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What are we managing – knowledge or information?

Shashi Prabha Singh (Department of Library & Information Science, University of Delhi, Delhi, India)


ISSN: 0305-5728

Article publication date: 26 June 2007




A good amount of literature has appeared on knowledge management, wherein, by and large, the concepts of information and knowledge are being used in an overlapping manner, as are information management and knowledge management. There seems to be a conceptual confusion as to what libraries are managing – information or knowledge? This paper proposes to examine this issue.


Based on a literature survey and the author's own teaching experience, the article tries to provide an answer to this simple but at the same time complex question. The subject scope is self‐explanatory as it deals with two basic aspects, i.e. IM and KM.


Based on certain characteristics, efforts have been made to produce a clear distinction between IM and KM. These findings are also presented in tabular form.

Practical implications

Today, KM has become an important activity in all organizations, particularly in the corporate sector. As a result, intangible assets are playing the role of key drivers and technology is a key enabler. To be successful in the emerging knowledge economy, new processes, skills, and techniques that help to generate, manage and handle new knowledge need to be developed and practised adequately by information specialists.


The paper provides a crystallization of ideas to avoid any confusion among students and LIS professionals.



Prabha Singh, S. (2007), "What are we managing – knowledge or information?", VINE, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 169-179.



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