Tom Bruce of the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School (LII) has posted Identifiers, Part 3: How Well Does Current Practice Measure Up?, on LII’s new legislative metadata blog, Making Metasausage.
In this post, Tom surveys legislative identifier systems currently in use. He recommends the use of URIs for legislative identifiers, rather than URLs or URNs.
He cites favorably the URI-based identifier system that John Sheridan and Dr. Jeni Tennison developed for the Legislation.gov.uk system. Tom praises Sheridan’s (here) and Tennison’s (here and here) writings on legislative URIs and Linked Data.
Tom also praises the URI system implemented by Dr. Rinke Hoekstra in the Leibniz Center for Law‘s Metalex Document Server for facilitating point-in-time as well as point-in-process identification of legislation.
Tom concludes by making a series of recommendations for a legislative identifier system:
- All legislative resources should have identifiers.
- A “gold standard” legislative identifier system should be developed and implemented. The identifiers created under this “gold standard” system should:
- be “unambiguous”;
- be “designed to resist tampering”;
- be “clear as to the separation of titling, dating, and identification functions”; and
- incorporate “carefully designed relationships among identifiers to allow the retention of well-understood legacy monikers for foreground use, while making use of a well-structured ‘gold standard’ from the beginning.”
- A legislative identifier system ought to “retain useful semantics in identifiers as a way of increasing access and reducing errors.”
- A legislative identifier system should “maintain granularity [...] with a distinction between identifiers and labels. Identifiers should be assigned at the whole-document level” while “labels may be assigned to subdocuments.”
- A legislative identifier system should be implemented with a “layered, incremental approach.”
- A URI-based legislative identifier system should “create APIs for the underlying data.”
- A legislative identifier system should enable “point-in-time as well as point-in-process identification.”
For more information, please see the complete post.
Tags: (John Sheridan, Jeni Tennison, Legal descriptive metadata, Legal identifiers, Legal Linked Data, Legal metadata, Legal open government data, Legal URIs, Legal URLs, Legal URNs, Legislative data, Legislative descriptive metadata, Legislative identifiers, Legislative Linked Data, Legislative metadata, Legislative URIs, Legislative URLs, Legislative URNs, Linked Data and law, Linked Data and legislation, Making Metasausage, Open legislative data, Rinke Hoekstra, Tom Bruce, URN:LEX