Curation: A Key Knowledge Management Activity, Part 1

Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

February 18, 2021
In this first post of a two-part series, I will explain curation as it relates to knowledge management, and describe what content to curate.

What is Curation

To curate is to collect, select, assemble, and present information or multimedia content such as photos, videos, or music for other people to use or enjoy, using professional, expert, or personal knowledge and passion. Knowledge managers need to curate a wide variety of content to make the most important and useful information easy to find and retrieve. It’s not enough to just collect content and make it available in a large repository. Selecting and highlighting the best of this content greatly simplifies effective reuse. Knowledge managers are usually better at finding information than others in their organizations. And they can enable people to get the information they need more easily by curating it for their users.

Paul Corney wrote this about what to call knowledge managers: “I am drawn to Knowledge Curator which very much plays to the idea of preserving and maintaining knowledge assets. So much of what passes for Knowledge Management is about creating and storing content and making it available for reuse. It’s more than the role formerly undertaken by information professionals and librarians; here we are talking about being a custodian of organizational knowledge and organizational knowledge bases.”

What to Curate

Here are examples of content to curate.

  1. Contacts: Maintain directories showing organization structure, roles, and responsibilities.
  2. Expertise Locators: Offer a way for people to enter, maintain, and search for individual skills and experience profiles.
  3. FAQs: Maintain lists of frequently asked questions about a topic, along with the most definitive answers.
  4. Job openings: Share current open positions, internal (within an enterprise) or external (in an external site or community).
  5. Navigation: Structure menus and breadcrumbs in a logical manner consistent with the organization’s structure and terminology.
  6. News: Select and highlight the most important and relevant stories.
  7. Resources: Maintain lists of recommended sources in a wide variety of categories:
  1. Articles
  2. Blog Posts
  3. Blogs
  4. Books
  5. Communities
  6. Conferences and Events
  7. Definitions
  8. Periodicals
  9. Podcasts
  10. Presentations
  11. Products and Services
  13. Thought Leaders
  14. Tools
  15. Training
  16. Tweeters
  17. Twitter Chats
  18. Webinars
  19. Websites
  20. Videos
  1. Search Results: Provide results likely to be the most useful in response to searches conducted in enterprise search, including:
  1. Content tagged by users with “I reused this”
  2. Content badged by authoritative subject matter experts as “recommended”
  3. Most-visited sites and most-downloaded documents
  4. Best bets: thumbnails and links only
  5. Quick answers: more complete content plus links
  1. Success Stories: Collect good examples taken from actual threaded discussions in a Wins group or list, adding text that highlights the success details.
  2. Taxonomy: Define standard terminology in a dictionary, maintain synonyms in a thesaurus, and tag content with appropriate metadata.

My next post will explain how to curate and provide examples of curation.

Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

Please enjoy Stan’s blog posts offering advice and insights drawn from many years as a KM practitioner. You may also want to download a free copy of his book, Lucidea’s Lens: Special Librarians & Information Specialists; The Five Cs of KM from Lucidea Press, and its precursor, Proven Practices for Implementing a Knowledge Management Program. And learn about Lucidea’s Presto, SydneyEnterprise, and GeniePlus software with unrivaled KM capabilities that enable successful knowledge curation and sharing.

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