Happy New Year!

Welcome to the Winter 2018 edition of Informer! Slightly later than usual, therefore we jump straight into the news section: Jochen Leidner (Director of Research at Thomson Reuters) and Frank Hopfgartner (Senior Lecturer at Sheffield University) are our new faces in the IRSG committee. Let’s give them a round of applause for their election success. We also welcome Steven Zimmerman (PhD student at Essex University) who has been co-opted as the student representative to the committee.

The next bit of good news is that neither Steven nor Frank  needed any arm-twisting to provide content for this issue. They did so without us even having to ask. Steven presents his personal summary of Search Solutions 2017, our annual practitioner-oriented search event that took place, as usual, at the BCS head quarters in London just off Covent Garden (side note to our readers: if you think you have something interesting to present at Search Solutions this year — be it a full presentation or a shorter lightning talk — then drop us a line!) Speaking of Search Solutions, every year there are some attendees from further afield but this time was clearly more unusual in that we welcomed a group of 10 staff and students from Aalborg University. Let’s see who comes along this year.

Over to Frank who obtained a good selection of recently published Springer books and is looking for volunteers to provide a review. In exchange you will keep the copy of the book. Deal?

In this issue we also have another feature article by our star writer Tony who looks at search as a stage-based process that (ideally) resembles the different stages of a game of chess. Apart from exploring this thought he also manages to weave in a number of previous ideas that he published over the years making this article a good starting point for anyone who has not come across Tony’s work before. Well worth a read!

Finally, events editor Andy has compiled another comprehensive list of search-related events. One such event is obviously ECIR 2018 in Grenoble next month and we very much hope to see you there. Surely, one of the highlights will be the keynote talk by Fernando Diaz, who has been invited to talk in his capacity as the 2017 Karen Spärck Jones Award winner.

Enjoy the snow!

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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