Governments, organizations, practitioners and funders alike rely on the steady production, promotion, and dissemination of scientific knowledge on family planning behaviors. The existing empirical evidence is rich and diverse, but this body of research is extremely heterogeneous and disparate, making it difficult to draw conclusions about how best to advance the field of research and practice. The need for such assessments is crucial as there are still countries and regions where contraceptive uptake has stalled. Our scoping review of the peer-reviewed literature published between 2000-2016 on the determinants of contraceptive use, non-use and unmet need aims to understand the state of knowledge in the field by examining where, when, how, and by whom is research conducted and to what impact. Our observation period coincides with major international efforts aimed at improving family planning access and uptake to meet the FP2020 goals. Despite the availability of rich sources of evidence from around the globe for multiple time periods, we find that most research is concentrated in a few countries, rarely examines data with longitudinal designs, is mostly descriptive, and is not consistent in defining the “population at risk”. Furthermore, we use bibliometric tools and techniques to identify authors’ institutional and national affiliations, as well as their citation counts to assess how authorship characteristics contribute to knowledge production and impact. We find that most research on family planning is collaborative and focuses on a single country of interest and much of it is produced by teams of authors comprised of men and women, as well as from the Global South. Our bibliometric analysis finds that characteristics associated with most family planning behavior research were not those associated with citation counts. In particular, research published by authors affiliated with Global South institutions received significantly fewer citations compared to groups of authors affiliated with institutions in the Global North and Global South.
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