APO Research: Linked Semantic Platforms

APO data graph (close up view) by Research Graph

'This research project is an opportunity to leverage the latest
in technology, to deliver researchinfrastructure that will
help our researchers collect, connect and discover the
research world at a whole new level.’

Lead Chief Investigator, Professor Jane Farmer, 
Swinburne University of Technology


Helping researchers explore the policy space

The digital world is growing at an exponential pace from two billion objects in 2006 to a projected 200 billion by 2020. What is often overlooked in discussions of
Big Data is that an estimated 80-90% of the data in any organisation is to be found in ‘unstructured data’, text files, PDFs, presentations, webpages etc, and that this is growing faster than structured data. With a deluge of unstructured documents and diverse data to sift through and analyse, researchers working on multidisciplinary public policy issues urgently need new digital research methods and integrated data solutions if they are to provide the evidence needed to have an impact on policy decisions and practices.

From documents to data

To maximise the benefits of textual materials, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary knowledge base is needed, along with intelligent online analytic infrastructure and cutting-edge semantic knowledge systems. This will enable university researchers, as well those in government industry and civil society to analyse the wealth of information and explore the relationships and connections between diverse entities in a way that is not currently possible. 

Expected outcomes

The Linked Semantic Platforms Research project aims to develop the next generation of decision-support tools for interdisciplinary research on critical public policy issues and to find new understanding through collecting, connecting and discovering. The project will use linked open data, knowledge graphs and collaborations across existing research infrastructure projects.

Expected outcomes include interoperability across major social science databases and new analytical tools that will transform the research capabilities for
evidence-based policy making. Outcomes are expected on sustainable built environments and transport in urban and regional communities, social care and health in the community, work and wellbeing, digital inclusion and digital health. This APO Research project will run from 2018-2019 and is supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Expert researchers 

Swinburne University of Technology

Professor Jane Farmer (Lead CI)
Professor Peter Graham
Professor Dr Peter Newton
Professor Penelope Schofield
Professor Timos Sellis 

RMIT University

Professor Jago Dodson
Professor Mark Sanderson
Professor Julian Thomas

Australian National University

Dr Steven McEachern

University of South Australia

Professor Maureen Dollard
Professor Susan Luckman
Professor Ian Olver

University of Melbourne

Professor Richard Sinnott

University of New South Wales

Associate Professor Catherine Bridge

Western Sydney University

Professor Kerry London

Image: APO data connections (ResearchGraph)
Image: Linked Semantic Platforms project kick-off meeting, March 2018 


Project announcement

Read the project announcement on the APO Blog: APO project brings $2m boost to connected platforms for public policy


Support and funding

This project is supported by a grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) program, together with contributions from partner organisations including Swinburne University of Technology, Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), University of South Australia (UniSA), RMIT University, Australian National University (ANU), the University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Western Sydney University.