Linked data project

The Linked Data Policy Hub is a new infrastructure project supported by an Australian Research Council LIEF grant for 2013.

The Linked Data PolicyHub will transform the accessibility and utility of social science publications, grey literature and data in Australia by linking documents and data from multiple collections across the internet, enabling innovative new forms of social and policy research and analysis. This project addresses a crucial part of the information infrastructure puzzle: How can online research collections reflect the interconnected nature of complex research problems, rather than appear as disconnected sets of documents?

The answer to this question lies in the promise of what is known as the semantic web or linked data (Berners-Lee 2006) – a set of practices, protocols and technologies that offer powerful new ways of making research collections and data sets interoperable.

This project involves three major components:

1) Transforming two major research collections – Australian Policy Online and Informit - into linked databases based on semantic web principles;

2) Connecting these databases to internationally recognised taxonomies and collections based on key metadata elements such as author, subject, location or other concepts; and

3) Creating online hubs of linked resources designed for research across the social sciences but with a focus on the research interests of participating researchers and partner organisations in four inter-related areas: media and communications, migration and settlement, social policy and public administration.  

Project partners and management

This project is supported by an Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment grant. The partner organisations involved in this project are Swinburne University of Technology, RMIT University, University of Adelaide and Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) and RMIT Publishing. The project will be overseen by five chief investigators and managed and implemented by a small team of researchers, information managers and developers based at the various partner organisations.

Chief investigators

Professor Julian Thomas, Director of the Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology

Professor Sandy Gifford, Senior Research Fellow, Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology

Professor Denise Meredyth, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation,  College of Design and Social Context, RMIT University

Associate Professor John Spoehr, Executive Director of the Australian Institute for Social Research, University of Adelaide

Dr Chris Eichbaum, Victoria University of Wellington, Reader in Government and Activing Head of the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington


Project team

The final make up of the project team has yet to be confirmed. Current members engaged in project planning are:

Amanda Lawrence, Research and Strategy Manager, Australian Policy Online, Swinburne University of Technology

Camilo Jorquera, Web and Information Coordinator, Australian Policy Online, Swinburne University of Technology

Laki Sideris, Product Development Specialist, RMIT Publishing

Deepak Vasa, Solution Architect, RMIT Publishing

Leanne Whitby, Senior Production Editor, RMIT PublishingeResearch experts from University of Adelaide, RMIT University and Victoria University of Wellington

External expertise in linked data technologies, data engineers, visualisation etc will be hired as required. Please contact us if you think you would be able to assist with this project.



If you have any questions, enquiries or interest in being involved please contact

Amanda Lawrence, Swinburne University of Technology

03 9214 8792