“Recommendation” is the most popular term at the SIGIR 2020 conference — what does that mean for the RecSys community?

SIGIR 2020 is the premier venue for research in the field of Information Retrieval. I am typically on the program committee at SIGIR. Recently, i.e. since 2 years or so, I had the feeling that submissions relating to recommender systems strongly increased at SIGIR, especially this year.

My impression seems to be confirmed today: According to Luis A. Leiva, “recommendation” is among the most common term across the industry, long paper, short paper, and TOIS papers at SIGIR 2020. Looking at “all” papers, the term is even clearly the most common term, far ahead of “Search” and “Learning”.

https://twitter.com/luileito/status/1287670587045928962/photo/1

It would be interesting to see how this has evolved over the recent years. If you have information on the most common terms from previous SIGIR conferences, please feel free to post it in the comments.

It is also notable that the interest in “information retrieval” continuously decreases over the years, at least according to Google Trends. In contrast, the interest in “recommender systems” remains stable (at a low level), and looking at other indicators like the number of participants at the RecSys conference, the interest in recommender systems even strongly increases.

I wonder what will happen if this trend continues. So far, premier research in recommender systems was normally presented at the ACM recommender system conference. However, SIGIR generally is considered more prestigious (A*) than the ACM RecSys conference (B), which is maybe the reason why so many people now submit to SIGIR. If the trend continues, this might dilute the quality of submissions to the ACM RecSys Conference.

Or is it time for a Joint ACM Conference on Information Retrieval and Recommender Systems?

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