Relevance in legal information retrieval systems

“For a full understanding of their search needs just taking stock of their wishes is not going to suffice, since legal professionals are not capable of describing the features of a system that does not yet exist,” writes Marc van Opijnen and Cristiana Santos in On the Concept of Relevance in Legal Information Retrieval, 25 Artificial Intelligence and Law 65-87 (2017). “To understand the juristic mindset, it is of the utmost importance to follow meticulously their day-to-day retrieval quests.” Here’s the paper’s abstract:

The concept of ‘relevance’ is crucial to legal information retrieval, but because of its intuitive understanding it goes undefined too easily and unexplored too often. We discuss a conceptual framework on relevance within legal information retrieval, based on a typology of relevance dimensions used within general information retrieval science, but tailored to the specific features of legal information. This framework can be used for the development and improvement of legal information retrieval systems.

— Joe

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