Winter 2019


Brexit: Making good progress.

Welcome to a new issue of Informer! Has it really been 7 years since we relaunched Informer? Then this must in fact be Editorial number 29 … it feels like it was just twenty minutes ago that I wrote the first one.  Time flies when you are getting old. So perhaps it’s time to step down and leave the stage for some fresh blood. And that’s exactly what I am doing now … Read more…

My week: Natasha Chowdory, a CEBIS Specialist at a large hospital in the West Midlands

Our work is fairly constant, with large influxes in September and January from people gearing up for conference submissions. However, it’s not just conference submissions but also applying for research grants. A fair amount of the research we do, will contribute to bids that individuals make for the hospital – some of which that have been really successful! I am constantly amazed by how little time people leave to get the research for their proposal done and the date of the proposal itself.  We have become adept at guessing the difference between someone who sends us an email saying ‘ASAP’ and one saying ‘as soon as possible’.

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FIRE 2018 Conference Review

The wonderful attendees of FIRE 2018

The 10th annual meeting of the Forum for Information Retrieval Evaluation (FIRE 2018) took place in Gandhinagar, India. The conference took place at the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DA-IICT). Several participants dubbed the venue as a mini zoo because of the varied wildlife, especially monkeys, squirrels and peacocks on the campus. FIRE 2018 was one of the biggest FIRE till date with over 80 participants and 11 invited speakers. Besides the main conference FIRE-2018 hosted six evaluation tracks and two tutorials.

FIRE 2018 consisted for the following tracks:

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1959 – the dawn of relevance and the benefits of IR

There was a remarkable amount of interest in the publication of a belated obituary of Karen Sparck Jones in the New York Times on 9 January 2019. I was delighted to see that the University of Cambridge obituary for Karen (published at the time of her death in 2007) has now been updated with the NYT reference. It never fails to surprise me how few people have an appreciation of the history of information retrieval and search both in terms of its technical development but even more of the people whose insights transformed our views of how to use computers to manage language.

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Events: Winter

One Day Events


CHIIR 2018: ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Information. A conference with a very clear focus on user issues in search. 10-14 March 2019. Glasgow, Scotland.

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