What’s in a Name? Using Informetric Techniques to Conceptualize the Knowledge of Traditional and Indigenous Communities
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AbstractSince the publication of a collection of articles by Brokensha, Warren and Werner (1980) on the knowledge of traditional and indigenous communities, there is a marked interest in studying and using this kind of knowledge to promote and sustain development activities. Despite the recognition of the importance of the knowledge of traditional and indigenous communities there is limited agreement on its definition and conceptualization. In other words, there are competing ways of defining it and various ways of labeling it. In view of the varying appropriation of meanings to the concept of the knowledge of traditional and indigenous communities, this article starts by dealing with definitions attached to this kind of knowledge before turning to establishing what might be the suitable label for that knowledge using informetrics techniques. The conclusion is that indigenous knowledge is the label that is gaining more currency than any other in the social sciences, arts and humanities.Keywords: Indigenous communities, indigenous knowledge, informetrics, local knowledge, traditional knowledge.