As a new management theory and method, Knowledge Management (KM) has been the
general concern of the academic community since its appearance. Being the resource
center for preserving human cultural heritage, library must consider how to
adapt to the knowledge-based transformation, seek for knowledge orientation
and sustainable development in the era of knowledge economy. As a consequence,
it has a far-reaching significance to conduct a study on Library Knowledge Management
(LKM). Therefore, it is very important to understand the current library of
knowledge management in the field of research and progress. For example, when
did library knowledge management originate, develop and change in the country?
What were the content, focus and achievement of LKM studies? They will help
us to grasp the knowledge management library industry in China's current situation
and future trends and the application of knowledge management for the library
to provide guidance and practice.
Library knowledge management research in China is attention by scholars since
1999. "Library Knowledge Management in the 21st Century" is the first article
in China of LKM (Sheng, 1999). Other articles explored
and studied LKM in many aspects, such as "Opinions on library knowledge management"
(Liu, 2000), "Library knowledge management features
and its implementation strategy" (Li, 2003), "Knowledge
management and practice in university libraries" (Chen
et al., 2003).
To fully grasp the current research progress, this article explores related
scholars and journals. The article tries to reveal the stage and trends visually
in a certain study field through the analysis of the publication and cited year
distribution of literature and its research focus and trends to provide a reference
for this kind of research in the future.
Applying bibliometrics and content analysis, the authors statistics relevant
literature on Chinese library knowledge management and make a detailed analysis
on the basis of that, it summarizes the achievements and disadvantages to offer
some proposal to the research of library knowledge management in China.
DATA SOURCE AND RESEARCH METHOD
Data source: Academic literature is an important carrier of academic
research. With a short text and publication cycle, journal article can fully
reflect a research breadth while book mirror the depth of a study systematically.
This article selects journal articles and books on LKM as sample data, among
which journal articles are obtained from CNKI and searched by subject terms
"knowledge management" and "library". Their time scope is before December 31,
2012. Books are gained from China National Library bibliography and Duxiu database
and title retrieval is done through keywords the same as those of journal articles.
Research method: This article conducts an analysis of the above literature
through the application of bibliometrics and content analysis. Bibliometrics
is a subject that applies mathematics and statistical methods to analyze the
literature. It is capable of a more intuitive and hotspot comprehensive display
of the field generated by the study for a certain time. Currently it is widely
used in the literature field of intelligence.
Statistical results: From CNKI and Duxiu database, to analyze the results
got from above, it can be learned that the number of journal articles about
LKM is 1,558 while books 19.
ANALYSIS OF THE DEVEPOPMENT TREND ON LKM
It can reveal the stage and trends visually in a certain study field through
the analysis of the publication and cited year distribution of literature which
is shown in Fig. 1. From the Gompertz growth curve model,
it can be get that literature change shows a combination of numerous S curves
when one research project starts to flourish. The trend of research literature
numbers can be divided into three stages:
The First stage is from 1999 to 2001, when research outputs are all journal
articles, with no special books. Although there are only 39 articles at that
time, accounting only for 2.5% of all literature, the cited number is 34, the
total citation frequency is 938 and the average cited frequency of each article
is 27.58. They have made much contribution to the development of such kind of
literature. Take "Library Knowledge Management in the 21st Century" for example.
|| Published articles and cited articles in each year
It is the first article in China that explores the basic theory and development
of LKM after Peter Drucker put forward a more complete concept about it (Sheng,
1999). Other articles, such as "Opinions on library knowledge management"
(Liu, 2000), also lay a solid foundation for the research
The second stage is from 2002 to 2005, a new phase of high-speed production
and articles published each year present a linear growth. There are 5 relevant
books and 462 articles in this period, accounting for 29.65% of all the literature.The
number of cited articles reaches 379, the total citation frequency is 3,846
and average citation frequency of each article is 10.15. Many scholars of library
information arise attention, such as Sheng Xiaoping, Ke Ping, Du Yeli, Ma Haiqun
and so on, who write articles in succession on innovation of LKM, knowledge
service and LKM in colleges and universities as well. What is noteworthy in
this period is scholars concern of practical application and implementation
of KM strategy in library during the discussion and expansion of theory research.
Articles like "Library knowledge management features and its implementation
strategy" (Li, 2003), "Knowledge management and practice
in university libraries" (Chen et al., 2003),
are all important research achievements. There are 5 books at this stage, among
which writers of three books are from Taiwan and another two are coauthors.
