The academic field of distance education is a relatively new and dynamic field. The measure of an academic field lies in the richness and depth of its published research. The University of South Africa is the oldest open distance learning higher education institute in the world. Owing to its status internationally as the leader of distance education, it is prudent to analyse and reflect on the research outputs published by South African academics, particularly regarding the levels of research. This paper follows from the research published by Roberts, which analysed South African distance learning research levels and sublevels from articles published between 2011 and 2015. This is a longitudinal study that analyses and compares the research trends for the five-year periods from 2010 to 2014 and 2015 to 2019. The data were obtained from the Scopus and SABINET databases, using the same search criteria employed by Roberts. The levels of research publications were analysed according to the open distance learning research framework of Zawacki-Richter and are presented through descriptive statistics. The results indicate that although the number of published open distance learning research articles has more than doubled, the research levels have not shown any significant change.