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The Singapore Infopedia: evolution of an online encyclopedia

Bonny Tan (Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, National Library Board, Singapore)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 15 February 2008




This paper aims to provide an overview of the development of the Singapore Infopedia since its inception in 1998 as the InfoXpress until its relaunch in 2006. It seeks to look at some of the challenges faced in design, content creation and data migration.


This paper derives data from unpublished surveys, project papers, user feedback and studies of similar online encyclopedias. It also draws from the author's experience and involvement in the project development between 1998 and 2005.


The paper is a case study describing the conceptualization and user requirements for an online encyclopedia with guidelines on content management and delivery. The project also involved several surveys which provide invaluable insights to user preferences. Learning lessons gleaned in developing an online encyclopedia on Singapore were derived from early prototype design, studying existing online encyclopedias and user needs surveys of the InfoXpress.


The development, migration and re‐establishment of the Singapore Infopedia were followed closely by surveys of users and studies of existing online encyclopedias. Although not all user preferences were incorporated, the survey data and online encyclopedias studied give indication of preferences, design issues and content development strategy that can be applied to similar platforms.



Tan, B. (2008), "The Singapore Infopedia: evolution of an online encyclopedia", The Electronic Library, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 55-67.



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