A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Body of Knowledge

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A 'body of knowledge' is a codified representation of the knowledge of a field, often created in order to create or reinforce a common or standard set of concepts, terminology and best practices of a professional field. It is often created by a body interested in offering professional certification in that field.

 

1.
#33713

Age 50+ Persona for the STC Body of Knowledge  (link broken)

Many STC members have contributed to the Body of Knowledge and as the endeavor continues, the more important it becomes to gain many perspectives and ideas from all across the STC membership. SIGs have unique angles for their contributions. Lori Gillen, co-manager of the AccessAbility SIG, contributed this persona for use by the BOK. This persona illustrates pertinent accessibility issues that a body of knowledge for technical communicators should encompass.

Gillen, Lori. Tieline (2008). Articles>TC>Personas>Body of Knowledge

2.
#31643

Approaches to Professionalism--A Codified Body of Knowledge   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Professionalism is a recurrent topic of discussion—formally and informally—among technical communication scholars and practitioners. In the diversity among our programs and approaches to technical communication, the difficult issues surrounding certification in technical communication is a professional goal that major stakeholders have typically considered too complex to be addressed. Increasingly, however, many of these stakeholders agree that we can no longer continue to ignore these complex issues. In an earlier article, I have described twelve issues that must be addressed and tasks that must be undertaken to move the profession towards meaningful certification. In that discussion, I also suggest approaches to begin the work on each of these steps. In this present discussion, I address the first of these steps—codification of the bodies of knowledge through the development of an encyclopedia of technical and professional communication. In order to accomplish this, I describe the categories of knowledge in the field and the editorial and organizational structure of the project.

Rainey, Kenneth T. IEEE PCS (2005). Articles>TC>Professionalism>Body of Knowledge

3.
#36826

Approaches to Professionalism: A Codified Body of Knowledge   (members only)

Professionalism is a recurrent topic of discussion - formally and informally - among technical communication scholars and practitioners. In the diversity among our programs and approaches to technical communication, the difficult issues surrounding certification in technical communication is a professional goal that major stakeholders have typically considered too complex to be addressed. Increasingly, however, many of these stakeholders agree that we can no longer continue to ignore these complex issues. In an earlier article, the author have described twelve issues that must be addressed and tasks that must be undertaken to move the profession towards meaningful certification. In that discussion, the author also suggests approaches to begin the work on each of these steps. In this present discussion, the author addresses the first of this steps-codification of the bodies of knowledge through the development of an encyclopedia of technical and professional communication. In order to accomplish this, the author describes the categories of knowledge in the field and the editorial and organizational structure of the project.

Rainey, Kenneth T. IEEE PCS (2005). Articles>TC>Professionalism>Body of Knowledge

4.
#37037

Bodies of Knowledge for Technical Communication: Paradigms and Possibilities

The presenters summarize and discuss two emerging paradigms for defining a technical communication body of knowledge: the EServer Technical Communication Library and the Society for Technical Communication's TCBOK project. The respondent sums up the alternatives presented, then frame the discussion of possibilities these projects present for advancing the field.

Sauer, Geoffrey, David Dayton and Carolyn D. Rude. EServer (2010). Presentations>TC>Databases>Body of Knowledge

5.
#13710

Building Blocks to a Body of Knowledge for User-Centered Design: To Certify or Not to Certify

For the past nine months the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) participated in a project to investigate the feasibility of certifying usability (or user-centered design) professionals. The project was kicked off in Salt Lake City last November when a group of people from many organizations, countries and associations met for three days. That meeting ended with a sense of enthusiasm for creating a certification program based on the international standard for a human-centered design process, ISO 13407. The group planned activities to survey professionals to determine the level of support for certification, and to understand the benefits and drawbacks seen by stakeholders.

Quesenbery, Whitney. Usability Interface (2002). Careers>Certification>Usability>Body of Knowledge

6.
#34641

Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) 1.6   (PDF)

The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge is the sum of knowledge within the profession of Business Analysis and reflects what is considered currently accepted practice. As with other professions, the body of knowledge is defined and enhanced by the business analysis professionals who apply it. The BOK describes Business Analysis areas of knowledge, their associated activities and tasks and the skills necessary to be effective in their execution.

IIBA (2006). Books>Business Communication>Professionalism>Body of Knowledge

7.
#32685

Certification: The Long and Winding Road  (link broken)

Clearly, our path to certification has been neither fast nor steady. We've spent decades starting from first principles, and trying to construct the argument that we want to be certified. We put effort into trying to decide how to administer certification exams, which was never a good make-vs-buy decision. Our attempts to define a body of knowledge splintered into groups that were unique to certain industries, media, or tools, such as medical writers, Web designers, and FrameMaker experts. Certification was--and still is--an emotionally charged issue; people have felt their livelihoods were threatened.

