Information Science Trends: Search Engines and Information Retrieval

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Hamburg University of Applied Sciences

Finkenau 35

22081 Hamburg


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The free event focuses on Search Engines and Information Retrieval. Confirmed speakers include Prof. Olof Sundin (Lund University, Sweden), Tom Alby (data scientist at Euler Hermes, Germany) and Prof. Dirk Lewandowski (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany).

Preliminary Program:

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM: Registration

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM: Welcome and opening remarks

10:15 AM - 11:45 AM: Keynote: Prof. Olof Sundin, Lund University, Sweden

Invisible Search in Everyday Life

How can we understand search and search engines in everyday life? In his lecture Sundin will introduce and discuss some key concepts from his new book Invisible Search and Online Search Engines: The Ubiquity of Search in Everyday Life (2019, with Jutta Haider); specifically he will elucidate the notions friction of relevance and infrastructural meaning-making. The lecture broadens a traditional understanding of searching in information science by locating searching squarely in society and as entwined with the conditions of everyday life.

11:45 AM - 12:30 AM: Dirk Lewandowski, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany

A call for fair search engines

Search engines like Google have a massive influence on what information users get to see, and on what search results users select. It has been often lamented that search engines are biased. I, however, argue that we have only scratched the surface because search engine bias is a multifaceted concept and the discussion usually solely focuses on some aspects. Further to giving an overview of the topic, I will show how search engine providers (and regulators) can take steps towards making search fair. Whereas a bias-free search engine is impossible, a fair search is. Here, I will not only focus on the big web search engines but also on how developers and product owners can make their search systems fair.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM: Lunch

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM: Emmy Le, Otto GmbH & Co. KG, Hamburg, Germany

Product Search at

OTTO is one of the largest full-range online retailer in Germany with over 2.9 million products. Thus the internal on-site product search with more than 1 million search queries per day is the most critical feature to make relevant products and information easy to find. Achieving the right balance between business, measuring search quality and user needs can be quite challenging when building an ecommerce search engine. How we at OTTO respond to these challenges will be part of this talk.

02:15 PM - 04:00 PM: Short presentations

Astrid Mager, Institute of Technology Assessment, Vienna, Austria:
Alternative search engines as drivers for social change?

Ingo Knuth, Janina Masuhr, Hochschule für Medien, Kommunikation und Wirtschaft, Berlin, Germany:
Decision Drivers for Search Engine Usage – The Role of the Lock-in Effects

Christiane Behnert, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany:
Influences on the relevance judgment process in academic search systems

Kawa Nazemi, University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt, Germany:
Visual Trend Analytics in Digital Libraries

Sebastian Sünkler, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany:

Trends and Research Challenges in Conversational Search

04:00 PM - 04:30 PM: Coffee Break

4:30 PM - 4:45 PM: ASIS&T presentation: ASIS&T, the European Chapter, the European Student Chapter

04:45 PM - 05:45 PM: Tom Alby, Euler Hermes, Hamburg, Germany

Data Science in Search Engine Development

Machine Learning has been an essential part of large-scale search engine development even before the term "data science" was coined. With the increasing interest in data science and artificial intelligence, the impact of self-learning algorithms on search engine development, relevance and transparency has to be reviewed. In addition, what is the chance for new search engines to succeed without the vast amount of data that has already been collected?

05:45 PM - 06:00 PM: Closing remarks

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Hamburg University of Applied Sciences

Finkenau 35

22081 Hamburg


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