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Wordle presented by SIGIR Chair Bill Hersh


Welcome to our autumn 2012 edition of Informer! This is the time of the year when we are all looking forward to THE annual highlight, the AGM of the BCS IRSG. And here comes our first request: do come along if you want to have an impact on the group’s activities. Join the committee and […]

Events Autumn 2012

One day events International Workshop on Big-Data Analytics for the Temporal Web. Of interest to members working in areas of sessions and logging. Paris, November 13, 2012. Dutch Belgian Database Day 2012 (DBDBD 2012). A one day event on DB issues of interest to members. Palace of the Academies, Brussels, Belgium 21 November 2012. […]

Choices, choices, choices: Bites of Oregon or SIGIR Tutorials?

Conference Review: SIGIR 2012

SIGIR 2012 was hosted by Oregon Health & Science University in Portland Oregon. The conference was held at the Marriott Downtown Waterfront Hotel. While many conference attendees acquired residence at the conference venue, others were dispersed throughout lodgings in the downtown area. The busy five day schedule consisted of three days of main conference proceedings […]

The MUMIA Summer School: “Building Next Generation Search Systems”.

A Summer Training School, entitled “Building next generation search systems”, was organised by the MUMIA (Multi-lingual and Multifaceted Interactive Information Access) Cost Action (, and held from 24th to 28th September 2012 in Chalkidiki, Greece. Twenty one PhD students and early stage researchers attended the training school. A unifying theme around several of the talks […]

Book Review : Doing Design Ethnography

Doing Design Ethnograpy by Andrew Crabtree, Mark Rouncefield, Peter Tolmie ISBN 978-1-4471-2725-3 “I think the most important thing in ethnography is simply getting designers sensitive to the issues the the people who use systems confront… (Techies) can do all sorts of wild and wacky and wonderful things. The user is just this vague symbolic presence in […]

Book Review: Multilingual Information Retrieval – From Research to Practice

Multilingual Information Retrieval – From Research to Practice by Carol Peters, Martin Braschler, Paul Clough ISBN: 978-3-642-23007-3 The fundamental concept of Multilingual Information Retrieval is computer usage aimed at surmounting language boundaries both for information in the WWW and for many other purposes, such as military intelligence or defense, international trading, inventions or international relations between […]

Call for Book Reviews (Autumn 2012)

This month we include another Call for Reviews in which we seek reviewers for a number of recently published books that may be of interest to the IR community. . Books will be allocated for review on a first-come-first-served basis and you would have about one month to carry out the review. If you are […]

Summer 2012?


Welcome to the summer 2012 edition of Informer. Summer? Wasn’t that the time of the year with no rain and plenty of sunshine and cocktails on white beaches? It seems the summer has passed without even saying hello. But wait, most of this summer’s IR action is still to come when SIGIR 2012 kicks off […]’s mobile website—with four rows of controls and a large advertisement—clearly fails to adequately prioritize its search results.

Design Principles for Mobile Search

Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines and Google’s Android Design Guidelines both provide valuable guidance for designing general mobile applications. But there are a number of design principles that can help us achieve effective mobile search experiences in particular. Namely, most mobile search applications should prioritize content over controls, provide answers over results, and ensure cross-channel continuity.

Call for Book Reviews

This month we include another Call for Reviews in which we seek reviewers for a number of recently published books that may be of interest to the IR community. . Books will be allocated for review on a first-come-first-served basis and you would have about one month to carry out the review. If you are […]

Events Summer 2012

Forthcoming Events Edited By Andy MacFarlane Conferences/Workshops ACM SIGIR 2012. The worlds top IR conference. Portland,  Oregon, USA, 12th – 16th August 2012. IIiX 2012. The biannual conference on Information interaction in Context. Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 21-24th August 2012.

ECIR 2012: When in Barcelona ...


Welcome back! What a busy period this has been since our winter issue had come out, and what a lot of activities. Most of the editorial team has just returned from an excellent ECIR 2012 in Barcelona and you can read more about the conference in this issue (a small challenge: spot the editors in […]

Three speakers, one session: getting ready for ECIR 2012 Industry Day

Conference Review: ECIR 2012 Industry Day

The annual BCS IRSG European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2012) was held in Barcelona, Spain, this year. The 34th edition of the conference has been organized by Yahoo! Research, Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona Media, supported by BCS IRSG and ACM SIGIR. The conference represented a valuable moment for researchers to share their results. […]

Book Review: Search Analytics for Your Site

Search Analytics for Your Site, L. Rosenfeld. ISBN: 1-933820-20-9  (paper)  and  1-933820-04-7 (digital) Financial services company The Vanguard Group had just purchased a shiny new search engine to improve search for their 12,000 employees. There was only one problem: the search results were worse than what they had before. John Ferrara, an information architect who […]

Always busy: conference chair Ricardo Baeza-Yates

Conference review: ECIR 2012

ECIR 2012 took place in Barcelona at a campus of the Pompeu Fabra University which is situated not far from the city centre. Despite the size of the city, most ECIR participants stayed around the same area and wherever you went, you inadvertently bumped into a few other fellow attendees every day & night. The […]

Call for Book Reviews

Periodically we will be sending out a Call for Reviews in which we seek reviewers for a number of recently published books that may be of interest to the IR community. Instead of including book reviews in this issue of Informer, we would like to issue a call for interested parties to review one of the books […]

Conference Review: ECIR 2011

Conference Review: ECIR 2011

ECIR 2011, the 33rd European Conference on Information Retrieval and the BCS IRSG’s flagship annual conference was organised by Dublin City University in cooperation with the University of Sheffield, and was supported by the Information Retrieval Specialist Group at the British Computer Society (BCS-IRSG) and the Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (ACM SIGIR). It […]

A matrix of mobile information needs.

The Information Needs of Mobile Searchers

We live in a post-desktop era. In the UK alone, 45% of Internet users used a mobile phone to connect to the Internet in 2011 [7], and Morgan Stanley predicts that by 2014 there will be more mobile Internet users than desktop Internet users globally [6]. Not only are more people connecting with mobile devices, […]

Events spring 2012

AGM/Talks/One Day Events ISKO-UK Seminar and Workshop: “I think, therefore I classify”. A joint ISKO/IRSG on classification. BCS Covent Garden, 16th July 2012 BCS IRSG Search Solutions 2012. The annual one day event on search practice. 28th November 2012



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 […]