Editorial

Fed up with the snow? Tired of writing SIGIR papers?  No exam papers to mark? Then why not take a glass of whisky, sit by the fire and read this new issue of Informer … We have prepared quite a mix of articles this time.

The problem with probabilities: is this relevant?

We start with an idea that the older readers will remember. Years ago we had a number of special issues of Informer each of them looking at the IR scene in a specific country such as Spain or Switzerland. This time we give a very gentle introduction into IR research in Germany. Ingo will first of all outline the activities of the German equivalent of BCS IRSG and we also get to know more about two of the better known IR groups in Germany, the Webis group in Weimar and the group in Hildesheim which actually combines an IR perspective with more traditional library science. By the way, this is the point where I have to interrupt myself and file my first request. Interested in writing about IR research activities in your own country? I can think of a lot of countries with active IR research groups that our readers want to know more about! Let us know, we are open to including individual articles or you may take over an entire issue.

Back to this issue … You might expect another sequel of Tony’s or Tyler’s popular columns on designing the search experience. Well, this time Tony is giving an overview of the project they have jointly worked on over the past year or so. They have produced a comprehensive text book on the topic which has just been released. You can read about it here and simply looking at the list of contributing authors you get a feel that this may well turn into a standard reference book on the subject.

For those of you who missed Search Solutions 2012, we have included a summary in this issue of Informer. If you want to get involved in organising this year’s Search Solutions or if you think you might be a suitable speaker, then please talk to us!

We also look ahead at Enterprise Search Europe 2013. We include a little teaser in this issue. Finally, Andy has again compiled a list of upcoming events that should be of interest to our community and if you want your event to be included in a  future issue, then just drop Andy a line.

What’s coming up? ECIR this year will be in Moscow, in fact this will be the first time ever in Eastern Europe. It’s in the capable hands of the Yandex folk. If you have not booked your trip yet, then don’t forget that Russia is one of those countries for which nearly everybody needs to apply for a visa. What else is coming up? Obviously, SIGIR in Dublin this summer. About 550 abstracts have been received, so we can expect a similar size to last year in Portland. And then there will be ICTIR in Copenhagen of course.

Look out for calls to host ECIR 2015 and ICTIR 2015. We should issue those calls shortly. Interested? Drop us an email!

Did I say Happy New Year? Happy New Year!

About Udo Kruschwitz
Udo Kruschwitz

Udo Kruschwitz is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Essex. His main interests are in information retrieval and natural language engineering. He has been a member of the IRSG committee for a few years now and enjoys in particular being involved in organising events such as Search Solutions and ECIR Industry Day which aim at bringing together academia and industry. He co-chaired SIGIR 2012 Industry Track.

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