HCIR 2012: Call for Participation

Human-computer Information Retrieval (HCIR) combines research from the fields of human-computer interaction (HCI) and information retrieval (IR), placing an emphasis on human involvement in search activities.

The HCIR Symposium (formerly known as the HCIR Workshop) has run annually since 2007. The event unites academic researchers and industrial practitioners working at the intersection of HCI and IR to develop more sophisticated models, tools, and evaluation metrics to support activities such as interactive information retrieval and exploratory search. It provides an opportunity for attendees to informally share ideas via posters, small group discussions and selected short talks.

The Sixth Symposium on Human-Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval will be held as a two-day event on October 4 and 5, 2012 at IBM Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We are delighted to bring the event back to its birthplace (HCIR 2007 took place at MIT), and even more pleased to announce that our keynote speaker for the symposium this year will be UC Berkeley professor and search user interfaces pioneer Marti Hearst.

Topics for discussion and presentation at the symposium include, but are not limited to:

  • Novel interaction techniques for information retrieval.
  • Modeling and evaluation of interactive information retrieval.
  • Exploratory search and information discovery.
  • Information visualization and visual analytics.
  • Applications of HCI techniques to information retrieval needs in specific domains.
  • Ethnography and user studies relevant to information retrieval and access.
  • Scale and efficiency considerations for interactive information retrieval systems.
  • Relevance feedback and active learning approaches for information retrieval.

Demonstrations of systems and prototypes are particularly welcome.

We are also excited to continue the HCIR Challenge, this year focusing on the problem of people and expertise finding. We are grateful to Mendeley for providing this year’s corpus: a database based on Mendeley’s network of 1.6M+ researchers and 180M+ academic documents. Participants will build systems to enable efficient discovery of experts or expertise for applications such as collaborative research, team building, and competitive analysis.

In addition to the Challenge and a small number of research presentations, we will leave plenty of time for what participants have consistently told us that they find extremely valuable: informal discussions, posters and directed group discussions. Finally, we are extending our previous format to include a few full-length, fully-refereed archival quality papers that will be indexed in the ACM Digital Library.

We have extended the event to a second day to accommodate more presentations (including the full papers), and to leave plenty of time for discussion and for interaction around the poster session.  There will be a reception on Thursday evening.

Please consult the symposium web site,, for full details. But here are some important dates to keep in mind:

  • Deadline to request access to HCIR Challenge corpus: Friday, June 15
  • Submission deadline for position and research papers: Sunday, July 29

This event would not be possible without generous support from industry and academia. This year’s supporters are IBM Research, LinkedIn, Microsoft Research, MIT CSAIL, and Oracle. Microsoft Research is also providing funds for a limited number of student travel awards. Information about these awards is available at

Looking forward to seeing you in October!

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.