Medical Information Retrieval (MedIR) Workshop

A SIGIR 2016 workshop - Pisa, Italy - July, 21st 2016

Call for Papers (2 & 4 pages)

Submission deadline: May 1

Medical information search refers to methodologies and technologies that seek to improve access to medical information archives via a process of information retrieval (IR). Such information is now potentially accessible from many sources including the general web, social media, journal articles, and hospital records.

Medical information is of interest to a wide variety of users, including patients and their families, researchers, general practitioners and clinicians, and practitioners with specific expertise such as radiologists. Despite the popularity of the medical domain for users of search engines, and current interest in this topic within the information retrieval research community, development of search and access technologies remains particularly challenging. One of the central issues in medical information search is diversity of the users of these services. In particular, they have varying categories of information needs, varying levels of medical knowledge, and varying language skills. In addition, the format, reliability, and quality of biomedical and medical information varies greatly. A single health record can contain clinical notes, technical pathology data, images, and patient-contributed histories, and may be linked by a physician to research papers. The importance of health and medical topics and their impact on people’s everyday lives makes the need for retrieval of accurate and reliable information especially important. Determining the likely reliability of available information is challenging. Finally, as with information retrieval in general, the evaluation of medical search tools is vital and challenging. For example, there are no established or standardized baselines or evaluation metrics, and limited availability of test collections.

This workshop aims to bring together researchers interested in medical information search with the goal of identifying specific research challenges that need to be addressed to advance the state-of-the-art and to foster interdisciplinary collaborations towards the meeting of these challenges. To enable this, we encourage participation from researchers in all fields related to medical information search including mainstream information retrieval, but also natural language processing, multilingual text processing, and medical image analysis.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Users and information needs
  • Semantics and NLP for medical IR
  • Reliability and trust in medical IR
  • Personalised search
  • Evaluation of medical IR
  • Multilingual issues in medical IR
  • Multimedia technologies in medical IR
  • The role of social media in medical IR

Paper Submissions

The workshop is now accepting paper submissions. Papers (4 pages) and short position papers (2 pages) describing approaches or ideas / challenges on the topics of the workshop are invited. Details on the submissions can be found on the website

Important Dates

  • May 16, 2016: Deadline for paper submission (midnight Pacific Daylight Time)
  • June 16, 2016: Notification to authors
  • June 30, 2016: Camera-ready papers due
  • July 21, 2016: Workshop

Student grants are available, please check the registration page for details.