Searcher’s paradise: high precision AND high recall (sample query: “Shōchū”)

Welcome to the Summer 2018 edition of Informer! We are back with a mix of news, reports and reminders, all from the world of search. Did I say reminder? If you are planning to host the top European Information Retrieval conference in 2020, then you have until Friday next week to hand in your bid. Another reminder? Ok, here we go: the nomination deadline for this year’s Karen Spärck Jones Award is fast approaching too!

But let’s take it gently. Here is what we have on offer today. We start with a short piece by our regular contributor Tony Russell-Rose who will review some of the early visualisation strategies developed to address search in a workplace context. Our regular readers will recall that Tony has a long history in various research positions  and he tends to be our showcase example of researcher and practitioner, i.e. someone who has a foot in both industry and academia. His most recent industry venture is 2DSearch while his latest link with academia is a Visiting Professorship  awarded by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

If Tony’s discussion of visualising search strategies whets your appetite, then you may as well go straight to Jon Chamberlain’s article on information retrieval in the workplace introducing a comparative study of professional search practices that has only just been accepted to appear in Information Processing and Management (and which describes joined work with Tony and Leif Azzopardi).

What else do we have? Ah, here is another deadline for you. Frank Hopfgartner tells us all about a workshop on Ethics, Privacy, Transparency and Bias in Information Retrieval. Perhaps a bit short notice given the workshop will be held in early September in Sheffield but if you want to present something, you only need to send an email to Frank with a short abstract and you still have until next week to do so.

As usual, we also have a few conference reviews for you. We start with SIGIR 2018 as written up by Steve Zimmerman. Steve is not just becoming a frequent contributor to Informer but he is also the student representative on the IRSG commitee. (Side note to our readers: if you do want to get involved in actively shaping the work of the IRSG, then you have hopefully not missed this week’s deadline and have put your name forward for the upcoming IRSG elections …)

We have a second conference report by Chris Madge who reports on the Games4NLP workshop that was held at LREC 2018. Gamification is also finding its way into the NLP community. Let’s hope this workshop and Chris’ report will foster more collaboration and exchange of ideas between the NLP, IR and the games communities …

Finally, we also have a few books that are waiting to be reviewed. If you spot one that you are happy to read, review and own, then drop our book editor Frank a quick email (perhaps alongside the abstract on your proposed talk on ethics in IR …)

Finally finally, what would be Informer without a list of upcoming events. Andy MacFarlane has as usual compiled a comprehensive list of search-related workshops, conferences, industry events (which naturally also includes a link to this year’s Search Solutions). Not to be missed!

Enjoy the summer (and avoid the wildfires)!






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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