Welcome to the January 2012 edition of Informer, the quarterly newsletter of the BCS Information Retrieval Specialist Group (IRSG). For those of you who have been eagerly waiting for the next issue, we are pleased to announce that after a bit of a hibernation we are back in full swing. Has it really been more than two years since we last had an update on information retrieval research, handcrafted in Tony’s study and sent out as a PDF file? Well, the world has changed, and we are back with a new-look Informer that makes is easier for us to update you as quickly as possible and for you to feed back your ideas to us immediately.
Those of you who have have not heard about the IRSG or Informer before may still have come across some of the events we are in charge of. Our flagship event is the annual European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR), and ECIR 2011 was a great success with record numbers of submissions and a week of sunshine and blue sky in Dublin (believe it or not).
However, apart from ECIR there is also the bi-annual International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval (ICTIR) which took place in Bertinoro last year. Let’s not forget Search Solutions (you can read more about that in this issue).
But let us first introduce the new editorial team of Informer. There are five of us. Tony and Udo will work as editors, Tyler is our feature editor, Cathal is the book editor and your first point of contact if you would like to write a review (in return for a free book), finally, Andy as events editor will continue to to compile search-related events.
We have moved to a more interactive format. That makes it easier for us to communicate and publish, but perhaps more importantly, we hope you as a reader will engage with us in active discussions. Being part of the search community is great as it is such a multi-faceted and fast-growing area and there is plenty of activity going on. There are the academic conferences on the one hand, e.g. ECIR and SIGIR, but there is a huge interest in industry as well. Ask Tyler, who is in charge of the London Enterprise Search Meetup group. Whenever he announces a new meeting the places go within minutes (ok, it helps that drinks are provided).
Now, apart from waiting for your feedback we have a second request. We would like to hear from you if you think you have something interesting to contribute to Informer, that could be a feature article, a conference review (are you planning to attend ECIR 2012 in Barcelona and would like to write something up?) or anything you think fits in with Informer. Please drop us a line.
We hope you enjoy this issue. Please stay with us and let us know what you think.