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Metaknowledge or meta-knowledge is knowledge about knowledge.[1]

Some authors divide meta-knowledge into orders:

  • zero order meta-knowledge is knowledge whose domain is not knowledge (and hence zero order meta-knowledge is not meta-knowledge per se)
  • first order meta-knowledge is knowledge whose domain is zero order meta-knowledge
  • second order meta-knowledge is knowledge whose domain is first order meta-knowledge
  • most generally, order meta-knowledge is knowledge whose domain is order meta-knowledge.[2]

Other authors call zero order meta-knowledge first order knowledge, and call first order meta-knowledge second order knowledge; meta-knowledge is also known as higher order knowledge.[3]

Meta-knowledge is a fundamental conceptual instrument in such research and scientific domains as, knowledge engineering, knowledge management, and others dealing with study and operations on knowledge, seen as a unified object/entities, abstracted from local conceptualizations and terminologies. Examples of the first-level individual meta-knowledge are methods of planning, modeling, tagging, learning and every modification of a domain knowledge. Indeed, universal meta-knowledge frameworks have to be valid for the organization of meta-levels of individual meta-knowledge.

Meta-Knowledge may be automatically harvested from electronic publication archives, to reveal patterns in research, relationships between researchers and institutions and to identify contradictory results.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Evans, J. A.; Foster, J. G. (2011-02-11). "Metaknowledge". Science. 331 (6018): 721–725. Bibcode:2011Sci...331..721E. doi:10.1126/science.1201765. ISSN 0036-8075. S2CID 220090552.
  2. ^ Mark Burgin (27 October 2016). Theory Of Knowledge: Structures And Processes. World Scientific. p. 165. ISBN 978-981-4522-69-4.
  3. ^ Pedersen, Nikolaj Jl Linding, and Christoph Kelp. "Second-Order Knowledge." The Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge, 2010. 586-596.

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