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Extending the concept of publication: factbases and knowledgebases

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The concept of a 'publication' no longer applies only to printed works; information technology has extended its application to several other types of works. This article describes a facility called the Common Knowledge Library that publishes modules of formally structured information representing facts and knowledge of various kinds. Publications of this new type have some characteristics in common with databases, and others in common with software modules; however, they also share some important characteristics with traditional publications. A framework for citation of previous work is important in order to provide an incentive for contributors of such modules. Peer review – the traditional method of quality assurance for scientific articles – must also be applied, although in a modified form, for fact and knowledge modules. The construction of the Common Knowledge Library is a cumulative process; new contributions are obtained by interpreting the contents of existing knowledge sources on the Internet, and the existing contents of the Library are an important resource for that interpretation process.

Document Type: Case Report


Publication date: 2008-04-01

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  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

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    Learned Publishing will be moving to Wiley-Blackwell as of January 1, 2016. Please contact the publisher at for information on how to continue access to this title.
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