Jong, Steven F., Nad Rosenberg and Daniel Wise. STC Proceedings (2008). Articles>Certification>Professionalism>Body of Knowledge

8.
#34166

Defining a Body of Knowledge

STC has meant a lot to my professional growth over the past 20+ years as a teacher and practitioner of technical communication, and I want to help STC expand its educational mission for all technical communicators. It is time our profession had a defined body of knowledge. Why?

Hart, Hillary. STC WDC Blog (2009). Articles>Certification>TC>Body of Knowledge

9.
#31769

Defining a TC Body of Knowledge

First of all, a profession cannot be recognized as a profession until it is defined as such. Engineers, for instance, have a body of knowledge they must master before they can practice as engineers, whether structural, electrical, or mechanical. Although technical communicators may not yet want such a highly codified and subdivided set of skills and practices, we do need an authoritative place to find answers to that eternal question: "What do technical communicators do, anyway?"

Hart, Hillary. Between the Lines (2008). Articles>TC>Knowledge Management>Body of Knowledge

10.
#33323

EServer TC Library: The Most Popular Technical Communication Website in the World

The EServer TC Library dwarfs all other tech comm sites. Granted, EServer TC Library is a library, which people primarily use to browse content located elsewhere, so it’s perhaps not in the same category as the other sites. Still, the sheer amount of traffic is impressive. I caught up with Geoffrey Sauer, the creator of the EServer TC Library, and chatted with him over email.

Sauer, Geoffrey and Tom H. Johnson. I'd Rather Be Writing (2008). Articles>Interviews>TC>Body of Knowledge

11.
#20787

A Guide for Software Project Managers - Planning User Documentation   (PDF)

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)–2000 Edition is the main sourcebook in the project management field. Whilst it covers Project Communications Management, it doesn't extend to user documentation. This article seeks to provide guidance for project managers as to how the user documentation process fits in with the overall project planning. It examines: the traditional way documentation is approached and how it impinges on project planning the effects of making changes to this traditional approach.

Johnston, Carol. Cherryleaf (2003). Articles>Documentation>Project Management>Body of Knowledge

12.
#31657

Knowledge Management Common Body of Knowledge

Knowledge resides in the user and not in the collection [of information]. It is how the user reacts to a collection of information that matters.

Malhotra, Yogesh. KMnetwork (2007). Resources>Knowledge Management>Information Design>Body of Knowledge

13.
#32235

Research in Technical Communication: Perspectives and Thoughts on the Process   (peer-reviewed)

Technical communication can be viewed as both a discipline and a profession. As a discipline, it concerns itself with the pursuit of knowledge and the development of theory. As a profession, it attempts to meet the needs of the individuals it serves through the application of knowledge and theory. Research links the discipline and the profession and sustains both by providing the bases from which to develop new areas of inquiry and to find solutions to problems.

Barclay, Rebecca O. Technical Communication Online (1992). Articles>TC>Research>Body of Knowledge

14.
#32386

STC Body of Knowledge Site Map (draft)

A draft site map to attempt to represent the field(s) of technical communication within a hierarchical tree diagram.

STC (2008). Articles>TC>Information Design>Body of Knowledge

15.
#37374

The Technical Communication Body of Knowledge Initiative: An Academic-Practitioner Partnership   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article chronicles the STC Technical Communication Body of Knowledge process from 2007 to 2009 and provides key elements of a landmark project to develop a body of disciplinary knowledge.

Coppola, Nancy W. Technical Communication Online (2010). Articles>TC>Case Studies>Body of Knowledge

16.
#32040

The Technical Communication Knowledge Portal  (link broken)

The STC web-based knowledge portal will make accessible both broad and deep information about the practice of technical communication. It is intended to be the first step in defining a body of knowledge (BOK) for technical communication. The draft site map displayed at the 2008 Summit as “the wall” is a way of organizing the domains of knowledge, skills, and concepts necessary for the practice. The final version of the map will be the initial framework for the knowledge portal.

Dayton, David, Hillary Hart, Michael A. Hughes and Janice C. 'Ginny' Redish. STC Proceedings (2008). Presentations>TC>Professionalism>Body of Knowledge

17.
#30305

The Value of Research in Technical Communication

Over the years, there has been much debate and discussion in the Society as to whether technical communication is a field, an endeavour, a profession or a discipline, none of the above or all of the above. The topics of professionalism, certification and accreditation have often appeared in the pages of Technical Communication and Intercom. I would like to take the opportunity to review the status of technical communication and to highlight the role of research in technical communication.

Hosier, William J. Boston Broadside (1991). Articles>TC>Research>Body of Knowledge

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