Author: Denise Carter, Decision Consult and BIR Editorial Board Member
In these strange and turbulent times, we definitely need to take the time to celebrate those people who are doing excellent work. As a member of the BIR editorial board it is with pleasure that I can write one of the BIR’s frequent contributers, Paul Corney, Knowledge et al, has been awarded the 2019 K&IM Walford Award. The Award is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of knowledge management and/or information management. Previous winners include David Gurteen and Sue Lacey-Bryant. As a well-respected Knowledge Management (KM) expert and guru who has certinaly made an outstanding contribution to knowledge management services, Paul is a very worthy recipient of this year’s award.
Paul is dedicated to improving professional recognition of KM. In particular he has been recognised for his selfless i support of CILIP in its aim of becoming the UK and International professional body for KM. He has been committed and tireless in promoting CILIP’s initiatives not only in the UK but also abroad – particularly in the Far and Middle East where he is recognised as a KM leader and has a high profile. Paul has worked as CILIP K&IM Ambassador since end of 2017. He has worked incredibly hard with CILIP to realise the K&IM Chartership as a valid option for professional registration for information professionals. By using his network and connections he opened doors for CILIP to speak to the right people at the beginning of the process and understand that there was an appetite for a Chartered KM professional qualification.
As part of the KM Chartership project board he has been able to ensure that the new programme avoids the pitfalls of some other attempts by other organisations in this space. He has also continued to promote and discuss the KM Chartership within the KM community worldwide and engage other influential Knowledge Managers to become involved with CILIP in speaking at conferences, and potentially acting as mentors or assessors for the new KM Chartership programme. He is always willing himself to mentor and nurture others in their KM work.
Along with his recent articles for BIR, Paul has written several books on KM. The most recent are Navigating the Minefield and the KM Cookbook published by Facet. In Navigating the Minefield, Paul provides a range of realistic up-to-date examples both on how to start KM in an organisation and also how to sustain KM. The examples are drawn from 18 KM programmes from diverse organisations from across the world and provide great stories to encourage KM in organisations and there are useful anecdotes that can be re-used to sell KM in organisations. The KM Cookbook is presented in an engaging way and includes big name KM case studies and references to the appropriate parts of the ISO/BSI KM standard. As a member of the BSI KM Committee, Paul has been able to draw on his internal knowledge of the standard and its process.
You could be forgiven for experiencing a vague sense of deja vu
on reading the above. It is an article that could have been published any time since over the past twenty years. Indeed, the specific example of the BBC Digital Domesday
has almost become a cliché of such concerns. While I don’t want to suggest that no challenges remain, the Digital Domesday
happens to be a really bad example of the problem of digital preservation, and bad in precisely the right way to highlight why the problem isn’t quite as catastrophic as it may appear.
The attraction of the example derives from the contrast between the vellum of the surviving copies of the original Domesday book, and the laser disk of the 1980s equivalent. But this association with an important historical artifact confers a spurious significance on the digital Domesday. In fact the BBC project has no great historical value and is somewhat of a cultural curiosity.
More importantly, the BBC Digital Domesday is a bad example of the issues associated with digital Domesday because many of the reasons for its rapid obsolescence to do not apply to much digital information today. It was obsolete almost before it was complete because of a unfortunate technological framework -– the laser video disk which was already virtually obsolete outside of educational contexts, and the unsuccessful BBC Master Computer. This tied the data to both its storage medium, and to its proprietary computing environment. The 1980s witnessed a clash of competing proprietary systems and standards in the micro computer marketplace, but this is a situation which has now all but disappeared. In place we have a suite of agreed and open standards and data formats which not only function in principle, but underpin contemporary digital architecture in a real and largely profitable way. And despite the anxieties of Zittrain (The Future of the Internet, 2008
) about tethered devices, open systems and standard and generative computing devices are winning the battle.
Finally it is a bad example of an emerging dark age because the digital Domesday project has not been lost. It never really was. You can access it right now at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/domesday
. If anything it is a very good example of how robust digital data really is.
This is not to imply that digital information provides no preservation issues. The best format for created archival record is still paper (especially in those legal related contexts where records are required essentially in perpetuity). But while this is still best practice, it has to be recognized that it is a defensive position
relating to best practice for future archival purposes, and does not reflect the probable future survival of most digital information current in existence.
We are on the brink of an age of limitless and virtually cost free storage where the default position will be to migrate and retain data precisely because of the potential future commercial and cultural value of that information which can never be precisely estimated in advance.
