In the digital society information and knowledge is distributed freely. This fact poses new opportunities but also new challenges. For instance, it is much easier these days to search for biomedical or science and technology information and knowledge. However, the challenges of the new Knowledge Landscapes online, for instance, concern users and distributors of medical and health related knowledge and practices, as well as those governing and regulating the exchange of knowledge online.
The landscapes of communication in present digital society are complex, interacting, and overlapping. A person searching for, or being exposed to, medical advice online regarding an outbreak (epidemic or pandemic), a common complex disease (e.g. Alzheimer, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases), social or mental health issues, addiction, or substance abuse is targeted by a variety of senders with various intentions. Information is accessible from different sources, including contact information, institutional domains, research news, personal stories, but also rumors, conspiracy theories or information biased for commercial reasons.
The aim of the Navigating Knowledge Landscapes network is to develop international and inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations, which will explore the area of online and offline communication and distribution of health and biomedical information and knowledge.
As one way of stimulating discussion and posing questions, but also for the disseminating of the results of this collaborative endeavor, the Croatian Medical Journal features a regular essay series on Knowledge Landscapes. Furthermore, research projects and further publication projects are currently under development.
For more background and the aims of the Navigating Knowledge Landscapes network, see the August 2015 Editorial of the Croatian Medical Journal. Download Editorial.
An overview of the NKL-network and its history can be found here.