In total, 457 submissions were fielded across all tracks from 57 different countries — adding the papers submitted to workshops, ECIR 2020 broke the 500 submissions barrier. The final program included 55 full papers (26% acceptance rate), 48 short papers (28% acceptance rate), 10 demonstration papers (30% acceptance rate), 8 reproducibility papers (38% acceptance rate) and 12 invited CLEF papers. All submissions were peer reviewed by at least three international Program Committee members to ensure that only submissions of the highest quality were included in the final program. The acceptance decisions were further informed by discussions among the reviewers for each submitted paper, led by a senior Program Committee member. A call for reviewers was set forth aiming to strengthen and update the Program Committee, integrating and catching up with both new and accomplished reviewing workforce in the field.
The accepted papers cover the state of the art in IR: deep learning based information retrieval techniques, use of entities and knowledge graphs, recommender systems, retrieval methods, information extraction, question answering, topic and prediction models, multimedia retrieval etc. As with tradition, the ECIR 2020 program has seen a high proportion of papers with students as first authors, as well as papers from a variety of universities, research institutes, and commercial organizations.
In addition to the papers, the program also included three keynotes, three tutorials, four workshops, a doctoral consortium, and an industry day. The first keynote was presented by this year’s BCS IRSG Karen Sparck Jones Award winner, Chirag Shah, the second keynote was presented by Jamie Callan and the third keynote by Joana Gonçalves de Sá. The tutorials covered a range of topics including entity repositories, similar-question retrieval, and geographic IR, while the workshops brought together participants around such areas as narrative extraction, bibliometric IR, algorithmic bias, and health IR. ECIR 2020 also featured a CLEF session to enable CLEF organizers to report on and promote their upcoming tracks.
The program introduced a new activity where recently published papers from the Information Retrieval Journal were presented at the conference — a selection of nine papers was included in this track. Such links between related forums added to the success and diversity of ECIR and helped build bridges between communities.
The Industry Day was held on the last conference day, bringing together academic researchers and industry, offering a mix of talks by industry leaders (including Farfetch, Doctrine, Microsoft, TigerGraph, eBay) and presentations of novel and innovative ideas from industry research.