SIGIR'98 Call for Attendance
SIGIR'98 logo

21st Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on
Research and Development in Information Retrieval

Melbourne, Australia

August 24 - 28, 1998


About the Conference

SIGIR is the premier international conference in Information Retrieval. Now in its 21st year, SIGIR showcases new research and technology in areas such as text retrieval, multimedia database systems, Web technology, and user interfaces. It is attended by representatives of both industry and academia. SIGIR is held annually under the auspices of the Association for Computing Machinery, the main professional body for Computer Science, and is organised by their Special Interest Group in Information Retrieval.

The conference is expected to attract theoreticians, developers, publishers, researchers, and educators; and designers of systems, interfaces, information bases, and related applications. Many of the overseas attendees are also active in other research communities, and there is considerable overlap between SIGIR and the Digital Libraries community, the World-wide Web community, and the Hypermedia community. SIGIR'98 in Melbourne represents a unique opportunity for developers and planners to mingle with the people who are driving these fields at the highest international level.

Steve Kirsch, the head of InfoSeek, is the keynote speaker at SIGIR'98. The five-day event also includes research papers, a poster session, workshops, tutorials, demonstrations of commercial and research software, and several social events, including a tour of the nearby Yarra Valley and a visit to an Australian Rules football match. There will also be a display of IR-related products, including textbooks and research monographs.

The principal venue is the Sofitel Hotel on Collins Street, with some associated events to be held at the Melbourne Town Hall. The conference follows on from highly successful events in Dublin (August 1994), Seattle (July 1995), Zurich (August 1996), and Philadelphia (July 1997). In 1998 the conference is jointly hosted in Australia by the Departments of Computer Science at RMIT University and the University of Melbourne, and represents the first time the conference has been held outside North America and Europe.

About Melbourne

Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, is Australia's second largest city, and has a population of about three million. People have migrated to Melbourne from all over the world, and as a consequence Melbourne offers an enormous range of culinary, entertainment, and sporting options. The state of Victoria is also noted for its diverse scenic attractions. These include many hundreds of kilometres of coastline facing the Southern Ocean, much of it rugged cliffs, but interspersed with beaches of breathtaking beauty; and the rain forests of the southern portion of the great dividing range.

About the Venue

The Sofitel Hotel is located in central Melbourne, and boasts a first-class auditorium that will be used as the principal conference venue. Several of the other events will be held at the nearby Melbourne Town Hall. Hundreds of cafes, bars, and restuarants are within a short walk, as are the arts and entertainment precincts. With large tracts of parks and gardens nearby, Melbourne avoids the "hemmed in" feeling of many major cities.


A program of tutorials will be offered on Monday 24 August. All tutorials are offered on an only-if-demand-warrants basis; and full refunds will be given to attendees who register for tutorials that are subsequently cancelled.

Morning Tutorials

Afternoon Tutorials


A selection of full-day workshops will be held on Friday 28 August.

Other Information

Conference, Tutorial, and Workshop Registration

To register for the conference, complete the on-line registration form and return the required confirmation and payment by fax or mail to the address below. Registration confirmations received after 15 June will automatically be subject to a late penalty of $A100. Off-site registration closes on 12 August; after that date please register in person at the conference. All payments must be made in Australian dollars, and can be made using Visa and Mastercard but not American Express or Diners.

Rough guide (as at 7 June): $A1 approx $US0.62. A full table of conversion rates is available from the conference home page.
Full registration$A590
Member registration $A490
Student registration $A290
Day registration $A200
Late fee (after 15 June) $A100
Tutorials, half-day $A150
Workshops, all-day $A75
Additional dinner tickets $A80
Additional proceedings $A60
Yarra Valley tour $A80
Australian Rules football game $A30

"Full" and "Member" registration includes a copy of the proceedings, attendance at all conference sessions (but not tutorials or workshops), morning and afternoon coffee breaks, the welcoming reception, the conference banquet, and, for first time attendees, the SIGIR newcomer's breakfast.

"Student" registration includes all of these except attendance at the banquet. There are no discounted student rates for any events other than the main conference.

"Day" registration includes attendance at all sessions for a single day of the conference (Tuesday 25th, Wednesday 26th, or Thursday 27th), and morning and afternoon coffee breaks on that day.

The pre- and post-conference excursions, and tutorial and workshop attendance, are additional to the Conference Registration fee for all registration categories. Extra copies of the proceedings and dinner tickets may also be purchased.

"Member Registration" is available to members of ACM, SIGIR, BCS-IRSG, GI, and IPSJ. "Student registration" is available only to full-time students. Proof of entitlement in either category may be requested at the commencement of the conference. (For information on joining ACM or SIGIR, contact ACM by phone at +1-212-626-0500, by fax at +1-212-944-1318, by email at, or see their web page at

If you are now ready to register, here is the On-Line Registration Form

If you cannot access the on-line registration form, email your name and fax number to, and a hardcopy registration form will be sent to you. Please use the on-line form if possible, since it is being used to automatically create the registration records.

Accommodation reservations must be made directly with the hotel of your choice. Here is the accommodation information again in case you missed it earlier.


We are indebted to our various sponsors:

Major sponsor,

Other sponsors,

And the publishers who will be attending the book display on Wednesday 26 August,

Further Information


Alistair Moffat and Justin Zobel,
28 April 1998.