Creating a Knowledge Base

October 2016

The purpose of a knowledge base is to digitally model and store a set of knowledge, ideas, concepts or data and allow their consultation or use.
There are several different methods and tools to create knowledge bases:
  • A wiki
  • CMS
  • A mindmap
  • A concept map
  • An expert system
  • A forum

A Wiki

  • The wiki is useful for linking together many small pieces of unstructured information (stored in several pages or paragraphs).
  • Hyperlinks are an essential element of wikis.
  • The fact that all users participate in its evolution (pubish content) allows wikis to evolve rapidly.
  • Another advantage: you can quickly add information when required too.
  • Among the best-known wikis, there is MediaWiki (the one used for Wikipedia):
  • Here is a long list of wikis.
  • To choose your wiki, this site can help you
  • E.g: A page being edited on Wikipedia:


A CMS is oriented towards the publication of documents, and it less flexible than wikis (administration is centralized). But it helps to have control over the contents before publication.
  • CMS can be more generally used for the publication large documents (several pages).
  • It is often possible to assign rights for users (rights of access to certain documents - publishing rights etc.).
  • Links between documents are generally more difficult to implement
  • You will find many CMS and even test them online:
  • A knowledge base made with the eGroupWare software:

Expert systems

The expert system will allow the modeling a set of knowledge so that a user can use them without the need to assimilate the information: The user simply have enter the information at his disposal, and the expert system gives the answer.

Mindmaps and concept maps

Mindmaps and concept maps are quite similar and requires that you make use of a combination of short phrases and grahics to create several elements.
  • You then need to create links between all the different elements entered, to visually display relationships, hierarchies and groups that exists between them.
  • This allows rapid organization and storage of information.

FreeMind is a free mind mapping software.

A mindmap on XML (made with FreeMind)
  • A concept map of cellular organization (in English)

Other examples:

Using a Forum

The forum offers a more classic approach: A list of topics is presented. e.
  • The articles are often classified into categories. According to the forums, it is more or less easy to make links from one article to another or include images.

Related :

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