They have limited depth exploration on LKM.
The third stage is from 2006 to 2012. At this period, there are 1,057 articles,
accounting for 29.65% of all the literature. Six hundred and twenty two cited
articles total citation frequency reaches up to 2,487 and average cited
frequency is 3.99. Fourteen books are published and their total citation frequency
is 156. With the first two stages development, some theoretical results
are gained on KM, the manifestation of which is some systematically related
works on it come out. For example, the book Library Knowledge Management written
by Shi (2006) makes a systematical research on KM concept,
library goal and task, users and knowledge receive and so on. Library Knowledge
Management Research makes an analysis of knowledge management in libraries,
theoretical foundations, mode and application of LKM (Ping,
DISTRIBUTION OF AUTHORS STUDYING LKM
Distribution of authors is a good indication of the overall radiation intensity
and breadth of a research field. One thousand six hundred and fifty eight authors
in total publish these 1,558 articles on LKM, among which 205 authors write
2 or more articles. The number of authors who participate in or complete 1 article
is 1,453, accounting for 87.46%, the proportion of which is much higher than
Lotkas Law value, 60%.
|| Published and cited articles of influential authors
The largest number of articles written by one author is 12. According to Price
Law, it can be calculated that there are 32 prolific writers who publish 3 or
more articles. These 32 writers write 153 articles in all, accounting for 9.82%.
There is a great gap from the prolific writer group, whose articles account
for about 50%. It can be known that cooperative writing on LKM is very common.
Results show that there is no core writer group on the research of LKM. Table
1 shows lead authors who make a research on LKM. It can be learned from
it that 2 of the 7 well-known writers publish only one article, but the citation
frequency reaches over 100. They do not make a continued research on the topic
which on the other side reflects the insufficiency of the research strengths
in this field.
DISTRIBUTION OF SOURCE
JOURNALS ON LKM
There are 1558 articles about library knowledge management. They come from
456 journals, among which 723 articles are published in journals ranking the
top 20, accounting for 46.4% of all the literature. There are 265 articles from
9 identified core journals, only accounting for 17% of all the literature (Table
2). With a large number of research articles, there are few high-quality
ones which cannot form a core journal periodicals group.
DISTRIBUTION OF RESEARCH
INSTITUTIONS OF LKM
Distribution of research institutions in certain field can reflect the collective
scientific strength. These 1,558 articles come from 810 institutions, shown
in Fig. 2. From that it can be got libraries and departments
of library management in colleges and universities, followed by public libraries,
pay more attention to the development of library knowledge development. It is
also a most cutting-edge application industry which will attract scholars
Research institutions publishing over 11 articles are listed in Table
3. These institutions publish 165 articles in all, accounting for 10.6%
of all the literature. Although the number of articles is larger than that of
core institutions in other countries, the proportion is lower.
It means that further exploration for research institutions is needed to study
DISTRIBUTION OF RESEARCH TOPICS AND FOCUS OF LKM
Research topics and focus reflect the basic features and key contents of a
particular field which also mirrors the overall trend and law of the research
Keywords are the core vocabulary reflecting the theme of one article. Through
the analysis of the keyword frequency, it can fully understand research topics
and focus. High-frequency keywords which appear more than 50 times are in Table
Table 4 shows that with decades of development, study on
LKM makes an exploration on basic theory, technology, applied research and so
on. LKM is closely related to knowledge service and innovation, tacit knowledge,
knowledge economy as well as knowledge sharing. Academic, medical and public
libraries pay the most attention to the applied research of KM, such as implementation
strategy, service creativity and innovation management. Research topics and
focus are as follows:
Basic theory research: Theoretical research of LKM occupies a significant
proportion in the overall research literature, mainly about its definition,
connotation, characteristics, functions, constitution and so forth. Articles
on basic theory research explore the necessity and feasibility of libraries
implementing KM, whose fundamental target is knowledge innovation. To achieve
this goal, the innovation of library management system and technology is essential.
Sheng (2004) points out the basic problems LKM confronts
from the perspectives of basic principles of KM, knowledge organization management,
KM systems, services and evaluation. In accordance of the status quo of the
research on LKM, Ping (2010) states briefly six future
development directions of it.
