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Great to see so many old (and new) faces at Search Solutions 2020 last month. A new format for us, being wholly virtual, but I think the change did us good, and in some ways reinvigorated the event. Looking forward to next years event already… In the meantime, here are the slides from my talk ‘Searching Fast and Slow‘. This talk makes the case for a transformation of professional search from a paradigm based on monolithic, static, procedural strings to one based on interactive, declarative, executable objects, with corresponding benefits in transparency, reproducibility and effectiveness. As always, comments and feedback welcome.

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Last week I was honored and privileged to give a talk at EAHIL 2020 (European Association for Health Information and Libraries) on the topic of An open-access platform to design, validate and share search strategies. This is joint work with Farhad Shokraneh of King’s College. Delighted to say our talk generated a number of interesting discussions and follow ups. Our slides are attached below: comments and feedback welcome.

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Last week I was privileged to present to the British Patent Information Professionals group (BPIP) on the subject of visual approaches to patent retrieval. Many thanks to Jeanette Eldridge for making this happen, and a pleasure to renew the acquaintance with Stephen Adams, Jane List and Nathan Pennington. My slides are attached below, comments and feedback welcome. Next step: integration with Google Patents, perhaps?

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Here’s a quick preview of the final programme for Search Solutions 2020.  Hope to see you there (virtually 🙂 )

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It’s been a little while in the making, but I am delighted this week to announce a new release of 2Dsearch. This contains a variety of bug fixes and improvements, notably support for ERIC (Education Resources Information Center).

You can now use 2Dsearch to search visually across 9 different databases and use automated translations for many more. We’ve made various improvements to the canvas user experience, including support for proximity operators and creating nested groups. We also improved the query parsing and now provide in-app links to syntax guides and other support materials.

We’ve lots more planned for the next release, so if you’d like to help shape this and/or have comments of your own then do let us know. We’d be delighted to hear from you!

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 2020. 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 11 articles including conference reviews, feature articles, news and updates from the world of search and information retrieval. Big shout out to colleague Steve Zimmerman for publishing this issue and putting together the flyer below. For further details see the Informer website. If you fancy becoming a contributor, get in touch!

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In the previous video we learnt how to use search suggestions to help us choose effective keywords for our search. In this video, we’ll look at techniques to make those terms more precise.

A key task in developing effective search strategies is choosing the right terms for the various facets of your information need. For example, if you are researching the topic of promoting physical activity to prevent obesity in older people, you might start with a search like this:

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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. This is one of our biggest issues, with 16 articles including conference reviews, feature articles, news and updates in the world of search and information retrieval. Big shout out to my colleague Steve Zimmerman for publishing this issue and putting together the flyer below. For further details see the Informer website. Or if you fancy becoming a contributor, get in touch!

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On Friday I was privileged to present a paper called ‘Towards Explainability in Professional Search‘ at the 3rd International Workshop on ExplainAble Recommendation and Search (EARS 2020), part of SIGIR 2020. This paper was co-presented with my colleague Andy MacFarlane of City University, and represents our collective thoughts and recommendations on how to develop more transparent, reproducible and explainable systems in professional search. Understandably, given our respective geographic locations the presentation was made remotely, and we are thankful for the local attendees who stayed around until 22:00 (local time) for our talk. The slides are available below. We view these recommendations as a conversation starter rather than the last word, so comments & feedback are particularly welcome. The paper itself is available for download from the EARS website.

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