A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge  
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Vignettes from the e-Knowledge Future
© SCUP 2003
   
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Tales from the Not-So-Distant Future (continued)

   

Chapter 2

Vignettes from the e-Knowledge Future

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Content marketplaces enfranchise many new providers of content. They also empower consumers. They enable the combination and exchange of digitized, contextualized content from different publishers and in many different forms. These marketplaces enable the crystallization of complex networks of expertise and access to communities of practice. Performances, experiences, and other high value products are made available as well.

 

A New Approach to Content Aggregation. The KCE makes it possible to combine content from different publishers and to aggregate collections of knowledge in different levels of granularity — entire texts, chapters, sections/topics, and paragraphs plus individual simulations, graphics, and videos. Some faculty and other users prefer to search, evaluate, and combine at the topic level. However, most prefer to aggregate content at the chapter level or to select competing content on the recommendations of distinguished peer evaluators. The KCE aggregates content from providers like MERLOT who employ their own content reviewers. Some reviewer relationships are negotiated by Haddad who has attracted a wide spectrum of expert evaluators, ranging from recognized practitioners and content experts to distinguished critical thinkers who provide periodic assessments of the best new ideas or learning objects they have discovered, on a monthly basis. Professional societies and trade associations create a “preferred selection” of the best new content in their body of knowledge, which commands a premium price. Experts are paid a small share when their recommendations result in a purchase.

 

Horizontal Marketplaces. Marketplaces such as the KCE have dramatically changed the marketplace for digital content. The vertical silos of traditional content providers are broken up by the horizontal structure of marketplace exchanges. The intellectual property value of publishers’ content is driven down by competition from new, individual authors who are engaged in the marketplace through their universities, associations, and other organizations. The exchange does not just contain textual content; graphics, simulations, and videos of performances and interactive experiences are also available. The exchange contains evaluations of and linkages to communities of practice, providing access to the ongoing creation of insights.

Insights from Experts. The marketplace redefines the meaning of “experts.” Today, publishers establish the experts through selection, development, and publication of text. In the future, a far broader selection of professionals and practitioners will be enfranchised to provide content expertise through these marketplaces. Exchanges will also contain references to networks of experts in a vast variety of hybridized fields of expertise. Even in an era of powerful search engines, human expertise and judgment is relied upon to identify what is really significant in most fields of endeavor. Communities of practice have arisen around the influence of key experts. As chief relationship officer, Haddad follows both an architectural and a biological model; he specifically enlists the services of recognizes experts in some areas and provides the frameworks and protocols that enable natural experts to emerge in these new disciplines.

 

Making Partners Smarter — and Richer. One of Haddad’s key roles is working with organizational partners to provide guidance in preparing their knowledge and metadata in ways that it can be repurposed in other fields and disciplines.

Many professional societies and trade associations have found that their sales of learning objects and access to communities of practice have increased by a factor of ten to new consumers outside their usual industry markets. The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the CSIEEE have been especially successful in driving sales of their learning objects and access to tacit knowledge in new, secondary marketplaces.

Resources of Interest

Crow, Raym. 2002. The Case for Institutional Repositories. White Paper, Release 1.0. Washington: SPARC. www.arl.org/sparc
McElroy, Patrick. 2002. A New Paradigm for Acquiring, Managing, and Distributing Content in Higher Education Institutions. White Paper. July.
Young, Jeffrey R. 2002. Superarchives Could Hold All Scholarly Output. Chronicle of Higher Education, July 5.

 

silo levels graphic

         

 

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