Knowledge Sharing in a Community of Practice: a Text‑Based Approach in Emergent Domains

Authors

  • Rafif Al-Sayed
  • Khurshid Ahmad

Keywords:

Knowledge diffusion and sharing, community of practice, communal lexicon, corpus linguistics, special language terminology, multivariate analysis

Abstract

The shared use of specialist terminology amongst the members of a community of practice is explored as evidence for the existence of the concept of terminology is described — this method uses both univariate analysis, specifically frequency distribution of single and compound words, and multivariate statistical analysis, particularly factor analysis. The results show that terminology sharing may act as a metric for knowledge sharing and knowledge diffusion among different (sub‑) communities. The case study chosen to demonstrate the efficacy of the terminology‑sharing method is drawn from breast cancer care, where texts produced for and by the three main components of the community are examined — namely the experts, the professionals and the patients. The shared use of specialist terminology amongst the members of a community of practice is explored as evidence for the existence of the concept of communal lexicon. A computer‑based method of investigating the extent of terminology is described — this method uses both univariate analysis, specifically frequency distribution of single and compound words, and multivariate statistical analysis, particularly factor analysis. The results show that terminology sharing may act as a metric for knowledge sharing and knowledge diffusion among different (sub‑) communities. The case study chosen to demonstrate the efficacy of the terminology‑sharing method is drawn from cancer care — especially breast cancer care, where texts produced for and by the three main components of the community are examined — namely the experts, the professionals and the patients.

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Published

1 Mar 2006

Issue

Section

Articles