Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Elicitation Techniques for Acquiring Biodiversity Knowledge
Andréa Côrrea Flôres Albuquerque, José Laurindo Campos dos Santos, Alberto Nogueira de Castro Júnior

Building: CTEC
Room: Auditorium
Date: 2016-12-09 11:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Last modified: 2016-10-16


Traditionally, knowledge is kept by individuals and not by institutions. This weakens an institution’s ability to progress and be competitive. Evidence in the literature suggests gaps in the processes of knowledge elicitation and acquisition.

For a complex domain such as biodiversity, new mechanisms are needed to acquire, record and manage knowledge, preferably with a high level of expressiveness, which includes tacit knowledge. There is academic consensus that tacit knoweldge can aggregate semantics to structural instruments of knowledge. In this research, the tacit knowledge considered is scientific. This knowledge is not necessarily formalizable, but must be capable of systematization, associated with a logical process. In this domain, experts may not have the necessary skills to carry out the process of acquiring knowledge without the participation of an analyst.

The problem of knowledge communication and transference amongst individuals within an organization must be dealt with. The open question is: how to establish the ideal conditions that allow experts to communicate their knowledge? Much of the power of human expertise is the result of experience, gained through years, and represented as heuristics. Often the expertise becomes so common that the experts have difficultly describing specific tasks. In other cases, the knowledge is distributed throughout the organization and most of the time resides in the minds of experts.

The lack of attention to the differences between experts and the level of knowledge they possess, can affect the efficiency of the process of knowledge elicitation, and the quality of the knowledge acquired. The kind of knowledge that needs to be elicited must be considered too.

To browse through the variety of Knowledge Elicitation Techniques (KETs), it is necessary to identify the most appropriate method for a particular situation. It must be considered that: there are different kinds of knowledge, of experts and expertise; different ways of representing knowledge, which can help elicitation, validation and reuse of knowledge; different ways to use knowledge, so that the elicitation process can be guided by the use purpose of the elicited knowledge; and therefore, KETs should be chosen appropriately to meet the contingencies.

Among the KETs taxonomies available, we consider only the individual tacit knowledge elicitation methods that permit the participation of the analyst. Interview is the method used in the context of this research. The elicited knowledge must be stored and managed for further use. An architecture to register the elicited knowledge is under development.