Rinke Hoekstra

I am a Postdoctoral researcher at the Knowledge Representation and Reasoning group of the VU University Amsterdam, and of the Leibniz Center for Law of the University of Amsterdam.

Contact Follow @RinkeHoekstra


My research concentrates on the application of web-based knowledge representation technology to research data and publications, government and legal information.

I recently published all Dutch legislation as Linked Data, developed a Linked Data version of the AERS dataset of the FDA. I am the main author of the LKIF Core ontology of basic legal concepts, and one of the initial developers of the MetaLex XML format for legal sources. I was a member of the OWL Working Group that developed OWL 2, and the eGov Interest Group of the W3C.

Ontology Representation - Design Patterns and Ontologies that Make Sense
Rinke Hoekstra, Volume 197 of Frontiers of Artificial Intelligence and Applications, IOS Press, Amsterdam, June 2009

IOS Press, Amazon, UvA DARE


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A Semantic Web Primer (3rd edition)
Grigoris Antoniou, Paul Groth, Frank van Harmelen and Rinke Hoekstra, MIT Press, September 2012

MIT Press

Data2Semantics aims to provide essential semantic infrastructure for bringing e-Science to the next level.

A core task for scientific publishers is to speed up scientific progress by improving the availability of scientific knowledge. This holds both for dissemination of results through traditional publications, as well as through the publication of scientific data. The Data2Semantics project focuses on a key problem for data management in e-Science:

How to share, publish, access, analyse, interpret and reuse data

Data2Semantics is a collaboration between the VU University Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam, Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) of the KNAW, Elsevier Publishing and Philips, and is funded under the COMMIT programme of the NL Agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation.

Linkitup website

Web-based tool for semi-automatic enrichment of data published through Figshare.com

AERS-LD website

Linked Data version of the Adverse Event Reporting System of the FDA

Hubble website

Prototype Clinical Decision Support System

TabLinker website

Semi-Automatic RDF Converter for Eccentric Excel Files

PROV-O-Matic website

Provenance Tracker for Repetitive Data Conversion

CEN MetaLex standardizes the way in which sources of law and references to sources of law are to be represented in XML. It was developed by the CEN Workshop on an Open XML Interchange Format for Legal and Legislative Resources (MetaLex).

It is an interchange format, a lowest common denominator for other standards, intended not to replace jurisdiction-specific standards and vendor-specific formats in the publications process but to impose a standardized view on legal documents for the purposes of information exchange and interoperability in the context of software development.

To meet these requirements, MetaLex defines a mechanism for schema extension, adding metadata, cross referencing, constructing compound documents and a basic naming convention.

Document Server website

CEN MetaLex Linked Data version of all Dutch Legislation

Specification website

The CEN MetaLex Specification

Laymen can turn to legal professionals to determine their legal position, but often resolve their disputes in an informal way, e.g. by mediation, negotiation. In the BEST-project (Batna Establishment using Semantic web Technology) we strive to provide disputing parties with information about their legal position in a liability case.

With information about their legal position, parties are given the opportunity to form a judgment about whether they could hold another party liable for certain caused damage or if they could be held liable themselves. The BEST-project aims to provide disputing parties in a stage before they seek professional assistance with information about their position in the negotiations. The target user group of the program will generally consist of laymen in the field of law, who want to get an insight into the legal aspects of their dispute. Complicating factor is that laymen and legal professionals speak a different language.

The BEST-project was funded under grant number 634.000.436 by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

BEST website

Website of the BEST project

BestMap Ontology website

Ontology for specifying many-to-many mappings between vocabularies

JustFind website

Demonstration portal

The LKIF core legal ontology is a library of ontologies relevant for the legal domain. It consists of 15 modules, each of which describes a set of closely related concepts from both legal and commonsense domains.

LKIF Core website

Github repository for the LKIF Core ontology