"I certainly never write a review about a book I don't think worth reviewing, a flat-out bad book, unless it's an enormously fashionable bad book." --
says, John Gardner in Conversations with John Gardner
Quoted from 'Dictionary of Library and Information Science Quotations'     Edited by Mohamed Taher & L S Ramaiah. ISBN: 8185689423 (New Delhi , Aditya, 1994) p.150. Available @ Amazon.com

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A New e-journal: KnowGenesis

A literature review shows there are some journals in a similar frame of reference, such as, Orange Journal , Journal of Technical Writing and Communication , etc. The new title is KnowGenesis - International Journal for Technical Communication Vol 1, No 1 (2006)

What makes KnowGenesis different is, I feel, it has a potential both for the corporate needs and the non-corporate users of knowledge management (KM). On one hand, organizational and corporate knowledge is captured, processed, shared and available in many KM portals are well organized.. And, in such a junction, this journal adds value to the existing knowledgebase with its own specialty. And, KnowGenesis is aware of its place in this crowd and is probably trying to maintain a high stake among the competitors. On the other hand, the non-corporate or non-business's KM lies in abeyance. And, as many other social facets it is yet to be deciphered, systematically shared and accessed in KM portals. Society has been struggling (with or without a convergence of media, knowledge and tools) in its own ways to capture, manage and store its knowledge assets, be it in handling social emergencies, or disaster management programs or community projects (1). The losers (including the private and public resources, and public funds) continue to pay a high price as and when a calamity or disaster strikes – there are no free lunches anyways.

This journal then, has a great potential in exploring the unexplored non-corporate KM in order to improve the quality of life and thereby make history. To make this a reality, KnowGenesis does not have to re-invent the wheel; it has to simply find ways and means to harness the resources. In other words, social capital already abounds, but integrating mindmaps with appropriate tools for capturing, processing, storing and sharing this knowledge, is over due. And hope there is some light, now, at the end of the tunnel, with not many to compete in the marathon.

Secondly, it is a unique serial title that promises to demonstrate a balance, amidst the above stated overload and unexploited potential. And this is evident in its mission to handle in a just admixture, both oral and documented communication, both from the technical and human sources, irrespective of the information container manifesting an idea of the ancient or scientific theory of the modern. And, all of the above is described in the editorial of the inaugural issue. Hope future editors will continue this creative spirit of the founders.

Then, a major strength of this journal is it is a first publication focused on semantic interoperability of KM beneficial both for the business and everyday life scenarios. In this I can visualize that KnowGenesis has a trend to synchronize the human mindmap with its focus on the human genes rather than on the automatic robots. Most KM journals deal this mindmap otherwise, and focus on AI, machines, hardware, middleware and software. By this I mean, KnowGenesis, has a bearing on the tacit and this is a unique contribution to the KM world. Its tacitness is acknowledged by no less than a master of the information profession, Prof. Neelameghan:
With particular reference to rural and marginalized communities, it considers positive aspects of ICT applications, such as acceleration of empowerment, creation of a more level playing field, facilitation of expression of and greater visibility to their needs and 'dreams', and utilization of the tacit 'community knowledge' for the greater welfare of society. (2)

Interestingly, a journal with a knowledge-based conceptual framework already exists on the KM map, but has not been noticed by any KM portals . Whereas, this journal has received an encouragement from fields such as, Libraries , Education , etc. My desire to find a technical communication journal, in KM portals, is not because of my missionary zeal to expect the unexpected. It is because of the notion that KM portals do include resources that are in the area of technical communication (s). But this inclusion, it seems, is not an even practice, because there are hardly a few hits in Google. Then, the billion dollar question remains, as to who cares for this type of literature? And, who else will index this knowledge, and about the knowledge sharing that goes right under the rubric of the KM's communities of practices.

