Conference Review

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 […]

Reflections on ECIR 2022 by Krisztian Balog, Kjetil Nørvag and Vinay Setty

Krisztian Balog, Kjetil Nørvag and Vinay Setty have authored a detailed review of the very successful ECIR 2022 event held in Stavanger, Norway, in April. The review, which is published in the June 2022 issue of SIGIR Forum, runs to 12 pages. To quote from the Conclusion “One of the biggest organizational challenges was dealing […]

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 […]

Strix Lecture 2021 – 9 December 2021

The annual Tony Kent Strix Annual Memorial Lecture was held on December 9th. The lecture was given by the 2020 Strix Award winner Ian Ruthven (Professor, University of Strahtclyde). He delivered his journey of research over the past 20 years where attendees learned that many of his contributions were through collaborative efforts with many researchers […]

ECIR 2021 Industry Day highlights

The Spring issue of Informer contained a number of articles on the very successful ECIR 2021 event, so I decided to carry over some reflections on the Industry Day to this issue. My first visit to ECIR was the 2011 Dublin event where I presented my SearchCheck methodology, which in the event was eventually launched […]

The Information Retrieval Anthology 2021: inaugural status report and challenges ahead

To quote from a paper published in the June 2021 issue of SIGIR Forum, “The Information Retrieval Anthology, IR Anthology for short, is an endeavor to create a comprehensive collection of metadata and full texts of IR-related publications. We report on its first release, the use cases it can serve, as well as the challenges […]

Fairness and Bias in Information Retrieval Glasgow 23 March 2021

2020 was a notable year in information retrieval research and development. First there was the realization that AI applications were going to need a level of transparency that would reassure customers that they were supporting, not controlling, the search process. Second there was the realization that the search community had a responsibility to think beyond […]

ECIR 2021 Conference Supplement

ECIR 2021 was an outstanding event from every perspective. In this first-ever Supplement you will find An overview of the event Some notes on the keynote papers (including the Karen Spark Jones lecture) with links to the videos of the presentations A list of the Award Winners A report on an important panel session on […]

ECIR 2021 Conference overview

Raffaele Perego and Fabrizio Sebastiani are in the process of writing a full report on the conference for SIGIR Forum, and have kindly provided a short reflection for Informer that illustrates the scale, breadth and success of the event, with some notes on the technology platforms.

ECIR 2021 Keynote presentations

There were three keynote presentations at ECIR 2021, carefully scheduled for the end of the day for the benefit of participants in North and South America and early risers in the Asia-Pacific region. I’m not going to try to summarise the talks in any depth but hopefully I will encourage you to sit down with […]

Karen Spark Jones Award 2020 and Lecture

The British Computer Society Information Retrieval Specialist Group (BCS IRSG) in conjunction with the BCS created an award in 2008 to commemorate the achievements of Karen Spärck Jones. Karen was Professor Emerita of Computers and Information at the University of Cambridge and one of the most remarkable and influential women in computer science.

ECIR 2021 Awards

A list of the Award winners is given below

ECIR 2021 – Discussion Panel on Open Access

On 31 March 2021, the Wednesday morning of ECIR 2021, the conference participants joined with seven panellists in a discussion on Open Access and Information Retrieval (IR), or more accurately, on the lack of open access publishing in IR. Discussion topics included the experience of researchers with open access in Africa; business models for open […]

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Another BIR Please — Report of the 11th International Workshop on Bibliometric-enhanced Information Retrieval

The 11th Bibliometric-enhanced Information Retrieval Workshop (BIR 2021) was held online on April 1st, 2021, at ECIR 2021 as virtual event only for the 2nd time due to the pandemic situation. As before, the aim of the interdisciplinary BIR workshop series is to bring together researchers from different communities, especially scientometrics/bibliometrics and information retrieval. In […]

ECIR 2021 – Cooking Class with Chef Paolo Monti

What can a conference organiser offer to virtual participants as a social programme? The brilliant solution  from the ECIR team was  to offer two cookery classes from the most renowned chef in Lucca. You can watch the demonstrations and download the recipes from the web site.

Paul Cleverley’s presentation to Search Solutions 2020 has now been published

At Search Solutions 2020 Paul Cleverley presented a paper on the research he had carried out with Fionualla  Cousins and Simon Burnett on the search patterns for Covid-19 within a very large oil and gas company during the initial stages of the lockdown in early 2020. Paul was not able to share his presentation slides […]

KMWorld Enterprise Search and Discovery 2020 – conference report

The KMWorld conference, managed by Information Today Inc.  is probably the flagship event of the US library and information professional community and for the last few years has been held in Washington DC every November. It has always been a multiple track conference and has included an Enterprise Search and Discovery track. This dates back […]

Search Solutions 2020 – Conference report

That Search Solutions 2020 took place at all is a tribute to superb teamwork from Ingo Frommholz, Udo Kruschwitz, Haiming Liu, Tony Russell-Rose, Steven Zimmerman and myself aided by Slack. By the end of the development phase almost 100 Slack messages had arrived in my in-box! Search Solutions is a very important source of revenue […]

Search Solutions 2020 – Tutorial Report

On 24th November 2020, a day before the Search Solutions main event, a Search Solutions tutorial on Reinforcement Learning for Information Retrieval was given by Alexander Kuhnle, Miguel Aroca-Ouellette, John Reid and Dell Zhang from Blue Prism AI Labs. Reinforcement Learning (RL), as a third machine learning paradigm besides supervised and unsupervised learning, is gaining […]

Strix Lecture 2020 event – 26 November 2020

The 6th Tony Kent Strix Annual Memorial Lecture 2020, hosted by the UK electronic information Group (UKeiG), took place on Thursday, 26th November 2020, and was regarded as a great success by the organisers. It was delivered by the 2019 Strix award winner Professor Ingemar J. Cox, Department of Computer Science at University College London.

CLEF 2020 – some student perspectives

Editor – I’m delighted to be able to publish reports on the CLEF2020 conference from some of the students who attended the conference, which took place in September 2020. I gave them a set of four headings and a word length. I feel it is important to capture the views of students on events as […]