KM for Researchers

Rich McCue provides an interesting paper, Research in a Digital World - or - Personal Knowledge Management for Researchers, which uses the Memex idea of Vannevar Bush as a framework for the discussion.  This could almost be summarized as "pay attention to your toolbox."

The increasing volume of digital information with which researchers' work is making the task of finding, capturing, organizing and eventually collaborating with digital data more difficult. Electronic information in multiple formats sitting in multiple silos of data present a challenge to researchers who have difficulty finding a specific piece of information in a timely fashion.


Whether they realize it or not, most researchers are struggling with the mountains of digital data that they have accumulated during their careers. If shown the tools available to them to find, capture and collaborate, many, if not most, will start to use some of these knowledge management tools to increase their productivity and effectively manage and collaborate with their data.

McCue splits the problem space into two pieces, which I see as rather helpful: Information Management and Knowledge Sharing & Collaboration.  From here, one can talk about the various tools and how they relate to each of these components.  Filing systems, search tools, and many web apps are about information management.  Collaboration is enabled by a different set of tools (as well as a willingness to actually collaborate!).  Throughout the paper, McCue gives pointers on how a number of applications and services can be used by researchers to make their individual lives better AND result in better research and collaboration with others.

1 Comment(s)

Curtis said:

This is also and excellent tool for researchers -

Free software and it works well. As I'm working different articles and my dissertation, it is a great database to organize documents. While I have documents in different spaces on my hard drive still, this can link to them no matter where I have them. I place what files I want in there, I edit the metadata and whenever I'm writing a paper (say on tacit/explicit knowledge) I'll just search my database for the keyword.

I'm sure it has other functions (obviously, as the website shows it is capable of handling audio and video functionality as well), but as a doctoral student who prefers to deal with PDF, doc and html files as opposed to mounds of papers - this is a much more effective way of handling knowledge.

Hopefully this can help someone, or if anyone has found something better, let me know. I'd love something with a better GUI and the possibility of adding the article abstract in the metadata.


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