Red light district Amsterdam

Welcome back! This spring 2013 edition of Informer will bring you a range of fairly different articles, perhaps just the right mix for this time of the year. More about the articles later, let us first have a glimpse at what has been going on in the IR community.

SIGIR 2013 is taking shape. Following the PC meeting in Amsterdam,
paper notifications have been sent out (acceptance rate about 20%), which was followed by notifications for short papers (about 35%) and demos (50%). The workshops and tutorials programme has now also been finalised. Short papers are a novelty this year replacing posters. Short papers are still being presented in poster format but the page limit has been extended from two to four pages (and demos from one page to two pages). As a result (?) the number of submissions for short papers and demos has gone up despite the drop in full paper submissions. We will find out how that all works out in July — only three more months until the IR community meets yet again at the Guinness Storehouse for a welcome reception overlooking the city.

Our main conference, ECIR, is traditionally held just before Easter. This appeared to turn out a bit too early for ECIR 2013 — temperature-wise. However, this meant that all sessions were not just well attended but extremely well attended as nobody wanted to risk freezing to death on the way out of the conference venue. All in all there was lots of good feedback on ECIR in Moscow this year. Thanks to the organisers! An additional round of applause for Diane Kelly, the winner of this year’s Karen Spärck-Jones Award. For those of you who missed her talk, the slides are available on the IRSG’s Web site. ECIR has grown from a UK-based symposium to a fully European conference, next year Amsterdam will host ECIR and by 2015 it will have been already five years since ECIR was last held in Britain. The call for bids to host ECIR 2015 has just gone out and if you are interested in preparing a bid and have some questions, please let us know.

An update on IRSG’s other events this year. First of all a reminder that ICTIR 2013 will take place in Copenhagen and the list of keynote speakers looks reason enough to attend. Secondly, it feels as if Search Solutions 2012 has only just happened but we have already fixed a date for Search Solutions 2013. Not just that, we have even posted a call for tutorials. As always, a more detailed list of upcoming events has been compiled by Andy, our events editor.

But enough about events, without further ado a quick run through what we have prepared this time for you. More articles on IR Made in Germany with an overview of three groups: Duisburg-Essen, DAI Lab at TU Berlin and Regensburg. For those of you who have been waiting to read more by our reliable contributors, Tyler and Tony, there is more for you in this issue! Tony will talk about  interaction models for faceted search while Tyler starts a new series on information wayfinding. What else do we have? John Tait is giving his perspective on semantic search, a concept that has been used very widely in recent years but with very different meanings (depending on the community you are in). This time we also included a slightly more technical paper on hybrid parallel classifiers. If you want more technical content such as this article in future, then do let us know. Finally, our books editor Cathal is keen to hear from you if you want to review one of the recently published IR books he managed to get hold of. First come, first serve, so you better drop him an email now, and if you happen to be in Dublin at some point, you can even pick up the book in person and have a local beverage with our books editor.

Now, please enjoy reading this edition of Informer and remember that the days will soon start getting shorter again.

About Udo Kruschwitz
Udo Kruschwitz

Udo Kruschwitz is a Professor of Information Science at the University of Regensburg and a long-standing member of the IRSG committee (currently serving as Chair). His main interests are in information retrieval and natural language engineering. He enjoys being involved in organising events such as Search Solutions in London and ECIR Industry Day (e.g. at ECIR 2019 in Cologne) which aim at bringing together academia and industry.

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