Informer: Winter 2018 Issue Out Now

By Udo Kruschwitz

Welcome to the Winter 2018 edition of Informer! Slightly later than usual, 
therefore we jump straight into the news section: Jochen Leidner (Director of 
Research at Thomson Reuters) and Frank Hopfgartner (Senior Lecturer at 
Sheffield University) are our new faces in the IRSG committee. Letís give them 
a round of applause for their election success. We also welcome Steven 
Zimmerman (PhD student at Essex University) who has been co-opted as the 
student representative to the committee...

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Designing search: models and metaphors
By Tony Russell-Rose 

Itís often said that search is a conversation: a dialog between two 
participants that can be every bit as rich as human conversation. On one side 
is the user, with an information need articulated in the form of a query, and 
on the other side is the system, with its response in the form of a set of 
search results. Like human conversation, the outcome relies on a shared 
understanding of intent and context. Together, these elements form a crucial 
part of the search experience, guiding and shaping the dialog in productive 

But the conversational metaphor can only take us so far. There are levels of 
nuance to the linguistic interaction between human beings that go beyond simple 
bidirectional exchanges, and likewise, there are patterns and sequences of 
human information seeking behavior that transcend the conversational metaphor. 
At this level, we need to take a more holistic approach, and view search from 
the perspective of stages in an information journey. In this post, we consider 
one such model of the information journey that is valuable for both its 
simplicity and utility...

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Search Solutions 2017: The Misinformation Age
By Steven Zimmerman

Fake news, misinformation and toxic content were certainly the central theme to 
this year's annual one day Search Solutions conference at the BCS headquarters 
in London. There were many other great presentations of the day to discuss as, 
but did not have the essence of relevance of the central theme of the day.

The misinformation topic was introduced in the session just before lunch. 
Perhaps it was the hunger of speakers and audience that made the session 
undisputedly the most exciting. The conflicting views of one presenter and an 
employee of a company providing a popular search engine was just one of many 

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Call for book reviews (Winter 2018)
By Frank Hopfgartner 

Keeping up with the tradition of book reviews, we again seek reviewers for a 
number of recently published books in the fields of information and data 
science. As always, books will be allocated for review on a 
first-come-first-served basis and you would have about one month to carry out 
the review. If you are interested in reviewing one of these books, please let 
me know which book you are interested in reviewing and we will arrange for a 
copy (paper or online format) to be sent to you along with review guidelines. 
The currently available books (courtesy of Springer Verlag) are:...

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Events ñ Winter 2018
By Andy Macfarlane 

One Day Events

Watch out for our annual Search Solutions event in November!


IUI 2018: 23rd International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces. Of 
interest to members working on interfaces for search. 7-11 March 2018, Tokyo, 

CHIIR 2018: ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and 
Retrieval. Of interest to members working in the area of user interaction with 
search. 11-15 March 2018, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.

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Opportunities for Authors 
If you are an expert in information retrieval or any aspect of search who has 
strong writing skills, we invite you to contribute to Informer. Please send an 
article proposal to us at:
For more information about the BCS IRSG, please go to:

About Informer
Informer is the quarterly newsletter of the BCS Information Retrieval 
Specialist Group (IRSG). Its aim is to provide insights and inspiration to 
researchers and professionals working in all aspects of search and information 
retrieval. Our articles provide accessible and timely coverage of important 
topics, ranging from focused, practical advice, to concise overviews of broader 
topics, and to deeper, research-oriented articles and opinion pieces.

The IRSG is a Specialist Group of BCS. Its mission is to provide a focus for 
the European IR community, facilitate communication between researchers and 
practitioners and promote the adoption of IR research within industry. We host 
a major European conference (ECIR) and provide an associated programme of 
workshops, seminars and events. The IRSG is free to join via the BCS website, 
which provides access to further IR articles, events and resources.

BCS is the industry body for IT professionals. With members in over 100 
countries around the world, BCS is the leading professional and learned society 
in the field of computers and information systems.


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