This article was introduced due to a sharp decline in research publication output by 120.69 units at the University of Venda (UNIVEN). Because research publication output is necessary for income generation, ranking of an institution of higher learning and international networks for possible collaborations, UNIVEN may experience long run instabilities if the situation persist. Even though there might be several other issues responsible for the low output, suspicions have been on poor involvement of researchers in research publication enterprise of the University. Whereas this may be true, the reasons are yet unknown, which motivates the current study. The essence is to unpack issues around the phenomena with hopes of suggesting intervention measures. An exploratory sequential mixed research design was followed. A sample of 32 (Masters & PhD students) was drawn from the Institute for Rural Development (IRD) at the University. Data was collected using semi-structured and structured questionnaires of which thematic and descriptive analyses were performed through Atlas-ti v8 and Microsoft Excel 2013 statistical tool, respectively. The qualitative result yielded several issues clustered into three themes namely: student, supervisor and the management. The scores of the casual issues suggest 12 factors that should be taken into account. This include student rewards (17%), student conference attendance (13%), regulations on theft of student researches (11%), strengthening supervision ties (9%), research skills training (8%), and adequate service delivery (8%). Other factors fall between 7% and below.