Or at least a trade-able commodity. The problem is what knowledge is available to whom, where and when.
Lets say Explorations Inc discovers a nice habitable world (lets call it Thrixx) with a thriving non-human population on the rimward edge of Human space. The ExpInc ship returns to a human world, and sells this information "Knowledge is Us" a known-space-wide information consortium.
A bit later Uplift Unlimited wraps up a technology uplift contract on the coreward edge of known space. The local UU rep contacts the local KiS office and submits a data request for possible customers. Will the ExpInc data on Thrixx and all those excellent potential customers be there for the UU rep to buy?
This is an interesting problem. We have a database with all sorts of information in it, plus all kinds of other events going on. Part of the interest of a realistic star-spanning environment is dealing with the propagation of information (and dis-information while we are at it). A solution to this will (IMHO) be a critical success factor for the game aspect of this little enterprise. For a novel, you can keep notes on the few things that matter; for a game how to you anticipate what will be important? I expect you have to track anything that *might* be important.