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Submitting Research Papers


Research papers submitted to SIGIR must consist of original contributions (that is, not previously published and not currently being considered for publication elsewhere) and must contain a clear statement of the problem addressed and the context in which it arises. Papers must also contain appropriate references to prior work and must indicate what contribution the work makes to the primary field of Information Retrieval. 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. Papers must be submitted electronically, via the submission web page.

We can accept papers in either PDF or Postscript. It is the responsibility of authors to ensure that their papers use no unusual format features and are printable on a standard Postscript printer. PDF or Postscript submissions must arrive by January 31, 2003. Hardcopy or electronic copy in other formats will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.

Content guidelines

Although SIGIR has a long tradition of accepting quantitative, empirical studies of algorithms and systems, papers that focus on methodological issues, theoretical questions, system design and implementation, and other aspects of information retrieval are also welcome. In the case of empirical studies, papers should justify the data collection and analysis methods, should use appropriate statistical methods, and should indicate the significance of the conclusions for practice or research in Information Retrieval. Methodology papers should describe a novel method for the design or evaluation of an Information Retrieval system. The method might be intended for use in research or system development, but in either case methodology papers must indicate the utility of the method to those working in the field of Information Retrieval. Theory papers should describe principles, concepts or models on which work in Information Retrieval could be based. Theory papers must relate the proposed ideas to the existing literature in Information Retrieval and show how the proposed ideas enhance understanding of the core problems in Information Retrieval. Systems papers should describe the software and technology associated with a system for Information Retrieval. Systems papers must indicate to what extent the system has been implemented and evaluated, and should clearly describe how the systems architecture and behavior support novel ways for users to access stored information. All papers will be reviewed with respect to overall quality of presentation, and potential for future impact on the field of Information Retrieval.


LaTeX and Word templates for SIGIR submissions are available from the ACM Website. The first page must contain the title of the paper, an abstract of not more than 150 words, and up to 2 topic areas. No page in the paper, including the first page, should identify the authors or their affiliations. (The purpose of omitting author names and affiliations is to facilitate blind reviewing.) Where it is reasonable to do so, authors should conceal their identity, by, for example omitting acknowledgements in the submitted version of the paper, and refraining from phrases such as "In our earlier work [cite author-name]". Authors are, of course, free to cite their work when required but should attempt to not make it too obvious that the cited work is their own. Papers should contain at most 5000 words, should have wide margins, and font sizes must be 9 point or greater. The final version of the paper will have to fit within 8 double-column pages in the standard SIGIR format, including all figures and bibliography, so plan accordingly. Papers that are clearly longer than the limit of 5,000 words will be rejected immediately. All correspondence with authors will be through email.

All research paper submissions must include a set of ACM Computing Reviews categories and keywords that describe the contents of the paper. These categories and keywords must appear after the Abstract and before the Introduction. Information about selecting and formatting categories and keywords can be found in ACM Web pages on how to use the computing classification system and in the LaTeX and Word templates.

Student papers

Authors whose papers are eligible and wish to be considered for the Best Student Paper Award must state their eligibility on the submission page. This Award requires that the first and primary author be a student at time of submission, that he or she is responsible for much of the work, and that he or she will present the paper should it be accepted.