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On Wednesday last week I had the honour of co-chairing the 16th Search Solutions conference, hosted online. As before, the event included presentations, panels and keynote talks by influential industry leaders on novel and emerging applications in search and information retrieval. And in keeping with previous events, we were delighted to be able to announce the winners of this year’s BCS Search Industry Awards. In a special session held at the close of Search Solution 2021, it was my honour to announce the winners for the following categories:

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I know the official publicity may not have reached your inbox just yet, but here’s a sneak peek at this year’s lineup for Search Solutions 2021. For those unfamiliar with the event, it is described as:

… the premier UK forum for presentation of the latest innovations in search and information retrieval.  The programme includes presentations, panels and keynote talks by influential industry leaders on novel and emerging applications in search and information retrieval.

Here is the provisional programme thus far:

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In case you missed it, here are details of the latest issue of Informer, which just came out this week. This is again one of our bigger issues, with around a dozen articles including conference reviews, feature articles, news and updates from the world of search and information retrieval. This one features extended coverage of Search Solutions 2021 and a variety of upcoming events and news items. For further details see the Informer website. If you fancy becoming a contributor, get in touch!

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irsg

We are delighted to announce this year’s Search Industry Awards, celebrating the best search innovations of 2021. Presented by the Information Retrieval Specialist Group of the BCS, these awards recognize people, projects, and organizations 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 application today.

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In this short video we learn how to automatically translate search strategies to the syntax of different databases.

Let’s start with a simple search strategy that finds documents on the use of exercise to prevent obesity in older people:

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I’m delighted to report that our paper ‘Interactive query expansion for professional search applications‘ has just been published in the journal Business Information Review. It’s been a long time in the making, primarily as the work was completed over an extended period of time involving many iterations, not all of which were successful (in the product development sense). But it does represent a concise summary of our work in investigating knowledge-based and distributional (word embedding) approaches to the generation of interactive query suggestions for professional search (which, I should point out, poses a qualitatively different and greater challenge than query suggestions for traditional keyword/web search). In fact, this paper represents an abridged version of the full results, since for reasons of space we were obliged to omit certain techniques that were less successful. For full details of those, please refer to our pre-print on arXiv.

Anyway, feedback so far has been very informative. Keep it coming in! New release coming soon, so happy to accommodate thoughts & suggestions. Abstract appended below.

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IRSG logo

In case you missed it, here are details of the latest issue of Informer, which just came out this week. This is again one of our bigger issues, with over a dozen articles including conference reviews, feature articles, news and updates from the world of search and information retrieval. This one features extended coverage of the IRSG’s awards programme and a variety of upcoming events and news items. For further details see the Informer website. If you fancy becoming a contributor, get in touch!

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On Wednesday next week (14th July) I’ll be presenting a half day course called Search Usability, courtesy of CILIP and the UKeIG in particular. This course is new in two ways:

I did give some thought to the title. In particular, I’m aware that the term ‘usability’ has fallen out of favour in recent years, partly due to its connotations (in my view) as being a ‘nice to have’ feature or attribute. Instead, I prefer to frame UX in terms of ‘fitness for purpose’ or simply ‘good design’ – few would argue that those criteria are essential to any successful product or service. Moreover, they are central to the design of effective search experiences, and that’s what this course is all about.

I did also consider ‘Designing the Search Experience’, but I’ve rather beaten that title into submission in recent years, and besides, the course includes insights from UX research as well as UX design, so if you take it too literally you may incorrectly conclude that the course is aimed exclusively at designers (or individuals with such aspirations). Maybe I’m over-thinking this, but ‘Search Usability’, although it’s a bit 1990s, feels more inclusive.

Since this is only the second presentation of this particular course, its likely that we will need some flexibility in approach and content. For that reason I have included a few extra activities which I don’t expect to need on the day, but they are there just in case.

A final update: the previous presentation of this course sold out, so we said we’d do another one later in the year. As far as I’m aware, at the time of writing this there are still a few places available.

For further details and registration, see the UKeIG event page. In the meantime, I’ve appended further details below.

Hope to see you there!

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irsg

We are delighted to announce this year’s Search Industry Awards, celebrating the best search innovations of 2021. Presented by the Information Retrieval Specialist Group of the BCS, these awards recognize people, projects, and organizations 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 application today.

Continue Reading »

IRSG logo

In case you missed it, here are details of the latest issue of Informer, which just came out this week. This is again one of our bigger issues, with 15 articles including conference reviews, feature articles, news and updates from the world of search and information retrieval. This one features an extended review of the many faces of ECIR 2021 and a first announcement of the upcoming Search Industry Awards program for 2021. For further details see the Informer website. If you fancy becoming a contributor, get in touch!

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