SIGIR'98 Call for Papers

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

Melbourne, Australia

August 24 - 28, 1998


About the Conference

SIGIR'98 is the twenty-first conference in the premier series of research conferences on information retrieval. SIGIR is the major international forum for the presentation of new research results, and for the demonstration of new systems and techniques, in information retrieval. The conference attracts a broad range of professionals including theoreticians, developers, publishers, researchers, educators, and designers of systems, interfaces, information bases, and related applications. In 1998 the conference will be jointly hosted in Australia by the Departments of Computer Science at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the University of Melbourne, and represents the first time the conference has been held outside the United States and Europe.

About Melbourne

Melbourne is one of Australia's major cities, with a population of about three million. Many are migrants, and Melbourne boasts an enormous range of culinary, entertainment, and sporting options. The last week in August is early spring time, and is marked by the beginning of the fever that grips Melbourne each September as the Australian Football finals get underway. Melbourne has direct air links with most major international gateways in Asia, Europe, and the west coast of North America, and most carriers permit stopovers at other destinations in Australia and in the Asia/Pacific region for nominal extra fares.

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. A wide range of accommodation options, from backpacker to five-star, is available in close proximity to these two sites.

Call For Submissions

SIGIR'98 seeks original contributions (that is, not previously published, and not currently being considered for publication elsewhere) in the broad field of information storage and retrieval, covering the handling of all types of information, user behavior in information systems, and theories, models, and implementations of IR systems. We encourage discussions of experimental studies, tests of usability, explorations of IR behavior, reports on the performance of large scale systems, and demonstrations of advanced approaches. We prefer theoretical contributions to have sufficient proof of utility to demonstrate their applicability to information retrieval problems. Similarly, reports on small scale experiments should include convincing arguments or simulations to show their likelihood of generalization.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: Submissions to SIGIR'98 may be research papers, or may be proposals for posters, demonstrations, panels, tutorials, or workshops. Submissions proposing tutorials, workshops, and panel sessions may be by electronic mail to the appropriate Chair. Research paper, poster, and demonstration submissions should be formatted documents, including appropriate bibliographies. All submissions should be in English.

Research Papers

Full research papers (4 copies) of at most 5,000 words should be submitted to the Program Chair responsible for the geographic region of the first author and must be received by the indicated date. The first page should contain the title of the paper and an abstract of not more than 150 words, but no indication as to the authors or their affiliations. A separate cover page should be provided with the title, the author names and affiliations, plus complete contact information (postal, fax, e-mail) for the corresponding author. The cover page should also indicate if the paper is to be considered for the Best Student Paper award. Papers are eligible if the first and primary author is a full-time student at time of submission and will present the paper should it be accepted.

Poster Presentations

Poster presentations offer researchers an opportunity to present work in progress, or research that is best communicated in an interactive or graphical format. Two-page extended abstracts of poster presentations will appear in the conference proceedings, and there will be a Best Poster award. Poster presentations (3 copies) of at most 1,000 words should be submitted to the Posters Chair, and must be received by the indicated date. The first page should contain the title of the poster and an abstract of not more than 100 words, but no indication as to the authors or their affiliations. A separate cover page should be provided with the title, the author names, and the author affiliations, plus complete contact information (postal, fax, e-mail) for the corresponding author. The extended abstract should emphasize the research problem and the methods being used.


Demonstrations provide an opportunity for first-hand experience with information retrieval systems, whether advanced operational systems or research prototypes. Proposals (3 copies) of at most 500 words should be submitted to the Demonstrations Chair. The proposal should indicate how the demonstration will illustrate new ideas, should describe the technical specifications of the system, and should provide appropriate reference to other literature. The hardware, software, and network requirements for the demonstration, including the electrical requirements of the equipment, should be indicated in a separate cover letter. A one-page abstract describing each demonstration will be published in the conference proceedings.


Proposals for panel sessions should be sent to the Program Committee Chair by prospective moderators. Panels should address issues of interest to the general information retrieval community, and should be designed to stimulate lively debate between panelists and audience. Panel proposals (500 to 1,000 words) must include: (1) complete contact information for the moderator; (2) the rationale for addressing this topic as a panel; (3) the names and affiliations of the panel members; and (4) a description of how the panel will be structured, with emphasis on how general participation will be encouraged.


The conference will begin with a full day of tutorials, each of which should cover a single topic in detail. Proposals are solicited for tutorials of either a half day (3 hours plus breaks) or full day (6 hours plus breaks). Submissions must specify (1) the length of the tutorial; (2) the intended audience (introductory, intermediate, advanced); (3) complete contact information for the contact person and other presenters; and (4) brief biographies (maximum 2 paragraphs each) of the presenters. The complete submission should be 1,000 to 1,500 words long, and should include an outline of the tutorial, along with descriptions of the course objectives and course materials.