Apart from this subject of external coverage, a major concern lies in the journal's lack of explicit sense, that spells, in a clear language to visualize the fact that tacit knowledge is its primary foci, tangible is a secondary dimension, and any other matter relevant to transcendental zone from origin to eternity is a tertiary perspective. Here, I am not generalizing. I see this trend in the following two issues, so far published. And my observation is as follows:

The first issue has all the six articles, and second has three of the five articles, wherein a theme that dominates is capture, process and share the tacit knowledge .

Nevertheless, this Journal is highly recommended for libraries that specialize in middleware, software, human capital, social engineering, knowledge engineering., so on and so forth And, it is also an essential resource for both techies and non-techies. I wish the management, publishers, and the editorial team all the best

1. Vertical and tacit: Multifaith and Knowledge Management in Perspective , Mohamed Taher
2. E-Communities, Community Knowledge, and Knowledge Management, A Neelameghan, KG-IJTC Vol 1, No 2 (2006), 21-27

Resources for Reviews & Reviewers

What is a review?
A review is information about a publication. Such a work may be a book, journal, report, etc., (in print format), a Web site, software, multimedia, etc., (in electronic format), and so on.
Reviews may have one or all components, such as, summary, criticism, evaluation about a publication.

Where would you look for guidelines?
May be in some publisher's Website, or a reviewers' Blog who wants to share his / her experiences, or elsewhere!!!

For much more read:

  • Crawford, Walt. "Reviewing." Chap. 7 in First Have Something to Say: Writing for the Library Profession. Chicago: American Library Association, 2003.
    This chapter echoes many of the ideas described above and spends a significant portion of the narrative discussing the review on nonprint materials such as CD-ROMs.

  • Smith, Linda C. "Selection and Evaluation of Reference Sources." In Reference and Information Services: An Introduction, 3rd ed., edited by Richard E. Bopp and Linda C. Smith, 309-330. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 2001.
    This chapter describes several criteria that are useful even when reviewing non-reference materials: format, scope, relation to similar works, authority, treatment, arrangement, special features, and cost. In a reviewing context, the overall tone of the evaluation should often reflect a holistic view of the work in relation to criteria and achieve an appropriate balance (but not necessarily parity) between positive and negative characteristics of the work. [For the above two citations, I wish to thank Phillip M. Edwards, Review Editor, Journal of Web Librarianship]

    Call for Reviewers: Information Professionals
    1. Call for Reviewers: Information Resources Management Journal contact: Book Review Editor, Mohamed Taher
    2. Technology Electronic Reviews (TER)
    3. American Reference Books Annual, Looking for New Reviewers

    Guidelines for Reviews:
    a. Resources for Reviewers: Advantages of being a reviewer, Role of a reviewer, A reviewer's main responsibilities include
    Sample book review from The MetaMemes Guy
    b. Book Review - Guidelines, Information Resources Management Journal:
    An Official Publication of the Information Resources Management Association
    c. Resources for Reviewers Submit a requested review [Nicotine & Tobacco Research]
    A Literary Saloon and Site of Review - What's New; The Best; The Rest
    d. BOOK REVIEWS, by Jill M. Hackenberg, Book Review Editor https://www.haworthpress.com/
  • READ: Publication Details [to know the market, audience, writing styles, etc.]
  • Learn from the best practices: Weekly Book Review: BlogWild! by Spiritual Horticulturalist, June 25, 2006

    Where are these reviews available:
  • Book Review Digest Plus. New York: H. W. Wilson
  • Book Review Index. Detroit: Gale Research
  • The New York Review of Books
  • Choice magazine, Chicago: Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of American Library Association.
  • The New York Times on the Web: Books
  • Amazon.com
  • Barnesandnoble.com
  • Times Literary Supplement
  • Guardian Unlimited Books: Top 10s

    Looking for more:
  • Google for journal review guidelines
  • Google for media reviews
  • Google for Website reviews
  • Google for more on Review Resources
  • Google paid reviewer
  • Google for freelance reviewers