"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


Saurabh Kudesia said...

Dear Dr. Taher,

Thank you very much for your kind words.

Our editorial team is really excited to know that our hard work is adding some values to the society. Needless to say, all this was not achievable without the direct and indirect support from people like you.

Best Wishes,

Saurabh Kudesia
Co-founder, Editor-in-chief
KnowGenesis International Journal for Technical Communication (IJTC)

Mohamed Taher said...

Mr. Kudesia
Thanks for the nice words.
It is good that knowledge mining continues to grow, despite the criticism (about Knowledge Management, per se, as a discipline or subject of interest in the business worlds).

Best, Mohamed

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