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So it turns out my tutorial is now sold out, but there are still a handful of places available for the main event. I believe the deadline for booking tickets is 12:00 GMT today. 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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Here’s a quick preview of the final programme for Search Solutions 2019. Don’t forget that the deadline for early bird registration is October 31st. Hope to see you there!

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Last week I was privileged to present at the London Information and Knowledge Exchange (LIKE) on the topic of “Think outside the search box: a AI-based approach to search strategy formulation“. LIKE are unusual in that their meetings often take place in the evening, accompanied by drinks and dinner. I’d not presented in a pub before, at least not over dinner, and had to work hard to resist the temptation to segue into some sort of ill-advised attempt at stand up comedy. It’s amazing what the combination of a hand held mic and a pint of Young’s pale ale can do…

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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 2019. 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 25, 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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Researchers, information professionals, patent searchers and recruiters all require effective search to perform their duties, often relying on form-based query builders. However, these tools require the use of complex Boolean syntax and offer limited support for error checking or optimization. Moreover, this approach precipitates a number of other issues:

  • Systematic literature review is the cornerstone of evidence-based medicine, but the search strategies used often contain errors
  • Search strategies can be improved and optimised thorough peer-review, but the platforms for this practice are rarely open to public scrutiny
  • Managing search strategies using document-centric tools such as MS Word or PDF introduces errors through unwanted conversion of control characters (e.g. quotation marks and truncation symbols), removal of spaces, addition of line breaks etc.
  • Copy and pasting searches from documents/spreadsheets into search boxes introduces further errors
  • Publishing search strategies as supplementary materials scales poorly and data can become lost over time

So I’m pleased to share the following webinar, which discusses these challenges and offers some solutions. It is presented by Farhad Shokraneh, who is an information specialist in the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group at the University of Nottingham. He is co-author of search chapter in Cochrane Handbook and an invited editor for Systematic Reviews and World Journal of Meta-Analysis. The webinar was kindly hosted by the Knowledge Synthesis Interest Group of the Canadian Health Libraries Association.

Think outside the search box: https://www.2dsearch.com/

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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!

(more…)

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