The RNA-project deals with the problem of optimal findability in networked knowledge repositories, with special attention to reference structures as promising problem solvers in this area.
The project is based on the idea that making knowledge available and findable works best in a networked environment, on an organizational level, on an infrastructural level, and on the level of content and - very important - reference to content. The project focuses on three crucial issues that keep popping up all the time when relating findability to the notion of networking knowledge:
Cooperation in the area of availability, findability, presentation and representation of knowledge is only possible if related reference structures, without loss of their local functions, can be connected in such a way that for both editorial knowledge workers and information seekers they form something like a reference continuum.
The RNA-project deals primarily with the system of connections between a knowledge repository (content) and related reference structures. Both content and reference structures are typically dynamic sets, and updating connections between the two - necessary after any mutation somewhere in the knowledge repository - should be as much as possible an automatic procedure. A system which fulfils this requirement can be considered a dynamic knowledge system.
If somebody adds concepts to reference structures or adds content to the knowledge base, a link must be created between the added and existing content and/or concept, where possible in an automated way. In this way a dynamic knowledge system is created in which searchability is optimised continuously.
In the practice of dynamic knowledge systems we can distinguish the following workflows:
The term 'reference structure' is a collective term for ontologies, topic maps, thesauri, keyword lists, etc. A reference structure is an ordered set of concepts with their properties and relations to each other, which is used for the purpose of making content findable.
A reference network is a set of reference structures that have been linked in such as way that a transparant whole is created for editors (content managers) and end-users alike. As a result of this linking, content that refers to concepts in individual reference structures can be accessed as if it forms part of a single collection.