IR and ACL Anthologies

The US equivalent of IRSG is SIGIR, which publishes its Forum newsletter every six months. This is always a very good read and you do not have to be a member of SIGIR to do so. One of the feature articles in the June issue (which only came online in October!) is an introduction to the IR Anthology, a recently releaased structured collection of almost 60,000 research papers. The well-establishedACL Anthology currently hosts 71505 papers on the study of computational linguistics and natural language processing.

A description of the genesis and structure of the ACL Anthology is now somewhat out-of-date but remains an excellent introduction to the concept of an anthology of research papers. The IR Anthology has been established by Martin Potthast (Leipzig University), Benno Stein (Bauhaus-Universität, Weimar) and Matthias Hagen (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg).

The Forum article is much more than just a technical description of the Anthology. The range of databases that track information retrieval is listed and discussed and the difficult issues around subscription paywall and opensource publishing are considered.  Currently the scope of the IR Anthology is publications which have been published at one of the 22 venues (16 conferences and six journals) which are dedicated to IR or at which IR-related contributions are frequently published, e.g., in dedicated tracks. I was somewhat surprised by the rather limited journal scope – for example. the Journal of Information Science is not included. However, better to start and then expand than not start at all.

Rather than write a long description of the technical platform and the vision for the IR Anthology I would strongly recommend that you read through the very thoughtful description of the project from the three founders, who deserve enormous credit for the work they have undertaken to bring the IR Anthology to the global research community.

PS Do look at the other papers in the June issue of Forum, which include

  • Report on the 2nd Workshop on Bridging the Gap between Information Science, Information Retrieval and Data Science (BIRDS 2021)
  • Report on the 43rd European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2021)
  • Report on the ECIR 2021 Discussion Panel on Open Access
  • Report on the 11th Bibliometric-enhanced Information Retrieval Workshop (BIR 2021)
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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