08 March 2009

"Knowledge" exchange

A rather comic announcement in Peter Suber's Open Access Forum, to the effect that:
Knowledge & Library Services at Harvard Business School and the Library at Copenhagen Business School are launching an international network of professionals interested in understanding the changing role of information (both tacit and explicit)– its creation, management, dissemination and use – in scholarly research, higher education and business practice.

"Knowledge & Library Services" eh? I wonder if they realise how pretentious that sounds? :-) But of course not, Harvard's stock in trade is pretension. At least the Copenhagen Business School is more honest, simply acknowledging that it has a library! Do either of them understand the impossibility of "exchanging" tacit knowledge, which is fundamentally unknowable? See Polanyi for an extensive treatment of the subject.

What this boils down to, presumably, is an attempt to exchange information - and the topics chosen are "Scholarly Communications and Open Access, Research Metrics, Cyberinfrastructure and Information Behavior". Well, that's fine - but yeas of observation of discussion lists leads me to conclude that the venture is doomed to failure. Outside of a very limited number of fields, however noble the intentions, discussion lists degrade to forums for the exchange of conference announcements, publication announcements and job opportunities - so good luck, guys!


  1. Did you find anything good in the announcement? Or your blog is NOT devoted to balanced opinions (if you have to express opinions at all).

  2. Not the most intelligent of comments