Textual Representations and Knowledge Support-Systems in Research Intensive Networks
TOWARDS A SEMANTIC WEB: CONNECTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACADEMIC RESEARCH, pp. 145-195, B. Cope, M. Kalantzis, L. Magee, eds., Chandos Press, 2011
45 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2011
Date Written: January 1, 2011
Serious consideration of this contradistinction between ‘the lifeworld’ and the more focused and harder work of science, poses some daunting intellectual and practical challenges. We aim to explore some of these challenges in this chapter. In so doing, we will cross over a multitude of perspectives and boundaries. In doing this, we are interested in unpacking some of the theoretical inter-relationships between lifeworlds and science, and between constructivism and realism.
But first we ask – can these particular cross-paradigmatic perspectives be reasonably represented and reconciled in textual form? We think that attempts to do so are worthy of the greatest effort and that the reason for doing this is self-evident. Ideas are refined and improved through the process of writing. But beyond this, creation of textual representations of knowledge is of fundamental importance to the effective functioning of research intensive networks. To support the increased efficacy and efficiency of research intensive networks and their impact in the world, we claim there is a need to expand the context of knowledge systems associated with research intensive networks. This idea for us involves the development of a public knowledge imperative. We suggest that textual representations expressed as knowledge claims can no longer be hidden away from the eyes of public scrutiny when there are important matters of public interest either implicitly or explicitly at stake. The recent catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico provides an example of how particular types of knowledge, for example procedures associated with offshore oil rigs, can rise up to become of the highest public priority almost overnight. To neglect the potency of such knowledge through a lack of public scrutiny can have devastating consequences as the whole world has found out.
We set out to provide a rationale as to why we think a public knowledge imperative is so important. To give expression to this imperative, we think there is a need for a new type of institutional and regulatory framework to protect and enhance the role of public knowledge. We call this framework a public knowledge space. It is public by virtue of the fact that it relies on semantic technologies and web-publishing principles. But more importantly, in order to understand the multiple functions of a public knowledge space, we suggest it is first necessary to develop a detailed ontology of knowledge itself. Our ontology outlined in this chapter is broadly based because we emphasise the value of experience and lifeworlds as much as we do the importance of rigorous critiquing and transparent review. By extension, our views are slightly orthogonal to prevailing perspectives of the semantic web.
Keywords: epistemology, academic publishing, subjective knowledge, objective knowledge, social systems, hierarchical complexity, knowledge processing, semantic web
JEL Classification: D23, D71, D83, I20, O31, O33, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation