Editorial

The Spring issue was mainly about conferences, specifically ECIR 2020. This issue is much more about people but first I must highlight the third of the three ECIR 2020 keynotes by Joana Gonçalves de Sá which did not make it into the Spring issue. I am delighted to be able to publish a tribute by Professors Val Gillett and Peter Bath to Professor Peter Willett, who retired from the Information School, University of Sheffield after a lifetime of dedicated service to the School and the University. I held this over from the Spring issue as I did not want to submerge it in ECIR 2020 reports. ECIR2021 is scheduled to be held in Lucca, Tuscany from 28 March to 1 April 2021. Ingo Frommholz has contributed an excellent account of BIRDS, an interdisciplinary workshop for students, practitioners and researchers in Data Science, Information Retrieval and Information Science held at SIGIR 2020.

The lead feature contribution in this issue sets out the outcomes of a benchmark study by IntraTeam of the state of enterprise search satisfaction in Scandinavian organisations. Because it comes from a benchmarking process the reliability of the data is much higher than would be the case with a survey.

The tribute to Peter Willett  started me thinking about others in the UK who have made a distinguished contribution to information retrieval and in And Finally you will find my selection. If you feel you should be included do please let me know. One of the people on the list is Tony Kent, whose contribution is honoured in the Strix Award, and you will find details of the call for nominations for 2020 and the Strix Annual Lecture in London on 26 November. One of the organisations involved in the Award process is ISKO UK and there is a profile of the organisation by its current Chair, David Haynes.

The IRSG Search Solutions Conference will be held digitally on 23 November and papers for this conference, and for the workshops on 24 November, are now being sought. There is also time to nominate a Taxonomy Practitioner and a Taxonomy Success of the Year in association with the London Taxonomy Boot Camp.

In his contribution on ISKO UK David mentions some of the technical issues with delivering virtual learning. I was invited to participate in the Microsoft Research New Future of Work virtual conference in early August. I have set out my experience with the conference technology so that readers can benefit from this as soon as possible. I will summarise the outcomes of the conference in the Autumn issue of Informer as I know that the conference team will be adding content to the web site. Andy Macfarlane has contributed his regular list of search conferences but of course has had to add a warning that these events are subject to change and cancellation.

One of the pleasures of being an Editor is that publishers send you books as gifts. You are of course supposed to read them and as a result there are two book reviews in this issue, both outstanding contributions in their particular fields of systematic searching and A/B testing.

The copy date for the Autumn issue is 25 September 2020.

About Martin White
Martin White

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