Summer, Sake, SIGIR

Welcome to the summer 2017 issue of Informer! It is always such a pleasure to be reminded by you, our readership, that it is time for a new compilation of stories from the world of search and information retrieval, in fact more like two worlds — the one that practitioners operate in and the academic world (we aim to cover both!). And this is what we have prepared for you — a bit of an unusual mix, but hey, it’s summer and we would hate nothing more than you getting bored and turning away from us.

Tony kicks off with a reminder that we are well into 2017, and that can only mean one thing: this year’s BCS Search Industry Awards are less than half a year away, time to issue a call for nominations! It’s the second time we run these awards and just like last year the winners will be announced at our annual  Search Solutions event (more on Search Solutions to be announced soon, we do have speakers lined up already, so please stay tuned …)

Next up is Jon Chamberlain who reports on the Games4NLP symposium that was co-located with EACL 2017 in Valencia and whose aim it was to provide a forum to discuss approaches and exchange experience related to applying games and gamification for natural language processing. You might recall an earlier issue of Informer that reported on the Gamification for IR workshop, a very similar idea. There seems to be good evidence that games are finding their way more and more into other academic research areas.

Giorgio Di Nunzio offers an insight into the Italian Information Retrieval (IIR) workshop series by summarising the 7th edition of IIR held in Venice in 2016. It is one of those events that allows younger researchers to present their work to a focussed audience that often boasts many senior IR people. There is a lot to say about such workshops which also include the Dutch-Belgian IR (DIR) workshop series with a similar theme (most recenty DIR 2016) as well as the Symposium on Future Directions in Information Access (FDIA). If you work in academia and are supervising PhD students in IR, then it might be worth encouraging your student(s) to choose one of those workshops to get their first ideas presented in front of a sympathetic audience and to get to know the community.

Katherine Allen provides an overview of what to expect from Taxonomy Bootcamp London this year. This is a practitioners’ oriented event featuring a good number of industry-based use cases in the word of taxonomies (and taxonomists). In fact, IRSG is again acting as a sponsor of Taxonomy Bootcamp as we believe that mixing search and taxonomy people can only be a good thing despite the fact that sometimes it looks as if they cover different spectrums of the universe.

Speaking of sponsorship, and speaking of the IRSG, our very own John Tait put together an excellent summary of what type of support is available from the IRSG if you want to organise an event. We are very keen to hear from you!

Finally, thanks again to Andy for compiling an up-to-date list of forthcoming conferences, workshops, symposia, events — you name it, he got it included.

Before we go, a quick reminder that the Call for Bids to host ECIR 2019 is still open, and we hope for some strong proposals, and based on registration figures from SIGIR 2017 (biggest SIGIR ever!) it looks as if information retrieval is here to stay (only until search has been solved, of course).

Good night and enjoy the summer!


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. He is also the host of the Data Science @ Regensburg Meetup.

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