irsgJust a heads up that nominations for the inaugural IRSG Search Industry Awards close on November 1st. So if you’re thinking of applying, or nominating someone, now is the time to act. Further details below. Hope to see you at the awards ceremony!

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In case you missed it last time (since it filled up pretty quickly), there’s another chance to catch my full-day designing search tutorial in London on October 12. I’ll be presenting a full day course called Search Usability: Filters and Facets, which focuses on faceted search and provides deeper coverage of the key topics along with a variety of new practicals and group exercises.

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

Hope to see you there!

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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 2016. 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. In contrast to other major industry events, Search Solutions aims to be highly interactive, with attendance strictly limited. The programme includes presentations, panels and keynote talks by influential industry leaders on novel and emerging applications in search and information retrieval.

As last year we’ll be preceding the event with a tutorials day on November 29, which will offer conference attendees and local participants a stimulating and informative selection of practical training courses reflecting current topics and state-of-the-art methods in search and information retrieval. More on that later! Meanwhile, here is the provisional programme thus far:

IRSG logoJust in case you missed it, here are details of the latest issue of Informer, which came out on this week. As usual, lots of good stuff, with news of the IRSG Search Industry Awards this time. For further details see the Informer website. Or if you fancy becoming a contributor, get in touch!

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irsgI know the official publicity may not have reached your inbox just yet, but here’s a sneak peek at something we’ve been working on in the IRSG that I’m really excited about: the IRSG Search Industry Awards. As you may know, for many years the IRSG has awarded prizes to its members in various forms, e.g. the Karen Sparck Jones award, best paper at ECIR, etc. These awards help create a sense of community and provide recognition to individual members for their work.

However, the current awards programme is aimed almost exclusively at researchers, with little recognition given to practitioner contributions. This is despite the fact that the BCS as a whole is primarily a professional organisation and the majority of IRSG members are practitioners. The IRSG Search Industry Awards aim to address this disparity.

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After a brief hiatus, I’m pleased to say that we will shortly be relaunching the London Text Analytics meetup. As many of you know, in the recent past we have organized some relatively large and ambitious events at a variety of locations. But we have struggled to find a regular venue, and as a result have had difficulty in maintaining a scheduled programme of events.

What we really need is a venue we can use on a more regular schedule, ideally on an ex-gratia basis. It doesn’t have to be huge – in fact; a programme of smaller (but more frequent) meetups is in many ways preferable to a handful of big gatherings.

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Last week I had the pleasure of presenting the keynote talk at the Supporting Discovery of Archival Collections: Challenges and Opportunities workshop, held at Wellcome Trust in London. The day was a thoroughly enjoyable mix of presentations and discussions and I learned a great deal. Many thanks to Paul Clough and his fellow organizers Paula Goodale (Sheffield University), Chris Hilton (Wellcome Trust), Sarah Higgins (Aberystwyth University) and Pauline Rafferty (Aberystwyth University). There are plans to produce a paper summarising the workshop findings which I very much look forward to seeing. In the meantime, the slides from my own talk are appended below, titled “Designing the Search Experience: The Language of Discovery”.

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