Learn from and contribute to The Knowledge Base

The MIT community is dedicated to pooling ideas, perspectives, and energies to create something greater, larger, and smarter than any of us could do alone. No better symbol exists of the power of that collaboration than The Knowledge Base, MIT’s repository of collective wisdom written by experienced contributors across the Institute community.

In the simplest terms, The Knowledge Base is a colossal, ever growing, ever evolving resource that anyone on campus can access if they need help around a broad spectrum of solutions. You’ll find:

  • Glossary of common IT terms and MIT acronyms.
  • Help with your day-to-day computing life at MIT.
  • Information about MIT enterprise systems and the business processes related to those systems.
  • Software installation guidelines and troubleshooting tips for common problems and errors.
  • Atlas help documents and FAQs.
  • FAQs for MIT Dropbox and CrashPlan.

You’ll even find a glossary of IT terms and a map of MIT’s pocket gardens. The only way to get a sense of the depth and breadth of this knowledge-sharing site is to tour it.

How does The Knowledge Base work?

What makes The Knowledge Base special is that the authors of these instructional pieces are not necessarily technical experts. They might be, instead, experienced consumers of the product or service who have taken the time to pass on their own hard-won tips to their MIT colleagues. While the IS&T Help Desk relies on The Knowledge Base and contributes heavily to the information stored there, this resource belongs to the entire community—both as consumers and contributors.

How do I use The Knowledge Base to solve a problem?

As soon as you reach The Knowledge Base site, you will see a menu of options offering information and assistance on obtaining certificates, troubleshooting software and IT issues—even how to find out what a mysterious campus acronym stands for. The Knowledge Base contains more than 3,000 articles, but if you can’t find the answer to your question, you’ll find instructions for that eventuality, too. And the “Get Help” button is ever-present in the left margin whenever you need it.

How do I contribute to The Knowledge Base?

Any member of the MIT community with knowledge on a subject of shared interest to the MIT community can become a contributor—either suggesting a new article or adding to or revising an existing one. For example, do you know Excel inside and out? Share what you know. Review The Knowledge Base instructional materials on Excel and see if you have anything to add or any changes to suggest. Your colleagues will thank you. Just contact The Knowledge Base team to become a contributor.

What should I contribute to The Knowledge Base?

Share what you know best—perhaps, tips and tricks you’ve found in the course of your daily work, like hints about using the stationery feature in Apple Mail. Or maybe you’ve developed a streamlined process for departmental reporting. Have you created a form or template for your department, lab, or center that could prove useful to others at MIT? Don’t be shy about sharing your wisdom or your innovations.

How does The Knowledge Base work?

The Knowledge Base is a repository of collected wisdom from across the MIT community. Review The Knowledge Base Handbook to learn more about the system, setup, configuration, customizations, procedures, processes, and policies that drive this help engine. The handbook, which is divided into sections according to the type of reader, outlines the procedures for growing and maintaining the repository. Getting a look under the hood of The Knowledge Base will give you a better sense of what makes it go—and how much potential it has to be even bigger, broader, and more beneficial.

What kinds of information will I find on The Knowledge Base?

The Knowledge Base collects nuggets of valuable information across the MIT community, either providing answers or pointing you to the website or office that can.

What if I identify a need for an article but I don’t think I am the best person to write it?

Let us know what the subject is and we’ll either provide authoring assistance or raise the suggestion to The Knowledge Base team so that we can identify the appropriate contributor/s.

What do you want to learn? What do you want to share?

Please visit The Knowledge Base and get started.