26th June 2008
15:00 - 19:00

University College London
Roberts Building G06, Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre, Engineering Faculty

The Agenda for Information Retrieval event was organized in conjuction with the School of Library Archives and Information Studies at UCL, and was attended by 91 participants.

Three eminent speakers: Brian Vickery, Stephen Robertson and Ian Rowlands, addressed issues that have been on the information retrieval agenda from the 1950s to the era of Google. The talks were followed by a lively and stimulating discussion chaired by Stella Dextre-Clarke.

We are grateful to Conrad Taylor, co-ordinator of the BCS KIDMM (Knowledge, Information, Data and Metadata Management) community, for recording and photographing the event.

Brian Vickery
[PDF] [MP3]
Issues in information retrieval

Brian Vickery took a look back at the development of information retrieval, and some of the problems it has faced. A chemist at the start of his career, Brian Vickery has had enormous influence on knowledge organization since 1952, as one of the founder members of the Classification Research Group. He served also at the (then) National Lending Library in Boston Spa, the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, and from 1966 to 1973 as Research Director of Aslib. This post was followed by ten years as Director of the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies at University College London. Despite his formal retirement in 1983, Brian has continued working actively in the information field ever since.

Stephen Robertson
[PDF] [MP3]
The state of information retrieval:  a researcher's view

For the last ten years Stephen Robertson has been a researcher at the Microsoft Research Laboratory. He previously spent twenty years at City University, where he started the Centre for Interactive Systems Research and still retains a part-time professorship. His work on probabilistic theory underpins the algorithms behind every serious search engine today. In his talk, he gave a non-technical overview of some current concerns of core IR research, in particular on the use of different kinds of evidence in searching and ranking. He is a Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge; he won the Tony Kent Strix Award in 1998 and the Gerard Salton Award in 2000.

Ian Rowlands
Google generation: issues in information literacy

Ian Rowlands, senior lecturer at SLAIS, UCL, and a member of its CIBER research group is the author of the recently published report on searching behaviour of the �Google generation', commissioned by JISC and the British Library. Ian focused on the issues from the perspective of the user and presented some findings related to the users' information behaviour that disperse the myth of so called 'Google generation'.