Reexamining the MKM value proposition: From math web search to math web research

The interest of the field of Mathematical Knowledge Management is predicated on the assumption that by investing into markup or formalization of mathematical knowledge, we can reap benefits in managing (creating, classifying, reusing, verifying, and finding) mathematical theories, statements, and objects. This global value proposition has been used to motivate the pursuit of technologies that can add machine support to these knowledge management tasks. But this (rather naive) technology-centered motivation takes a view merely from the global (macro) perspective, and almost totally disregards the user’s point of view and motivations for using it, the local (micro) perspective. In this paper we go a first step into a more principled analysis of the MKM value proposition by focusing on motivations for mathematical search engines from the micro perspective. We will use a table-based method called the “Added-Value Analysis” (AVA) developed by one of the authors. Even though we apply the AVA only to mathematical search engines, the method quickly leads to value considerations that are relevant for the whole field of MKM.
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