Workshop Proposals

Proposals are solicited from individuals and groups for one-day workshops to be held on the fifth day of the conference. Submissions (500 to 1,000 words) should be made to the Program Committee Chair. They should include the theme and goal of the workshop, the planned activities, the maximum number of participants and the selection process, and a list of potential participants. Also include a CV for each organizer detailing relevant qualifications and experience. After the workshop, organizers are to provide an article summarizing the workshop for SIGIR Forum.

Important Dates

Today Register your interest by completing the form at
28 January 1998 Research paper submission deadline
28 February 1998 Poster, demonstration, panel, tutorial, and workshop submission deadline
30 March 1998 All notifications
15 May 1998 Final camera-ready copy required for all papers, posters, and demonstrations

Conference Schedule

23 August 1998 Excursion
24 August 1998 Tutorials
25-27 August 1998 Papers, posters, panels and demonstrations
28 August 1998 Workshops

Conference Organisation

Conference Chairs

Alistair Moffat, University of Melbourne,
Justin Zobel, RMIT

Program Committee Chair,
Regional Chair (Asia/Pacific)

Ross Wilkinson,
723 Swanston Street,
Carlton, Victoria 3053,
+61 3 92822610

Regional Chair (Americas)

W. Bruce Croft,
Lederle Graduate Research Center,
Department of Computer Science,
University of Massachusetts,
Amherst, MA 01003-4610,
United States of America.
+1 413 5450463

Regional Chair (Europe)

Keith van Rijsbergen,
Department of Computing Science,
University of Glasgow,
17 Lilybank Gardens,
Glasgow, G12 8RZ,
+44 141 3304463

Posters Chair

Peter Bruza,
School of Information Systems,
Queensland University of Technology,
GPO Box 2434,
Brisbane, Queensland 4001,
+61 7 38642960

Tutorials Chair

James Thom,
Department of Computer Science,
RMIT, GPO Box 2476V,
Melbourne, Victoria 3001,
+61 3 96602246

Demonstrations Chair

Michael Fuller,
Multimedia Database Systems, RMIT,
723 Swanston Street,
Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia
+61 3 92822479

Program Committee

IJsbrand Jan Aalbersberg, Elsevier Science Maristella Agosti, Univ. Padova
James Allan, Univ. Massachusetts Gianni Amati, Fondazione Ugo Bordoni
Ricardo Baeza-Yates, Univ. Chile Michaeline Beaulieu, City Univ.
Nick Belkin, Rutgers Univ. Peter Bruza, Queensland Univ. Tech.
Chris Buckley, Sabir Research James Callan, Univ. Massachusetts
Jaime Carbonell, Carnegie Mellon Univ. Hsinchun Chen, Univ. Arizona
Yves Chiaramella, CLIPS-IMAG Stavros Christodoulakis, Tech. Univ. Crete
W. Bruce Croft, Univ. Massachusetts Susan Dumais, Microsoft
Mark D. Dunlop, Univ. Glasgow Leo Egghe, Limburgs Univ. Centrum
Ed Fox, Virginia Tech. Hans-Peter Frei, Union Bank of Switzerland
Jim French, Univ. Virginia Norbert Fuhr, Univ. Dortmund
Donna Harman, NIST David J. Harper, Robert Gordon Univ.
Marti Hearst, Univ. California, Berkeley Bill Hersh, Oregon Health Sciences Univ.
David Hull, Rank Xerox Research Centre Peter Ingwersen, Royal Sch. Librarianship
Tetsuya Ishikawa, Univ. Lib. Infor. Sc. Kalervo Jarvelin, Univ. Tampere
Haruo Kimoto, NTT Shmuel T. Klein, Bar-Ilan Univ.
C.H.A. Koster, Univ. Nijmegen K.L. Kwok, Queens College, CUNY
Ray Larson, Univ. California, Berkeley Dik L. Lee, Hong Kong Univ. Sc. Tech.
Joon Ho Lee, Soongsil Univ. Mun-Kew Leong, Kent Ridge Digital Labs.
David D. Lewis, AT&T Labs - Research Elizabeth Liddy, Syracuse Univ.
Pier Giorgio Marchetti, European Space Agency Elke Mittendorf, ETH
Alistair Moffat, Univ. Melbourne, Sung H. Myaeng, Chungnam National Univ.
Desai Narasimhalu, National Univ. Singapore Yasushi Ogawa, RICOH Co. Ltd.
Jan Pedersen, Verity C. J. van Rijsbergen, Univ. Glasgow
Stephen E. Robertson, City Univ. Tefko Saracevic, Rutgers Univ.
Peter Schäuble, ETH Alan Smeaton, Dublin City Univ.
Karen Sparck Jones, Univ. Cambridge Craig Stanfill, Ab Initio
Ulrich Thiel, GMD-IPSI Richard Tong, Sageware
Howard Turtle, West Group Ellen Voorhees, NIST
Ross Wilkinson, RMIT and CSIRO Peter Willett, Univ. Sheffield
Yiming Yang, Carnegie Mellon Univ. Justin Zobel, RMIT

Further Information


alistair /,
20 October 1997.