IAI Research Group Successfully Organizes ECIR'22

The IAI Research Group at the University of Stavanger (UiS) organized the 44th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR'22) in Stavanger, Norway. ECIR'22 holds a significant place in history as the northernmost ECIR ever and marked a milestone as the first major IR conference held in a hybrid format.

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The conference spanned several days, beginning with workshops and tutorials on Sunday, followed by the main conference featuring keynotes, paper presentations, poster sessions, and demos over the course of three days (Monday to Wednesday). The fifth day (Thursday) featured the industry day and the doctoral consortium. Social events included a welcome reception on Sunday evening, a conference banquet on Tuesday, and excursions on Friday after the conference.

The main conference program was rich and diverse, featuring 35 full papers, 29 short papers, 12 demonstration papers, 11 reproducibility papers, 12 doctoral consortium papers, 13 invited CLEF papers, and six selected papers from the 2021 issues of the Information Retrieval Journal. The conference also included keynote talks by esteemed speakers Isabelle Augenstein from the University of Copenhagen, Peter Flach from the University of Bristol, and Ivan Vulić, the recipient of the BCS IRSG Karen Spärck Jones Award from the University of Cambridge. Additionally, ECIR'22 showcased four tutorials, five workshops, a doctoral consortium, and an industry day.

The success of ECIR'22 was evident in the attendance, with a total of 378 participants, including 185 in-person attendees. The conference received positive feedback, reflecting the high level of satisfaction among participants. The opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues after a long break due to the pandemic greatly influenced the conference experience. The value of face-to-face interactions and the dynamics of human connections were particularly noticeable compared to online conferences.

The IAI Research Group recognizes the value of sharing their findings and experiences with the research community and future conference organizers. The hybrid format is likely to persist, and lessons learned from ECIR'22 can serve as a valuable resource for planning and organizing hybrid events. For a participant's experience report, we refer readers to the excellent summary by Aumiller and Almasian [2022].

In conclusion, ECIR'22 organized by the IAI Research Group at UiS achieved remarkable success as a landmark hybrid conference. The conference's unique format, diverse program, and the opportunity for in-person interactions contributed to its overall positive impact on the IR community. The experiences gained from organizing ECIR'22 will undoubtedly shape future endeavors in hosting successful hybrid conferences.

SIGIR Forum article about ECIR is available online, as well as a Flickr photo album.