A Registry of Library Knowledge Bases

For a new registry, I am greatly interested in identifying library-created or library-related Knowledge Bases. A Knowledge Base / Knowledgebase may be defined as a database with a focus on empirical or practical knowledge. In recent years, Knowledge bases have become common components for many businesses and services. The RealNetworks "Customer Support" Knowledge Base.


is an excellent example of a technical support knowledge base.

I am interested in library-created OR library-related Knowledge Bases

Excellent examples of library-created knowledge bases are the "VID Knowledge Base 2002-2003" for the Virtual Information Desk of the Pennsylvania Inter-Library Online Library (PILOT):


Perhaps the most sophisticated Library Knowledge Base was the one planned as part of the OPAL Project. " The OPAL (Online Personal Academic Librarian)


started as an eighteen month research project based at the Open University Library which is exploring the development of a fully automated online 24/7 reference service for distance students. The project began in November 2000 and was a partnership between the OU Library, the OU Knowledge Media Institute, and the libraries of the University of Leicester and the University of London's Birkbeck College."

SEE ALSO: "The OPAL Project: Developing An Automated Online Reference System For Distance Learners"in the June 2001 issue of D-Lib Magazine.

Another innovative library-based Knowledge Base is EARS (Electronic Access to Reference Services), a service available from the Learning Resources division of the University of Northumbria at Newcastle.


The *Most* impressive general knowledge base that I've discovered in a recent Quick-and-Dirty search is START,

"the world's first Web-based question answering system, has been on-line and continuously operating since December, 1993. It has been developed by Boris Katz and his associates of the InfoLab Group at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Unlike information retrieval systems (e.g., search engines), START aims to supply users with "just the right information," instead of merely providing a list of hits. Currently, the system can answer millions of English questions about places (e.g., cities, countries, lakes, coordinates, weather, maps, demographics, political and economic systems), movies (e.g., titles, actors, directors), people (e.g., birth dates, biographies), dictionary definitions, and much, much more."

Examples of other library-related Knowledge Bases include:

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews


"Cochrane Reviews are full text articles reviewing the effects of healthcare. The reviews are highly structured and systematic, with evidence included or excluded on the basis of explicit quality criteria, to minimise bias."

Perhaps the most sophisticated Knowledge Base I've discovered are those offered by Proteome, which provides "a variety of products and services to integrate the accumulated knowledge from the research literature with genomic information and software tools to produce a powerful resource for bioinformatic scientists and biologists of all disciplines."


[The Proteome knowledge bases are built upon the review, extraction, and synthesis of information and data from peer-reviewed journals]

[WOW! A development that must be added to the EJI(sm) registry]

KBL(sm): A Registry of Library Knowledge Bases


As Always, I Welcome Any and All contributions, queries, comments, nominations, Cosmic Insights, Etc. Etc. Etc. [I am NOT, however, interested in corporate Knowledge Bases per se]

Articles, reports, studies, school papers or projects regarding Library Knowledge Bases are also of major interest for a planned General Bibliography. [I am NOT, however, interested in literature about Knowledge Bases per se]

Gerry McKiernan, The Basic, Knowledgeable Librarian, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011



December 15 2003