration by key stakeholders in imparting research and academic writing skills to and academics.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ire.v3i1.7009


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

 Contact: ire@macrothink.org

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.

Copyright © Macrothink Institute   ISSN 2327-5499