Conference Review

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 […]

Smile! You're on Camera.

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 […]

Microsoft Research New Future of Work Conference 3-5 August 2020 – Part 1 The conference technology platform

Microsoft Research was able to set up its New Future of Work conference (August 3-5) as a virtual conference right from the start. This meant that it was probably one of the first to be designed at the outset to be virtual rather than adopting and adapting an existing one-site conference agenda.  The conference was […]

ECIR 2020 Keynote Joana Gonçalves de Sá

[Note from the Editor – this is the third of the three ECIR 2020 keynotes.  Summaries of the keynotes given by Chirag Shah and Jamie Callum can be found in the Spring 2020 issue of Informer] Joana Gonçalves de Sá is an Associate Professor at Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa […]

TALMIRI Conference 18 September 2019 – conference report

The 2019 TALMIRI Conference took place at the Putterbury campus of the University of Bedfordshire. The acronym stands for Talent Meets the Information Retrieval Industry. The conference was conceived and organized by Ingo Frommholz and Haiming Liu with support from the University of Bedfordshire that enabled the conference to be free to attendees in a […]

ESSIR 2019 & FDIA Student Review

In its 12th edition, the European Summer School in Information Retrieval (ESSIR) returned to its Italian roots in beautiful Milan, where it took place at the University of Milano-Bicocca between July 15th to July 19th, 2019. Maristella Agosti (University of Padua), who was organizer of the first summer school back in 1990, again co-organized the […]

Conference reports

ISKO 2019 Meeting The Human Position in an Artificial World: creativity, ethics and AI in knowledge organization ISKO UK’s sixth biennial conference was held at City, University of London on 15-16th July 2019 and was attended by 75 participants from 14 countries. David Haynes, Chairman of ISKOUK has kindly provided this summary of the meeting […]

Conference Review – Haystack US 2019 – Relevance Avengers Assemble!

Last year I attended the Haystack search relevance conference in Charlottesville, USA as a guest of our partners OpenSource Connections (OSC). In 2019 we merged my old business Flax with OSC so I returned as one of the conference organisers. Haystack is a conference all about search relevance – making sure that the results your users see fit […]

NATO Conference on federated search

Over the last two decades most of my search-related projects have been with large multi-national companies so an invitation to participate in a NATO working on enterprise and federated search in March 2019 was irresistible. The fact that it was to be held in a 5 star hotel on the Adriatic Sea at Split, Croatia […]