Living Documents for Maturing Knowledge Wireframes

In many areas currently information is pushed in a top-down way. This applies to clinical guidelines, their local implementation plans, but also other organizational rules and agreements. The problems associated with it are manifold:

– Too much information is pushed without taking into account the current state of the individual (what is new, what is already known) and their interest (what is relevant to their practice).

– These formal rules, guidelines, best practices, norms do not see sufficient adoption in practice as individuals do not engage with it, but at most acknowledge its existence.

– The development of these rules, guidelines, best practices etc. is a one-way street where the wealth of everyday experiences is not taken up, which also leads to decreased relevance in practice.

-Concrete situation require highly contextualized problem solving where there is no well-founded information based on studies or similar “scientific evidence”, but just qualified opinion. Opinion-seeking is completely detached from the information flow so that opinion does not get persisted.

Key idea

The key idea of the demonstrator is to show the potential of living documents mixing information and opinion, very mature and authoritative knowledge. This is supposed to create a maturing environment in which many (everyone) can contribute, and can make use of insights of others early on. However, increasing the amount of available information would increase the subjective information overload, and already now there is concern to which degree information from open environments such as forums on the internet can be trusted. The key idea to make this work is to use maturity as an explicit concept in the interaction with such material:

– Each contribution is associated with a set of maturity indicators (manually or automatically)

– These indicators are shown to users, and users are able to filter by using them; this allows to take into account different situation in which you rather wish reliable information or are interested in opinion

– Indicators can be based on a variety of aspects (usage, usefulness, trust towards the originator etc.)



One possible scenario is Significant Event Analysis (SEA) where single incidents are discussed in monthly meetings, then aggregated on a quarterly and yearly basis. Currently this is often done on a report-style basis. This would be replaced by contributing and associating the events with topics, and the aggregation would be a new contribution with an increase of maturity. By respective annotations, these individual pieces could still be connected together for documentation purposes, but would be part of a living space in which new experiences and information found (e.g., a new study) could be added and discussed.



– Seeking support from others on the basis of different trust circles

– Creating documents (nodes) that are associated with topics – these documents represent the stable/authoritative parts

– Updating such documents with traceability of what has been updated

– Adding comments to sections and rating existing

– Showing comments with maturity indicators

– Adding links to persons to sections

– Subscription system for receiving notifications

– Differences view with highlighted updated section



• User marks a section of a larger document to comment on (or link a person to)

– This creates a new anchor document part (linked to the larger context)

• Comments can be rated (which changes their order)

• „Moderators“ can incorporate changes into the stable part from perceived agreement
– „stable“ could be two-level: absolutely stable and stable except for moderators
– may purge the comments (if useful)

• Users can subscribe to „documents“ at each level of granularity (whole, just section) and at  level of detail (only changes to stable parts, or   new comments)

• Changed view that highlights changes to be acknowledged


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