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Community-Built Databases: Research and Development

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Communities have built collections of information in a collaborative manner for centuries. Around 250 years ago, more than 140 people wrote l’Encyclopedie in 28 volumes with 70,000 articles. More recently, Wikipedia has demonstrated how collaborative efforts can be a powerful method of building a massive data storage. It is known that Wikipedia has become a key part of many corporations’ knowledge management systems for decision making.

Wikipedia is only one example brought about by Web 2.0 with the goal of creating communities of users. We have witnessed global member-built mediadata storage such as Flickr and YouTube, and other social networking applications such as Friendster, Facebook, and LinkedIn, also share information between members in a large unstructured information pool.

While Web 2.0 has many benefits, there are many more opportunities to be unleashed. Imagine if we could use information gathered by many people for critical decision making. There is great potential for creating and sharing more structured data through the web. To make it more regulated and more realistic, the data will be limited to the community scale rather than the global scale, for example, an academic research community and a community of doctors in a particular region. Each community can create a large database in which each member can contribute information freely and can use the information with higher levels of confidence.

This book addresses the need for comprehensive research sources in communitybuilt databases. This book does not only focus on one database area or one domain; rather, the chapters discuss various aspects of research in and the development of community-built databases, providing information on advanced community-built database research and also indicating which parts of research can benefit from further investigation.

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