In this issue

It has taken me a couple of years to realise that I have never actually written an editorial because when I took over from Udo Kruschwitz I decided to give you a summary of the contents of the issue. So the section has been renamed as ‘In this issue’ and you have no idea how long it took me to come up with that title. My only flight of editorial fancy is the And finally, which in this issue presents some of my thoughts on perceptual speed, scanning and abstract writing.

Also new in this issue is IRSG Committee, which is a contribution from Steve Zimmerman, the IRSG Secretary. In principle it will record the outcomes of recent Committee meetings but in so doing the Committee would like to persuade you to come and be a member of Committee. All you need is a passion for information retrieval.

This issue is very much about conferences and awards. It starts out with looking forward to Search Solutions 2021 which will take place on 23-24 November, hopefully (please!) on-site at the BCS London offices but that depends on what the Covid rules of distancing are at that time. The event will include the presentation of the BCS Search Industry Awards. Then next year comes ECIR 2022 in Stavanger, with ECIR 2023 following along in Dublin. There are of course many other events in our sector, and as usual Andy Macfarlane has them all listed.

Looking back there is a brief account of the very successful Fairness and Bias in IR event held in Glasgow in March, held over from March 2020. There is also a report on the BIRDS workshop –  Bridging the Gap between Information Science, Information Retrieval and Data Science, which this year was held in April in conjunction with CHIIR.

Then you will come to the ECIR 2021 Conference Supplement (all good newsletters have Supplements from time to time) for which I have provided a sub-contents list.

The UKeiG Farradane Award for 2020 has been presented to Emeritus Professor Tom Wilson. I asked Tom if he would write a feature article on his work in information behaviour, and it seemed a good opportunity to review his new book on information behaviour, which is in fact work-in-progress. I know he would value your comments and suggestions.

To round off the issue there is a note about a paper on searching for Covid information in the enterprise that was presented by Paul Cleverley at Search Solutions 2020. At the time the paper was under review but it has now been published.  There are also some insights on current issues in open source search, a link to Search Insights 2021 and finally And Finally!

About Martin White
Martin White

Martin is an information scientist and the author of Making Search Work and Enterprise Search. He has been involved with optimising search applications since the mid-1970s and has worked on search projects in both Europe and North America. Since 2002 he has been a Visiting Professor at the Information School, University of Sheffield and is currently working on developing new approaches to search evaluation.

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