Wolters Kluwer Company Profile

Wolters Kluwer Germany (WKD) is an information services company specializing in the legal, business and tax sectors. Wolters Kluwer provides pertinent information to professionals in the form of literature, software and services. Headquartered in Cologne, it has over 1,200 employees located at over 20 offices throughout Germany, and has been conducting business on the German market for over 25 years.

Wolters Kluwer Germany is part of the leading international information services company, Wolters Kluwer n.v., located in Alphen aan den Rijn (The Netherlands). The core market segments, targeting an audience of professional users, are legal, business, tax, accounting, corporate and finance services, and healthcare. Its shares are quoted on the Euronext Amsterdam (WKL), and are included in the AEX and the Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has annual sales of €3.56 billion (2013), employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide and operates in over 40 countries throughout Europe, North America, the Asia Pacific region and in Latin America.

Data Transformation, Interlinking and Enrichment

This task has two main goals. The first goal is to adopt and deploy the LOD2 Stack[1] to the datasets of Wolters Kluwer. These datasets cover all document types being normally used in legal publishing (laws and regulations, court decisions, legal commentary, handbooks and journals). The documents cover all main legal fields of law like labor law, criminal law, construction law, administration law, tax law, etc. The datasets also cover existing legal taxonomies and thesauri, covering each a specific field of law, e.g. labor law, family law or social law. The overall amount of data (e.g. 600.000 court decisions) is large enough to make sure that the realistic operational tasks of a publisher can be executed with the data format and tools developed within the LOD2 project to support the respective use case. The datasets were analyzed according to various dimensions, e.g. actors, origin, geographical coverage, temporal coverage, type of data etc. relevant to the domain of legal information. Within the LOD2 project, all datasets were made available in formats adhering to open-standards, in particular RDF and Linked Data. Note that the datasets already existed in XML format at the start of the project and were transformed to RDF via XSLT script. The second goal is to automatically interlink and semantically enrich the Wolters Kluwer datasets. In order to achieve this, we leveraged the results from the LOD2 research work packages 3 and 4 (Chaps. 3 and 4) on the automated merging and linking of related concepts defined according to different ontologies using proprietary and open tools. Data from external sources (German National Library[2], DBpedia, STW[3], TheSoz[4] & EuroVoc[5]) were used to enrich the Wolters Kluwer datasets to leverage their semantic connectivity and expressiveness beyond the state of the art. This effort resulted in operational improvements at Wolters Kluwer Germany (WKG) as well as added-value for WKG customers. WKG was expecting that high current internal (manual) efforts concerning taxonomy and thesaurus development and maintenance would partly be substituted by integrating external LOD sources. This held also true for specific metadata like geographical information, detailed information about organizations and typical legal content itself from public issuing bodies. The internal workflow at WKG would therefore be enhanced as automated alerting (e.g. push notifications, see Chap. 5) could be executed to inform internal editors of data changes based on the underlying interlinked data. This would be a major gain as this process is currently labor intensive as it requires editors to physically monitor changes to content.

  • [1] See Chap. 6 and stack.linkeddata.org/, accessed May 10, 2014
  • [2] dnb.de/DE/Standardisierung/GND/gnd_node.html, accessed June 10, 2014
  • [3] zbw.eu/stw/versions/latest/about, accessed June 10, 2014
  • [4] gesis.org/en/services/research/thesauri-und-klassifikationen/social-science-thesaurus/, accessed June 10, 2014
  • [5] eurovoc.europa.eu/, accessed June 10, 2014
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