Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Dr Sara Tedmori


Exploiting Email – Extracting Knowledge to Support Knowledge Sharing

Project Title

Exploiting Email – Extracting Knowledge to Support Knowledge Sharing




Professor NM Bouchlaghem
Dr TW Jackson

Dr H Adelmann

Director of Research:
Professor PM Carrillo

Research Period

2004 - 2008

Exploiting Email – Extracting Knowledge to Support Knowledge Sharing,

Context/ Background

"Knowledge management" has become the buzzword in the press in recent times and although there has been a strong emphasis on the advantages of knowledge management in organisations, applications developed to take advantage of knowledge within emails are still very limited.

In a typical work environment, almost everyday employees are put in a situation where they have to make a decision or solve a problem that they can’t do on their own. Yet, the very problem of finding somebody that has the relevant expertise for solving a given problem at the right moment is a difficult task. And it’s the reason behind the explosion of many systems that endow employees with access to others with similar goals or interests.

As it stands today, e-mail represents an important channel of communication and according to IDC’s Email Usage Forecast and Analysis report, 35 billion emails are predicted to be sent every day by 2005. Email documents seem particularly well suited for the task of "finding who knows what within an organization", as people routinely communicate what they know. Unfortunately, the majority of current employee interaction with email is far from efficient and even though the sender and receiver can easily store and index the messages for future reference, in most cases, the knowledge within an email is only shared between both the sender and receiver and is therefore not fully utilised within an organisation. Both public and private organisations are quickly discovering that they have an obligation to apply the appropriate preservation for the knowledge in emails to make use of the knowledge that reside in electronic messages and an equal obligation towards their employees personal privacy.

This research involves the development, implementation and analysis of an online email knowledge-based system that captures the knowledge within electronic messages for the benefit of the organisation as a whole.

Aims and Objectives

This project aims to provide a fully automated and highly scalable system that uses the knowledge communicated via emails in order to ensure that the expertise in the organisation is continuously located and made available to the people who need it, without the labour intensive effort of capturing, publishing, and updating content.

  • Review related work in the field
  • Identify methods used to mine e-mail messages for important key phrases and concepts
  • Implement the tool that extracts important words and phrases from users' e-mail and then distils this information into an easily searched database.
  • Develop a framework for measuring the performance of key concept extractor tool
  • Highlight the anticipated problems that will be encountered with the system in real life
  • Analyse the use of system in the sponsoring company and highlight the barriers that arise
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of the developed system in delivering real benefits to collaboration within the construction industry


  • A literature review on similar emerging technologies
  • Identify the various design approaches and select the one that is most appropriate for our business and culture
  • Observations, interviews, and questionnaires will be used to investigate the industry’s wide view of various concepts relating to sharing knowledge and privacy

Benefits and Outcomes

  • Saves time wasted looking through irrelevant information and time wasted looking for someone who can answer certain questions in specific areas
  • Saves time recreating work already produced or is being produced by someone else within the organisation
  • Aids employers to have a clear view of the range of expertise in the organisation
  • Promotes connectivity between people
  • Facilitates the creation, sharing, and use of knowledge
  • Connects people to individuals in distinct sites

Tedmori, S. and Jackson, T.W. (2012). The design and evaluation of EKE, a semi-automated email knowledge extraction tool. Knowledge Management Research and Practice, 10 (1), pp. 79 - 88.

Tedmori, S. and Jackson, T.W. (2009). Assessing the value of an E-mail knowledge extraction system. Knowledge and Process Management, 16 (2), pp. 65-73.

Tedmori, S., Jackson, TW. and Bouchlaghem, D. (2006). Locating knowledge sources through keyphrase extraction. Knowledge and Process Management, 13, pp. 100-107.

Tedmori, S.M. … et al. (2009). Mining email to leverage knowledge networks in organizations. IN: Bolisani, E. and Scarso, E. (eds.). 10th European Conference on Knowledge Management and Evaluation, ECKM 2009, Università Degli Studi Di Padova, Vicenza, Italy, 3-4 September.

Tedmori, S., Lichtenstein, S., and Jackson, T.W. (2007). Expertise Location Using Keyphrases in Electronic Mail: Socio-ethical Challenges, Proceedings of the Australian Conference for Knowledge Management & Intelligent Decision Support (ACKMIDS 2007), Melbourne, Australia.

Tedmori, S.M. … et al. (2007). Information seeking and sharing behaviour of a UK police force. IN: Martins, B. and Remenyi, D. (eds.) 8th European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM2007), Barcelona, Spain, 6-7 September 2007, pp. 982 - 988.

Tedmori, S., Jackson, T.W. and Bouchlaghem, N.M. (2007), Optimising the Email Knowledge Extraction System to Support Knowledge Work, Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Information Systems, St Gallen, Switzerland, pp. 681-691. 

Tedmori, S.M. … et al. (2006). Building a Tool for Expertise Discovery, Proceedings of the 17th Information Resources Management Association International Conference (IRMA 2006); Washington D.C., USA.

Tedmori, S., Jackson, T.W., Bouchlaghem, N.M. and Nagaraju, R.(2006), Expertise Profiling: Is Email Used to Generate, Organise, Share or Leverage Knowledge, Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering, ed. H. Rivard, Quebec, Canada, pp. 179. 

Tedmori, S. and Jackson, T.W. (2004).Capturing and Managing Electronic Knowledge: The Development of the Email Knowledge Extraction, The International Resource Management Association Conference, Idea Group, New Orleans, USA, May 2004, pp. 463-466. 





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