Exploring Information Retrieval is a series of nine lectures providing an introduction to the Information Retrieval and an up- to-date overview of its fundamental concepts, techniques and applications. With this programme of talks ISKO UK and Information Retrieval Specialist Group - British Computer Society (IRSG BCS) aim to emphasise the central role of IR in all aspects of information work. Speakers include university lecturers, textbook authors, researchers, all renowned experts in the field of Information Retrieval.

Organized by: ISKO UK & IRSG BCS. Programme chairs: Martin White & Aida Slavic.


February & March 2022, every Thursday, online via Zoom

Who will benefit?

Information professionals who would like to gain or refresh their knowledge of IR as well as students and researchers of any discipline where Information Retrieval plays a significant role.

Events costs

  • ISKO and BCS members Free. Join ISKO UK or BCS
  • Non-members £10 per lecture


03 Feb 2022

IR Models: from theory to practice

Andrew MacFarlane

Overview of Boolean and Ranking models and current developments in the field.


10 Feb 2022

The role of AI in search application

Martin White

Potential value of AI in enhancing search performance, the challenges of defining and managing AI applications and a discussion about the importance of Explainable AI.


17 Feb 2022

Evaluating search performance

Ingo Frommholz

Introduction to IR evaluation including the Cranfield Paradigm and typical evaluation measures such as Recall, Precision, Normalized Discounted Cumulative Gain (NDCG) metric, and P@X.


03 Mar 2022

User-centred design of search applications

Tony Russell-Rose

Principles and practices of user-centred design, key dimensions of the search experience and user experience (UX) design patterns and resources.


09 Mar 2022

Using Google's family of databases

Karen Blakeman

Scope, value and challenges of the range of search applications offered by Google.


10 Mar 2022

Paths to discovery: metadata and findability

Judi Vernau

Metadata as a tool in improving IR.


17 Mar 2022

Is search better with metadata?: a real life experience

Marjorie Hlava

Practical issues, examples of searching, the uses of controlled vocabularies and metadata filters in creating a better search experience from the point of view of an implementor of such systems.


24 Mar 2022

Information seeking behaviour

Ian Ruthven

Introduction to the general area of Information Seeking Behaviour, main approaches to investigating Information Seeking and how it can support the design of new systems and processes to help people access information more successfully.


31 Mar 2022

Linked Data and information discovery: from data infrastructure to practical applications

Eero Hyvönen

Fundamental ideas of linked Data and Semantic Web. Shift from data aggregation and search/exploration systems to systems supporting research with data analytic tools, and to automatic knowledge discovery and Artificial Intelligence.


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