In the Autumn issue

Let me start with IRSG business. Udo has written his last post as Chair as a new Chair will take over after the AGM on 23 November.   There have been no candidates to take on the Editorship of Informer so next year we are planning to publish just two issues (in April and November) in […]

Informer in 2023

For most of its history Informer has been published four times a year. In 2023 the plan is to publish just two issues because efforts to find someone to take over the editorship have not been successful. I have agreed to continue to act as Editor but because of other commitments I can only commit […]

Search Solutions Conference 2022 – London, 23 November

Search Solutions 2022 will take place at the BCS London office at 25 Copthall Avenue London, EC2R 7BP, which is a 10 minute walk from either Liverpool Street or Moorgate Underground stations. Session 1: The Search Experience: Focus on the users 10:00 – 10:15 Introduction 10:15 – 10:45 Natasha den Dekker (LexisNexis) “How to conduct […]

Search Solutions Tutorials 2022 – London 22 November

The Search Solution Tutorials will take place at the BCS London office at 25 Copthall Avenue, London, EC2R 7BP. This is around a 10 minute walk from either Liverpool Street or Moorgate underground stations. Tutorial 1 – Full day IR From Bag-of-words to BERT and Beyond through Practical Experiments Sean MacAvaney (University of Glasgow) Craig […]

Perspectives on the EU Horizon DoSSIER Project

Perspectives on the EU Horizon DoSSIER Project

In this feature item there are three excellent contributions from members of the DoSSIER project. DoSSIER is an acronym for an EU Horizon 2020 ITN/ETN on Domain Specific Systems for Information Extraction and Retrieval There are three contributions from members of the project team A Summary of the First DoSSIER Training School, which took place […]

The evolution of Datafari, a European open source enterprise search application – Cedric Ulmer CEO

I have recently been asked for a customer to deliver an analysis of available open source solutions as a replacement to a decade old proprietary enterprise search solution. In this article, I wanted to share the outcome of this analysis, and to give an outlook of how we perceive the future of such solutions. As […]

Carlos Cuadra 1925-2022 A pioneer in commercial IR service development

Carlos Cuadra died in August this year. I doubt many readers of Informer will recognize the name but Carlos was a remarkable innovator in information retrieval in the 1960s and 1970s. Almost all his development work was carried out in a commercial environment, notably at System Development Corporation when it was spun out of RAND […]

The Book of Search – Book Review

Spoiler alert – this is a review of a book published in 2006! First a short history lesson.  FAST Search and Transfer was founded in 1997 to commercialize search technology developed at the University of Trondheim. The subsequent history of FAST is difficult to untangle as the company seemed adept at delivering some very neat […]

A History of Enterprise Search 1938-2022

If you will exclude some self-promotion from the Editor, last month my book A History of Enterprise Search 1938-2022 was published under the PressBooks imprint of the University of Sheffield. If you have cause to doubt that there were any enterprise search initiatives in 1938 then you should certainly read this book. Enterprise search has […]

Books for search researchers and search managers

For some time now I have maintained a list of books on the Intranet Focus web site that I think would be of interest to search researchers and search managers. I am in the process of rebuilding the web site and so many of the internal links to reviews of the books will no longer […]

And finally….!

As I undertake my daily scanning of the research papers on information retrieval, I continue to be impressed with the level of innovation that I see. Clearly significant advances are being made into many areas. My concern is how these advances are going to feed into search products that are going to make a commensurate […]

In the Summer issue

NOTICE: The BCS IRSG is seeking new committee members.  If you are interested to find out more please see details on the nomination and election process.  November 3rd 2022 is the deadline for nominations. Can I start by highlighting the forthcoming vacancy for an Editor for Informer, to take over at the end of 2022. […]

Vacancy for an Informer Editor from January 2023

I took over the role as the Editor of Informer in 2019 and have enjoyed the challenge of publishing a quarterly newsletter that in each issue has something of interest to the very varied IRSG. Earlier this year I decided that it was time to hand over the Editorial Desktop as I wanted to gently […]

BCS/IRSG Search Industry Awards 2022

The BCS Search Industry Awards recognise people, projects, and organisations that have excelled in the design of search and information retrieval products and services. If you know of any people, projects, or products that deserve recognition, let us know by submitting a nomination. Alternatively, if you’re involved with something special yourself, you can submit an […]

The Microsoft BCS/BCS IRSG Karen Spärck Jones Award 2022 – Call for Nominations deadline is 9 September

A pioneer of information retrieval, the computer science sub-discipline that also underpins the technology of modern Web search engines, Karen Spärck Jones was a British professor of Computers and Information at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge. Her contributions to the fields of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Information Retrieval (IR), especially with regard to […]

JASIST special issue on information retrieval research

I was personally delighted to see the announcement from ASIS&T about a Special Issue in September 2023 on the topic of research into information retrieval. To quote from the announcement “We are looking for contributions that broaden the respective disciplinary, methodological, or empirical perspectives to identify and explore commercial search engines and their use and […]

Relevance management – tips, tricks, techniques and tools

When OpenSource Connections started the Haystack conference in 2018, our intention was to bring the search and relevance community together to share tips, tricks, techniques and tools. Although the talks that year weren’t recorded we swiftly realised that we could share them much more widely on video and we made sure to record all the […]

Taxonomies – Practical Approaches to Developing and Managing Vocabularies for Digital Information – Book review

There is probably no more difficult task in information management in being the Editor of a multi-author on any topic, and the level of difficulty goes up by an order of magnitude when the topic is taxonomy management. Taxonomies (and the strap line Practical Approaches to Developing and Managing Vocabularies for Digital Information) has been […]

The Limits of Batch Assessment of Retrieval Systems – Justin Zobell

I had the very good fortune to get to know Cyril Cleverdon towards the end of his distinguished career as Librarian at the Cranfield Institute of Technology and his invaluable work in creating and promoting the Cranfield Projects on information retrieval performance. These Projects formed the basis for the TREC events in the USA. At […]

The Science of Reading – Book review

You may be somewhat surprised to see a review of a book on the science of reading in Informer. It seems to be implicit in information retrieval research that ‘users’ have such a competence in reading that a consideration of reading ability can be discounted from the research analysis. If only that was the case! […]

Call for nominations for the UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award 2022 – Deadline 9 September

The Tony Kent Strix Award was inaugurated in 1998 by the Institute of Information Scientists. It is now presented by UKeiG in partnership with the International Society for Knowledge Organisation UK (ISKO UK), the Royal Society of Chemistry Chemical Information and Computer Applications Group (RSC CICAG) and the British Computer Society Information Retrieval Specialist Group […]

Making knowledge management clickable – Book review

There are many books about knowledge management but very few about what I might refer to as IKM (Information and Knowledge Management) technologies. What is distinctive about this book is that it spans the crevasse between KM and IT and does so with considerable flair. The authors, Zach Wahl and  Joseph Hilger established Enterprise Knowledge (based in Arlington VA) close […]

SIGIR 2022 Annual Conference – a report from Dennis Aumiller

Another month, another conference back in person! The ACM SIGIR 2022 conference – the special interest group’s premier event – was back in person for the first time since 2019, and for the first time ever made its stop in beautiful and sunny Spain. Hosted by general chairs Enrique Amigó, Pablo Castells and Julio Gonzalo, […]

Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2020) – a report from Dennis Aumiller

With a delay of over two years, attendees of the bi-annual Language Resources and Evaluation Conference 2022 (LREC) finally arrived in sunny Marseille. After originally scheduled for May 2020, but then being canceled due to travel restrictions and nation-wide lockdowns, the organizers decided to revive the original conference location and agreed on the currently predominant […]