ServiceNow Knowledge Must Read


Information about Knowledge Base (KB) and article creation within ServiceNow for all contributors.

The ServiceNow team maintains a KB Dashboard.

Our Goals

Knowledge Bases (KBs)

Current Knowledge Bases, listed in order of least restricted to most restricted (note: users are able to perform search on all KBs they can view):

Knowledge Base NameView PermissionsPublish Type
 IT ServicesPublic (Any self-service visitor)Articles Published after Review
 IT Services - Staff InternalAll Fulfillers (Users with ITIL role)Articles Published after Review
Budget & Finance Knowledge BasePublic (Any self-service visitor)Articles Published after Review
Payroll, Academic Personnel & HRPublic (Any self-service visitor)Articles Published after Review
Research Knowledge BasePublic (Any self-service visitor)Articles Published after Review
Student AffairsPublic (Any self-service visitor)Articles Published after Review

Style Guide

Article Types

How To's - Provides details about a specific procedure or task - includes an overview of the process, critical concepts to keep in mind, and steps to follow to complete process. 

FAQ's - List of commonly asked questions & their answers. 

Known Error - Known error with no solution, includes workaround for issue

Problem Solution - Problem description and its solution(s) to resolve

Reference - Provides general information about a topic or policy - details are broken down into multiple sections

Major Incident Procedures - Provides Internal ITS guidelines on how to respond to an outage/emergency for a specific Service/Service Offering. This is only for ITS - Staff Internal

Writing Style

Tone - Communicate in a friendly, conversational tone. Write directly to the reader, using second person point of view.  Read your writing aloud to make sure it is easy to read and sounds like how you would speak to a customer or a co-worker.

Language - Always consider your audience! Use common words and phrases that your audience is most likely to search for and understand.  Remember to think about new staff members, incoming students, or new Service Desk staff members who are unfamiliar with many internal or technical terms.  

Order of Instruction - Write instructions in the order your reader will encounter them.  Here is an example:

Special Text Format - Bold the text of menu items or buttons your reader needs to interact with (see example directly above)

Style (abbreviations, capitalization, punctuation, spelling) - We follow guidelines used for other UC San Diego websites, guide is available on Blink.

Search uses a variety of factors to calculate a relevancy score for articles.  Here are some general rules for optimizing articles for search:

  1. Create short descriptions (titles) with commonly used terms and phrases for topic
  2. Add other common terms and phrases for topic in the Meta field

How Search Works

Search relevancy scores for articles in the Knowledge Search and the Global Search function are calculated based on the following three factors:

The weight of the field is added each time the search term appears in the field.  Here are the pre-set weights of each Knowledge filed:

  1. Knowledge Article Number = 50
  2. Titles (Short Description) = 10
  3. Meta Tags = 10
  4. Every other field (such as text, description) = 1

Contributor Tools

ServiceNow Knowledge Tools for contributors can be found on the application navigator (left side of screen in fulfiller view). 


These are the primary Knowledge Tools you will be using as a Contributor:

Migrating External Content

Content copy/pasted from another source should first be placed within a text editor to remove excess formatting and styling. You can use the default text editors on your device: Notes on Mac and Notepad on Windows.

Content brought it from other sources may need to be adjusted to fit the Knowledge Base venue and template formats.

Steps to Take

Getting Started

Format Article

Create / Edit Article

If you still have questions or need additional assistance, please submit a ticket or call the ITS Service Desk at (858) 246-4357.