What do you call a person who is selective about sharing information/knowledge with others because he/she wants the exclusive/private use of that information/knowledge to his/her own benefit/credit.

For instance, a epicurean who doesn't freely share their latest/greatest finds (i.e., restaurants, where they got their clothes, shoes, accessories, and other products from, etc.), and who will only share with certain people he/she is fond of or wants to impress. He/she doesn't want others to copy or take credit for the privileged/valuable information/knowledge attained.

Thank you!

  • Such practice may range from quite justified (the person being 'guarded') to selfish (the person being mean-spirited). Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 0:31
  • Distrustful. He/she does trust that someone won't steal credit.
    – Hank
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 2:16
  • Paranoid. Insecure. Secretive. Ungracious. Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 22:03
  • Professional, sensible, discrete, judicious, prudent, pragmatic, respectful, protective, precipient. There is a huge deficit in that sort of selectivity at present.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 11:46
  • reticent? taciturn?
    – lbf
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


Both "knowledge hoarding" and "information hoarding" are terms used in professional environments to describe people who do just what you describe. They refuse to share information or innovation with others, keeping it to themselves for any number of reasons: accolades, promotions, pay incentives, etc. If you do a Google search on "Knowledge hoarding," you will find a number of resources (Bloomberg, Forbes, and Harvard Business Review, to name a few) which address it from varying standpoints. Does that term fit your needs? I can't think of a single word that describes the same thing, but if I come up with one, I will certainly share it with you.

  • Hoarding doesn't always inherently imply refusing to share (in general). It does for physical items (since a single item can only be hoarded by a single person), but not information (which is freely copyable without the original owner losing possession). Wikipedia is a tool meant for hoarding information, but it also publically shares all hoarded information. Do you have a reference that defines hoarding as refusing to share?
    – Flater
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 9:55

A classifier:

A person or thing that classifies something1.

Example sentence by the same source1:

‘According to press reports, an initial panel of classifiers was prepared to release the film.’

Meaning of the verb to classify:

Designate (documents or information) as officially secret2.

Example sentence by the same source2:

‘But remember that information is classified for a certain time period.’

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