'Knowledge management,' or KM, is a term often used by businesses to describe the systems they have for organizing, accessing and using information — everything from the data in personnel files to the number of products on store shelves.
Fair enough - that's what we've been calling 'information management' for about the past 40 years. But no!:
One reason that it’s “knowledge” management rather than “information” management is that the word knowledge connotes use of information, not just its availability. Having the ability to use information is what makes it valuable. One classic example is Wal-Mart, which used real-time data about its inventory to realize tremendous, game-changing efficiency gains and cost-savings.
Now what is it that 'information' does? Information - 'informs', in other words the notion of its use is implicit in the definition and its curious how no definition of 'km' can do without the notion of information. The only reason for the existence of information is that it should be used - calling information that is used, 'knowledge' is simply silly. As Peter Drucker famously said, 'Knowledge exists between two ears, and only between two ears.'
The blogger's ideas also ignore the fact that there are at least two other communities that use the term 'knowledge management': those building 'knowledge-based systems' in the AI fraternity; and those concerned with the more effective management of organizational communications through the creation of 'communities of practice' and similar ideas. When a term has such competing demands from totally different use communities it becomes worthless. I suggest that Science Commons should exercise a little 'scientific' commonsense and stick to 'information management'. When we look at the Neurcommons site (which is being blessed with this composite term), what do we find?
With this system, scientists will be able to load in lists of genes that come off the lab robots, and get back those lists of genes with relevant information around them based on the public knowledge. They’ll be able to find the papers and pieces of data where that information came from, much faster and more relevant than Google or a full text literature search, because for all the content in our system, we’ve got links back to the underlying sources. And they’ve each got an incentive to put their own papers into the system, or to make their corner of the system more accurate for the better the system models their research, the better results they’ll get.
In other words it's a database, constructed, it seems, using information extraction methods, which will deliver information items to the searcher.
It's a little difficult to understand what is meant by the following:
They’ll be able to find the papers and pieces of data where that information came from, much faster and more relevant than Google or a full text literature search, because for all the content in our system, we’ve got links back to the underlying sources.
What are those urls for each item retrieved by Google other than 'links back to the underlying sources'? And quite what 'the papers and pieces of data where that information came from' means is anyone's guess. It seems that once anyone gets into the mire of language associated with 'km' the critical faculty disappears altogether and hype prevails.