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Using primary data generated from samples of research units within the Gambia public research sector, this two-phased inquiry seeks to identify and explain factors in…
Using primary data generated from samples of research units within the Gambia public research sector, this two-phased inquiry seeks to identify and explain factors in research governance that influence scientific knowledge production. In contributing to empirical discussions on the impact levels of different governance models and structures to scientific output, which appear limited and mixed in literature, this study suggests, first, that scientific committee structures with significant research steering autonomy could not only directly contribute to scientific output, but also indirectly through moderating effects on research practices. It further argues that autonomous scientific committee structures tend to play a better steering role than a management-centric model and structure of research governance. Second, elaborating and providing a more insightful explanation and perspective on individual research behaviours and outcome of research, the study argues that communication and collaborative networks could improve research practices and behaviours, which is a most important predictor of scientific performance. Third, research related behaviours are multi-dimensional; they include publication behaviour, publication orientation, funding behaviour, decisions about research priorities and agenda, as well as the communication behaviour of the scientist — all of which are critical for scientific knowledge production. Fourth, analysis of results suggests that intrinsically motivated curiosity is crucial in driving creative and innovative research. For this reason, results of analysis showing negative contribution of non-supportive institutional conditions and positive contribution of intrinsic motivation suggest far reaching implications for the competiveness of a country like Gambia, which is still working to build and improve its science and technology base.