Scienti c communities tend to speciate in tribes that evolve their culture so that after some time they do not have the same understanding of the same terms or concepts. Tacit knowledge, that is the knowledge that cannot be expressed or formalized, complicates this even more. Since we cannot fully know what a concept refers to, we would have limitations in developing IT systems to support collaborative and distributed cognition activities and knowledge networks trying to map knowledge between paradigms. To address this, the authors propose to switch to another perspective where knowledge is kept implicit and the referential communication function (iconic signi cation) is exploited instead. In this perspective, they develop a speci c virtual research environment named COLLA-ANT, which, albeit being still a prototype and needing more use cases, has proved successful in addressing the above-mentioned issues.
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