LiC Hub of Knowledge

The Collins dictionary defines a Knowledge Hub as “a computer system in which the properties of a database and an expert system are combined to enable the system to store and process data and make deductions from stored data”.  This definition falls short today. In a linked data world, a Hub of Knowledge consists of a unifying conceptual framework for the selective use of multimodal and modality-specific object knowledge.

The LiC Hub will be a knowledge-attractor, able to globally gather, feed, link, and serve specific structured data. This means the creation of an eco-system —a legal and socio-legal eco-system in our case— in the interface between machine information processing and all possible users. This strategy is based on the (updated annually about technology product categories) IDC Black Book, and initiatives like FIRE and the NGIHUB for the New Generation Internet.

The purpose is to digitize all past issues (1981-1994), and improve the digitized ones (1995-1997), restructuring its scope and contents, and producing a new Open Access version based on the deep semantic structure of present research trends, i.e. updating its conceptual content. LiC contains a great bulk of legal knowledge that reflects the history of LT Law School (easily identifiable and well-known in the Australian context, and worldwide by socio-legal scholars of past generations). It  has existed for more than thirty-five years. It covers practically all concepts that have been salient in socio-legal and Law & Society studies so far.

The focus will be on developing a manageable legal knowledge toolkit to harmonise and integrate all legal and socio-legal research produced within LiC, and to link and serve this knowledge to all users. Hence, the idea is to organise and structure as evolving knowledge the main outcomes and activities produced by LiC.  This entails:

  • Filling it with metadata and building a core computational ontology for its management and projection, expanding into new fields and concepts of research.
  • Acknowledging that the concepts in LiC do not completely encompass the legal field. Crossing the terms in LiC with the subjects taught at the Law School today, it is easy to see that some subjects do not match, or are approached from a different perspective (e.g. commercial law, corporate law, administrative law etc.). The pragmatic legal normative approach is not aligned with the descriptive and factual one that is related to social sciences.
  • After turning Law in Context into an Open Access Journal (OAJ) and its contents into open linked data, LiC (and the legal ontologies we will build to model its contents) will be used as a template or centre to set up and expand the Legal Knowledge Hub.