Clicklaw Wikibooks

From Clicklaw Wikibooks

Clicklaw Wikibooks are collaboratively developed, plain language legal publications that are published and kept up-to-date on a wiki, where they can also be printed and downloaded. They are free to download and share with British Columbians who seek reliable, up-to-date information to address legal problems or learn about the law. Courthouse Libraries BC launched Clicklaw Wikibooks in 2012, and the program relies on the guidance of our Advisory Committee, which includes contributor organizations and other stakeholders from the legal and library community.

About Clicklaw Wikibooks

Clicklaw Wikibooks cover a variety of BC legal topics using plain language so people don't need legal training to understand them. They are available in print and digitally, and range in size from small booklets to 1,000+ page manuals. They are collaboratively developed in the sense that many different legal professionals and law-related non-profit organizations contribute content and help keep it accurate, while Courthouse Libraries BC manages the platform and helps recruit volunteer authors and reviewers. Many titles in the Clicklaw Wikibooks collection were originally print publications or even stand-alone websites that were redone as Clicklaw Wikibooks to ensure the legal information is:

  • highly accessible both online and in print,
  • accurate and up-to-date, and
  • affordable to produce and maintain.

A significant factor in determining whether a printed legal resource is accessible is whether it is publicly available in libraries. For this reason, we work closely with public libraries through the LawMatters program.

Clicklaw Wikibooks help solve two central challenges with publishing legal information:

  1. Law is constantly evolving: It can be cumbersome and time consuming to keep a legal publication up-to-date using the traditional book publishing model. A wiki is easy to update without emailing versions back and forth between author, editor and reviewer. The wiki platform has a robust version history and comparison feature, and changes made are instantly available to readers.
  2. It's hard to offer multiple formats of a resource An up-to-date website can be excellent, but rarely is it also available in print or to read offline—and there are many for whom computers or the internet are simply not accessible. On the other hand, information in purely printed form is comparatively costly to produce and share, and it does not get spread as quickly or as widely as internet-based forms. Clicklaw Wikibooks lets authors and law-related non-profit organizations edit their content in a single place. Meanwhile the platform automatically generates multiple formats. PDF and EPUB files are generated for printing or off-line reading, and users can order the book by mail at the cost of print-on-demand.

For more on Clicklaw Wikibooks, see the Clicklaw Wikibooks FAQ.

Using Clicklaw Wikibooks

How you use Clicklaw Wikibooks depends on whether you are a member of the public who needs legal information, or a contributor (i.e. one of the authors, editors or reviewers of a Clicklaw Wikibook) who wants to edit your organization's content.

Here is a list of Clicklaw Wikibooks Guides covering how to use this website. Guides are written for users, contributors and editors, and wiki administrators, as well as generally for copyright questions, and how to print or export Clicklaw Wikibooks.

Contact

We can be reached at editor@clicklaw.bc.ca.

Goals

Clicklaw Wikibooks strives to be a quality legal information resource and an attractive publishing platform for organizations who produce public legal information. Clicklaw Wikibooks follow best practice guidelines for the development and maintenance of online public legal education and information (PLEI). The specific goals adopted by the Advisory Committee include user-centric goals, contributor-centric goals, and goals around efficiency and sustainability:

User-centric Contributor-centric Efficient & sustainable
  • Plain language legal information for a public audience
  • Maximum accessibility (barriers: regional, language, literacy, disability, technology, age)
  • Familiar and simple for end-users to use
  • Strong multiple format export (print and digital) from single source
  • Simple for editors and content partners to use
  • Develop and foster a skilled community of legal content volunteers who can work on more than one project
  • Easy to administer
  • Works for most PLEI publishing needs, most of the time
  • Helps PLEI organizations collaborate and work together
  • Supports public libraries
  • Cheap and efficient technology to develop and maintain
  • Achieve economies of scale and progressive affordability
  • Free, open source and open license

Governance

Clicklaw Wikibooks is operated and maintained by Courthouse Libraries BC with the assistance of the Clicklaw Wikibooks Advisory Committee. Members of the Advisory Committee are selected from contributor organizations and stakeholders, with an emphasis on diversity to reflect the needs and interests of public users, volunteer editors, contributor organizations and public libraries.

Selection criteria

When considering new titles to add to the Clicklaw Wikibooks collection, the Clicklaw Wikibooks Advisory Committee considers the same content criteria guidelines as Clicklaw, www.clicklaw.bc.ca, our sister website.

About the wiki platform

Clicklaw Wikibooks uses MediaWiki, a free software open source wiki platform originally for use on Wikipedia. We adapted and customized the MediaWiki platform in key ways. Only approved people can edit Clicklaw Wikibooks, and the options for downloading titles from the collection in PDF and EPUB, or for ordering them as print-on-demand books, have been streamlined. Improvements and customization are ongoing, and the Clicklaw Wikibooks Advisory Committee considers a scorecard approach balancing principled and practical considerations for technical enhancements to the platform.

Principled criteria

  • Alignment with user-centric needs
  • Alignment with contributor-centric needs
  • Alignment with admin-centric needs
  • Alignment with public libraries’ needs

Practical criteria

  • Cost of implementation
  • Ease of implementation

List of Clicklaw Wikibooks

There are currently 2,782 legal information and supporting pages hosted on Clicklaw Wikibooks.

Legal Issues in Residential Care cover image.jpg
Dial-A-Law cover image.jpg
Legalhelpguidecover.png
Legal Help for BC
Cliff Thorstenson & others
BGLIbookcover.png
Jpboydcover.png
JP Boyd on Family Law
John-Paul Boyd & others
A Death in Your Family cover image.jpg
A Death in Your Family
People's Law School
Being an Executor full cover image.png
Being an Executor
People's Law School
Child Protection in BC cover image.jpg
Child Protection in BC
People's Law School
Child Support in BC cover image.jpg
Child Support in BC
People's Law School
Consequences of a Youth Record in BC cover image.jpg
Consequences of a
Youth Record

People's Law School
Consumer Law Wikibook cover image.jpg
Consumer Law Wikibook
People's Law School
Driving in BC cover image.jpg
Driving in BC
People's Law School
Family Violence and Abuse cover image.jpg
Family Violence and Abuse
People's Law School
Human Trafficking in Canada cover image.jpg
Human Trafficking in Canada
People's Law School
Learning about the Law cover image.jpg
Learning about the Law
People's Law School
Paying Taxes cover image.jpg
Paying Taxes in BC
People's Law School
Power of Attorney full cover image.png
Power of Attorney
People's Law School
Workplace Bullying and Harassment cover image.jpg
Writing Your Will full cover image.png
Writing Your Will
People's Law School
Tenant Survival Guide cover image.jpg








Learn & Teach Series

The Learn & Teach Series on Clicklaw Wikibooks features resources for educators and learners on legal topics.

Settlement Workers Guide cover image.jpg
Settlement Workers Guide
Immigrant PLEI Consortium
Law-Related Lessons Graphic.jpg
Law-Related ESL Lessons
People's Law School
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Site
Tools
Editors
Print/export