Hosting ICTIR

Call for bids to host the ACM SIGIR International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval 2016

The International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval (ICTIR) provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of research related to the foundational aspects of Information Retrieval (IR), including, for example, new or improved models of relevance, ranking, representation, information needs, and evaluation. The need for formal frameworks is universal across the many applications of information retrieval. In addition to the established approaches in IR, the conference encourages the submission of papers that are attempting to define new tasks, develop new search paradigms, or apply methods from related disciplines, such as natural language processing, machine learning, statistics, or quantum mechanics. Large-scale experimental studies are not required for ICTIR papers, although solid evidence (theoretical or empirical) in support of new theories is expected.

ICTIR grew from a series of SIGIR workshops on mathematical and formal methods for IR held during the years 2000 to 2005 and organized by Sándor Dominich, Keith van Rijsbergen, Mounia Lalmas, and Iadh Ounis. In 2007, ICTIR became a full conference founded by Keith and Sándor. Since then, ICTIR has been held biennially in 2007 (Budapest, Hungary), 2009 (Cambridge, U.K.), 2011 (Bertinoro, Italy) and 2013 (Copenhagen, Denmark). ICTIR has been supported by the BCS-IRSG.

In 2014 ICTIR became a fully-sponsored ACM conference with BCS-IRSG maintaining its support. Starting in 2015, ICTIR will be held annually. In September 2015, ICTIR will be hosted by the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval which is in the School of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. See for details. The conference chairs are James Allan and Bruce Croft.

We are now soliciting bids for organizing ICTIR 2016. ICTIR should be held on a different continent than that on which SIGIR takes place. Since SIGIR 2016 is going to be held in Europe, we are looking for bids from non-European locations. ICTIR will take place at the end of September 2016. The conference is expected to be four or five days long: a day for tutorials, three days for the main conference, and an optional day for workshops.

The bidding process is based on two important steps. The first step, which is optional yet highly recommended, is an expression of interest. This statement should include some very basic information (e.g., the organizers and prior experience in organizing conferences, the potential venue, the local support expected for the conference). The goal of the expression of interest, which serves as an informal bid, is to get quick feedback from the ICTIR steering committee with respect to the chances of the formal bid being approved. The deadline for emailing the expression of interest is **Midnight UTC Tuesday July 22nd**.

The second step is the formal bid (mandatory). Deadline: **Midnight UTC Monday September 8th 2014**. Details with regard to the formal bid are provided here: ICTIR2016FormalBid.  Notifications will be sent out by Midnight UTC Monday November 10th, 2014.

The expression of interest and the formal bid should be emailed to Oren Kurland ( We will be happy to answer any questions with regard to potential bids.

Important Dates

  • Expression of interest/informal bid (optional): Midnight UTC Tuesday July 22nd, 2014.
  • Formal bids: Midnight UTC Monday September 8th 2014.
  • Notifications: Midnight UTC Monday November 10th, 2014.

ICTIR Steering Committee

Peter Bruza
Fabio Crestani
Susan Dumais
Jaap Kamps (SIGIR representative)
Oren Kurland (chair)
Birger Larsen
Donald Metzler
Stefan Rueger (BCS-IRSG representative)
Keith van Rijsbergen
ChengXiang Zhai