What remains however is the problem of data migration and intellectual property rights. It is still the case that information systems do not talk to one another as politely as we might like. Or often at all. This is not a problem that can be overcome with standards and agreements, because the semantic structure of data sets is a significant part of their meaning, and can never be entirely standardised. More importantly, intellectual property prevents automatic archiving of materials In February, Vint Cerf raised this issue, and (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/feb/13/google-boss-warns-forgotten-century-email-photos-vint-cerf
) suggesting that:
“the rights of preservation might need to be incorporated into our thinking about things like copyright and patents and licensing. We’re talking about preserving them for hundreds to thousands of years.”
Cerf also suggested a way to manage data migration issues: “the solution” he suggested “is to take an X-ray snapshot of the content and the application and the operating system together, with a description of the machine that it runs on, and preserve that for long periods of time. And that digital snapshot will recreate the past in the future” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31450389).
This is an example of using software emulation techniques in digital preservation, widely discussed.
This all comes to mind as we’re preparing December’s issue of Business Information Review (http://bir.sagepub.com), with an interesting article on data migration from legacy information systems, and suggestions for proposed ways of managing the issue.
We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Business Information Review Best Paper Prize is Chris Rivinus.
His article ‘IT project prioritization: A practical application of knowledge management principles’ appeared in our December 2013 issue and was voted the best paper of 2013 by the Editors and members of the Editorial Advisory Board.
Chris works for Tullow Oil, a London-based independent oil and gas exploration and production company which regularly wins awards for its innovative approach to problem solving. Tullow’s CIO recently challenged his team to develop an approach to devolve control of IT project prioritisation to non-IT leaders within the company.
Chris’s article explains the approach developed and how it is working to keep the business’s IT strategy aligned with Tullow’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to collaborative decision making.
To celebrate the Prize SAGE is making the article freely available – simply follow this link.
Louise Cooke and Hazel Hall have published an article in Journal of Documentation exploring the potential value of SNA in library and information science research. Here’s the abstract:
Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a research approach that focuses on relationships among social entities, and the patterns and implications of these relationships. This paper reviews the value of SNA as a method appropriate to research in the domain of Library and Information Science (LIS). In addition to offering a brief overview of the academic antecedents of modern-day SNA, the relevance of SNA to LIS research is illustrated through the presentation of a case study.
The paper cites an article by Bonnie Cheuk (on SNA and knowledge transfer, published in BIR in 2007) and also develops ideas presented by Hall, Irving and Cruikshank in BIR in 2012.
If you would like to read the article, the published version can be accessed from JDoc contents page on the Emerald web site (non-subscribers to Emerald will need to pay a fee to reach the full text). The full-text of the manuscript is available also available and free to download.
In 2012 we launched our Annual Award for the best paper published in Business Information Review.
In our March 2013 issue, we announced that the first recipient of the Annual Award was Martin White of Intranet Focus Ltd.
His paper ‘Digital Workplaces: vision and reality’ provided an analysis of the development of the IT landscape over the last ten years, and the influences that are stimulating the evolution of the digital workplace.
The Editorial Board scored each article published in 2012 against a number of criteria:
· Durability of the content
· Impact and stimulus to practice
· Originality and breakthrough thinking
· Quality of writing and readability
With two issues of 2013 already published, the editorial board looks forward to discussing potential recipients of the 2013 Award.
We would be delighted to hear from our readers if they would like to recommend a paper they have read for the award. Leave a comment here or email the editors.
In our December issue we will be publishing an article by Scott Brown in which he describes mobile apps that are relevant to information researchers and professionals, both in their own work and in the services and products which they offer to their clients.
It’s a great, practical article outlining some of the ways in which apps are being developed and rolled out by vendors and other providers. Brown explores how new developments such as augmented reality are helping create a new generation of mobile information products.
Scott’s articles are always full of practical advice. Here’s one of his tips ahead of the December publication date:
“Be sure to ask your current information vendors if they are making apps available for their products, and include mobile access as part of your discussions with current and potential vendors as you negotiate access and contracts”.
In social media for company research, (BIR 28, 3) Scott Brown described how three key social media tools (LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube) can be used to locate key business information.
Scott is also a blogger for the SLA and in his latest blog post he presents a case study on searching for information about Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (Philips) using ‘non-traditional sources such as LinkedIn and Facebook.