Things to come: Postmodern digital knowledge management and medical informatics

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34 Scopus citations


The overarching informatics grand challenge facing society is the creation of knowledge management systems that can acquire, conserve, organize, retrieve, display, and distribute what is known today in a manner that informs and educates, facilitates the discovery and creation of new knowledge, and contributes to the health and welfare of the planet. At one time the private, national, and university libraries of the world collectively constituted the memory of society's intellectual history. In the future, these new digital knowledge management systems will constitute human memory in its entirety. The current model of multiple local collections of duplicated resources will give way to specialized sole-source servers. In this new environment all scholarly scientific knowledge should be public domain knowledge: managed by scientists, organized for the advancement of knowledge, and readily available to all. Over the next decade, the challenge for the field of medical informatics and for the libraries that serve as the continuous memory for the biomedical sciences will be to come together to form a new organization that will lead to the development of postmodern digital knowledge management systems for medicine. These systems will form a portion of the evolving world brain of the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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