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Here’s a quick preview of the final programme for Search Solutions 2018. Don’t forget that the deadline for early bird registration is October 31st. Hope to see you there!

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irsgJust a quick reminder that nominations for the 2018 BCS Search Industry Awards close on November 1st. So if you’re thinking of applying, or nominating someone, now is the time to submit your application. Further details below. Hope to see you at the awards ceremony!

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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 2018. 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 28, 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:

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A couple of days ago I published a piece on Medium called “Towards a universal language for search“, in which I talked about how we’ve added Google integration to 2dSearch, thereby allowing a user to apply the same search strategy (or Boolean string) to search multiple databases. Of course, this may not matter much to your ‘average web searcher’, but for some professions, this is a big thing. Now the point isn’t so much about Google (or Bing for the matter), that just happens to be the instance we have used to illustrate the concept. And crucially, the point isn’t about query languages either (in the programmatic sense) – important though they are, converting a user’s information need into a API call is a different problem.

Instead, what we’re contemplating here is the prospect of a universal framework for information needs. 

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BS in, wisdom out

Over the last few weeks I’ve been sharing various ideas about ways in which techniques from the field of data visualisation can be applied to help solve complex search problems, with particular focus on the process of query formulation. In those posts, we’ve discussed the scientific (and, one might argue, commercial) rationale for adopting such techniques in the development of future search strategies.

But what we haven’t really considered thus far is legacy content – in particular, the many archive collections of solutions to common search problems that are stored as curated collections of Boolean strings and search filters. These repositories offer a vital source of inspiration and guidance and play a key role in the propagation of knowledge and best practice for a variety of professions.

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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 September 18. 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 practicals and group exercises.

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 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 a mix of conference reviews, feature articles, news and updates in the world of IR. For further details see the Informer website. Or if you fancy becoming a contributor, get in touch!

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