In the Spring issue

Pride of place in this overview of the Spring issue has to be the report on ECIR 2022, which so elegantly and effectively integrated the on-site and virtual conference experiences that I for one felt that I had been transported StarTrek-style from Horsham to Stavanger. Dennis and Satya have contributed a such a comprehensive and […]

ECIR 2023 Dublin

ECIR2023 will take place in Dublin on 2-6 April 2023. The web site is now live and sets out the timetable for the submission of presentations and lists the organisers.

ISKO UK/BCS IRSG Exploring Information Retrieval lectures series – February/March 2022

There has always been close cooperation between the IRSG and the UK Chapter of the International Society for Knowledge Organisations (ISKO UK), including a common interest in findability issues, including support our Search Solutions conference. Over the course of the pandemic ISKO UK made a significant contribution to maintaining its programme of meetings and workshop […]

SIGIR Forum December 2021 issue

The ACM SIGIR Forum is published twice a year, and is an essential read. The December 2021 issue came out after the Winter issue of Informer was published so this is my first opportunity to bring it to your attention. Each issue contains a few research papers and some abstracts of dissertations but the most […]

Graduate Student Corner – a new feature for Informer

The Graduate Student Corner concept was suggested to me last year by Professor Jochen Liedner with the following scope note “IRSG would like to offer doctoral students a forum to present their research in progress beyond the more formal workshop, conference and journal papers.  Many of you have plenty of good ideas, and often the […]

NeurodiverseIT Specialist Group

The Information Retrieval Specialist Group can trace its origins back to 1998, though the British Computer Society itself was founded in 1957. There are over 50 Specialist Groups, and in 2022 a NeurodiverseIT Specialist Group was formed as the result of the independent efforts of Richard Cornell and Matthew Bellringer. The Group is run for […]

Enterprise Search Management training course from Intranet Focus Ltd

In 2012 I undertook a project for the European Commission which had as its objectives the identification of barriers to the development and use of enterprise search applications in the EU. The primary conclusion was that the lack of training for enterprise search software developers and for enterprise search managers was the major barrier.

Information – A Historical Companion (Review)

How do you review a book that runs to almost 900 pages? Answers on a pack of postcards please! Two books sparked my interest in the history of information. The first was A History of Online Information Services 1963-1976 by Bourne and Hahn which provides a vast amount of detail on the early development of […]

And finally…..from the Editor

When I started work at Logica in 1989 one of the most talented of my consulting team (let me call him John) had a significant visual handicap resulting from macular degeneration. At the time John had to rely on a horizontally-scrolling LED display of text to write reports and create emails. Apart from being a […]

In the Winter issue

November 2021 was a very busy time for IRSG. The Search Solutions Conference took place virtually on 24 November. You can read reports on the conference and on the two tutorials in this issue. There is also a list of the BCS Search Industry Awards that were announced at the Conference.  Continuing the ‘awards’ theme […]

Search Solutions 2021 – conference report

Looking back at the ten papers and two panel discussions at the BCS IRSG Search Solutions 2021 conference in November there was a very strong theme that emerged with most of the papers providing a set of variations. The theme at its most basic was that ‘one size does not fit all’, especially when it comes […]

Search Solutions 2021 – Tutorials report

As has been the custom, the main Search Solutions 2021 event has again been preceded by a day of tutorials. Two tutorials were successfully delivered on the day: an introduction to Natural Language Processing and a “Practitioners’ Evaluation Roundtable” (which was not a tutorial in the strict sense). Haiming Liu, Ingo Frommholz and Jochen Leidner […]

BCS Search Industry Awards 2021

At the BCS IRSG Search Solutions 2021 Conference on 24 November there was a session during which the BCS Search Industry Awards for 2021 were presented by Tony Russell-Rose on behalf of the IRSG Committee. The Conference was once again (and hopefully for the last time!) virtual so there was no opportunity to applaud the winners. This year there […]

Microsoft-BCS/BCS-IRSG Karen Spärck Jones Award 2021 for Dr Ivan Vulić

Dr Ivan Vulić from the University of Cambridge has been named as the winner of the Microsoft-BCS/BCS-IRSG Karen Spärck Jones Award 2021 The award, which is sponsored by Microsoft Research, was created in 2008 to remember Professor Karen Spärck Jones FBA, a leading researcher in information retrieval at what was at the time called the […]

ECIR 2022 10-14 April – the latest news

The 44th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR’22) will be held in Stavanger, Norway, between April 10 and 14, 2022. It will be the northern-most location in the history of ECIR, with the Norwegian fjord region offering some of the most majestic and spectacular scenery in the world. With its intimate and mostly pedestrian centre, […]

Exploring Information Retrieval – A series of eight ISKO UK / BCS IRSG IR workshops

Following requests from attendees to the ISKO UK KO-ED classes (part of the programme Knowledge Organization Education) ISKO UK ran two workshops in the Autumn: the first one on vocabulary control with Sylvie Davis and the second one on the UDC with Aida Slavic. The last of the three workshops “Practical Thesaurus Construction” with Stella […]

At last – an academic deep dive into an enterprise search case study

The opening presentation at Search Solutions 2021 in November given by Professor Katriina Byström (Oslo Metropolitan University) in which she summarised the outcomes of  research she had carried out with Professor Marianne Lykke, Ann Bygholm and Louise Bak Søndergaard ( Department of Communications and Psychology at Aalborg University) on enterprise search use across an organisation. […]

Brief Overview of the Portable Document Format (PDF) and Some Challenges for Text Extraction

(Note from the Editor  PDF files are so ubiquitous in business and in academia that few people give any thought to the problems that arise in extracting text from a PDF to incorporate into a search index. Tim Allison is a consultant working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and has been at the forefront […]

Book review – Invisible Search and Online Search Engines

(A note from the Editor. This 161pp book was published in 2019 but recently became open access. I must have missed it first time around!) The reviewer Cass Zhixue Zhao I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield. I have obtained my PhD from Information School, University of Sheffield. […]

ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) 2022

The annual ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) is the primary international event for the inter- and multi-disciplinary community of academics and practitioners in digital libraries coming from computer, information and social sciences, and other related disciplines such as information retrieval. JCDL encompasses the many meanings of the term digital libraries, including notions of […]

And finally….from the Editor

During the closing panel session of the Search Solutions conference in November Professor Iadh Ounis (University of Glasgow) highlighted the need to keep graduate and undergraduate courses updated in line with the very rapid developments in IR theory, development and practice. Around this time there was a Twitter thread about what might be the best […]

In the Autumn 2021 issue

I’ve given a lot of prominence to the forthcoming Search Solutions 2021 event on 23/24 November with Tutorials on the Tuesday  and the Conference on the Wednesday. Apart from one tutorial it will (sadly) be a virtual event. The IRSG AGM will take place at the end of the Conference, and a call for nominations […]

Search Solutions 2021 23/24 November

We had hoped to run the Search Solutions 2021 Conference and Tutorials on-site at the BCS London HQ but constraints on the number of delegates that could be accommodated because of Covid concerns meant that last month we made the decision to go virtual with the Conference (which worked well last year) and with one […]

Call for nominations to the BCS IRSG Committee

The BCS Information Retrieval Specialist Group invites nominations for the following positions: – Vice-Chair – Secretary – Inclusion Officer – Six ordinary members of the committee