Application practice research: Theory research should be put into practice
to test its theoretical achievements. On the other hand, only the active investigation
of practical cases can better promote theoretical research. Wang
and Meng (2012) explore the practical application in the establishment of
institutional knowledge base, knowledge exchange of employees, management of
knowledge assets based on the practice of KM applications at Shenzhen Library.
On the whole, researches on LKM application case take up a minimal proportion
in all the literature, lacking in effective cases to imitate. Still there is
a long way to go compared with this research in other libraries.
Technology research on LKM: Besides the exploration of theoretical research,
certain technical support is also needed to guarantee that theory has a possibility
to be put into practice and verified. Therefore, it becomes a significant field
on how to fulfill the KM and in what way, knowledge exchange and sharing, knowledge
acquisition, learning and self-learning. Sheng and Xu (2006)
design Library Knowledge Management System model and structure based on library
resources and make a probe into its seven main functions, such as knowledge
retrieval, expression, publication and organization, exchange and cooperation
and so on.
LKM in colleges and universities: LKM draws the most attention from
libraries of colleges and universities. As the forefront of teaching and research,
universities and colleges lead the interdisciplinary development directions.
It is far more important for the knowledge reserve and conversion of intellectual.
Library as knowledge resource center of universities, should focus more on the
application and practice of KM. Fei and Tang (2002)
introduce the application of KM in other academic libraries and higher education
and then put forward that new ideas and management models should be employed
to promote sound progress of libraries. He (2007) analyzes
the influence of tacit knowledge on core competence of the academic libraries
and to improve that, it needs to promote the participation of tacit knowledges
users, encourage the externalization of and place an emphasis on the exchange,
integration, innovation of tacit knowledge. The value of it will be improved
through hard work.
KM in digital library: KM and intellectual property protection has been
one of the heated topics in current LKM. Its research focuses on knowledge innovation,
organization and development, as well as knowledge property management. Considered
from the aspect of KM, Qiu et al. (2001) elaborates
backgrounds on the introduction of KM into digital library, places a special
emphasis on the main content of digital library and investigates its implementation
conditions. It is a necessity for the survival and development of library in
the era of knowledge economy to know how to use the KM concept to instruct and
optimize the construction and exploitation of digital library.
Knowledge service: Library knowledge service is a high-level information
service developed by library with the help of knowledge resources and wisdom.
Library is an ideal organization to implement KM, whose goal is the realization
of knowledge service (Cui and Wei, 2005). Knowledge
from overt and tacit resources can be extracted specifically to satisfy library
knowledge service and solve users problems. Tacit knowledge is non-codified
which exists in human brain and contains both individual and collective tacit
knowledge. It plays a vital role in the organization of KM (Du,
2004). To improve the integral level of library knowledge service in the
era of knowledge economy, it need to fully explore the tacit knowledge implicit
in the librarians and users grasp and enhance its transformation ability to
promote library knowledge service and innovation.
PROBLEMS AND SUGGESTIONS OF
RESEARCH ON LKM
Through the arrangement and analysis of research literature on LKM in China,
characteristics and relevant issues about it are as follows:
||Although certain achievements on LKM have been obtained after
decades of efforts, still further exploration is needed in the breadth and
depth of research
||There is not a stable research team on LKM, lacking in core writers in
China. The research literature is mainly published in library information
journals, without core writers. Much of the overall research finding has
no important influence
||The content of LKM research in China is comprehensive which invests more
attention to library in colleges and universities, KM in digital library
and knowledge service. However, a large number of theoretical studies are
repeated, short of sufficient breadth and depth. Whats worse, there
are few application practice cases about KM, quite different from other
countries research on the issue which pay larger attention to case
In summary, KM in library management is still a frontier field, the future
development of which will place an influence on the library knowledge-based
transformation and the orientation and sustainable development of libraries
in the era of knowledge economy. It must pay attention to the core theory research
on LKM and greater importance should be attached to linking theory with practice.
Only if more and more library put KM into practice will it be possible to make
the theory into reality and future library the true center of knowledge resource,
sharing and service.
The research and application of LKM in China is still in the exploratory stage.
The basic theoretical exploration has made certain achievement, but the practice
and application appropriately need to be strengthened. In-depth development
and application of LKM need the collaboration of Librarians and scholars.
The authors would like to thank the Funding Project IHLB (PHR: 201108160).