Institutional Repositories and Knowledge Curation: Revisiting Knowledge Conversion in the Academic Environment Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Sabharwal, Arjun


  • The ubiquity and importance of institutional repositories (IRs) in higher education have significantly increased over the past two decades, as IRs have become recognized tools for curating organizational records, digitized heritage collections, research data, and scholarly publications—in other words, organizational knowledge. Knowledge curation combines commitments to long-term preservation, with teaching and making institutional records more accessible for scholarly and public inquiries in order to inspire sustained discourse. In contrast, knowledge conversion represents the latent but truly epistemological dimension of knowledge curation with a focus on knowledge acquisition. Knowledge acquisition is an outcome of research, observation, experiments, analysis, collaboration, and presentation, and it evolves in personal (tacit) and shared (explicit) forms, resulting from learning and communication. Knowledge conversion is, in fact, a human curation practice through acquiring, interpreting, and communicating knowledge within an organization, surrounding communities, and communication networks beyond. Institutional repositories play a clearly defined role in this context, as curation involves critical selection, knowledge organization, and communication. However, not all knowledge-focused fields utilize an IR. For example, knowledge as it is understood in philosophy, psychology, ethnography, social sciences, and humanities evolves independently of such tools until scholars incorporate them into their practices. As such, this article focuses on using the IR as a knowledge curation platform and, more specifically, as a knowledge conversion tool in the higher education environment to handle a broad range of data, information, and knowledge. The article first presents a conceptual framework of key concepts, and then it addresses the role of IRs in the four modes of knowledge conversion.

publication date

  • 2019

published in

start page

  • 78

end page

  • 80


  • 31