The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing

The China Legal Thesaurus project: origins, framework and progress

The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing (2019), 37, (4), 317–342.


Compared to Western countries, the tools for indexing legal publications in China are lagging behind. A considerable number of legal treatises have been published without indexes, which hinders efficient access to this information. The Chinese Thesaurus was published in 1980 and a new edition of the Chinese Classified Thesaurus was released in 2017. However, these two tools are not adequate for indexing the discipline of law. In 2017, scholars, librarians and experts at the East China University of Political Science and Law and at Fudan University began developing a China Legal Thesaurus, using international law as a starting point. This paper provides an overview of the project to date and discusses possibilities for its future development.

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Author details

Chonghao, Qian

Lijun, Liu Joan

Yanping, Lin