Call to TREC 2014

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February 2014 - November 2014

Conducted by:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

The Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) workshop series encourages research in information retrieval and related applications by providing a large test collection, uniform scoring procedures, and a forum for organizations interested in comparing their results. Now in its 23rd year, the conference has become the major experimental effort in the field. Participants in the previous TREC conferences have examined a wide variety of retrieval techniques and retrieval environments, including cross-language retrieval, retrieval of web documents, multimedia retrieval, and question answering. Details about TREC can be found at the TREC web site,

You are invited to participate in TREC 2014. TREC 2014 will consist of a set of tasks known as "tracks". Each track focuses on a particular subproblem or variant of the retrieval task as described below. Organizations may choose to participate in any or all of the tracks. Training and test materials are available from NIST for some tracks; other tracks will use special collections that are available from other organizations for a fee.

Dissemination of TREC work and results other than in the (publicly available) conference proceedings is welcomed, but the conditions of participation specifically preclude any advertising claims based on TREC results. All retrieval results submitted to NIST are published in the Proceedings and are archived on the TREC web site. The workshop in November is open only to participating groups that submit retrieval results for at least one track and to selected government invitees.


Schedule: As soon as possible -- submit your application to participate in TREC 2014 as described below.
Submitting an application will add you to the active participants' mailing list. On Feb 26, NIST will announce a new password for the "active participants" portion of the TREC web site.

Beginning March 1
Document disks used in some existing TREC collections distributed to participants who have returned the required forms. Please note that no disks will be shipped before March 1.

Results submission deadline for most tracks. Specific deadlines for each track will be included in the track guidelines, which will be finalized in the spring.

September 30 (estimated)
relevance judgments and individual evaluation scores due back to participants.

Nov 18--21
TREC 2014 conference at NIST in Gaithersburg, Md. USA

Task Description

Below is a brief summary of the tasks. Complete descriptions of tasks performed in previous years are included in the Overview papers in each of the TREC proceedings (in the Publications section of the web site).

The exact definition of the tasks to be performed in each track for TREC 2014 is still being formulated. Track discussion takes place on the track mailing list or wiki. To join a track mailing list, follow the instructions for the track as detailed below. For questions about the track, post your question to the track mailing list once you join.

TREC 2014 will contain eight tracks.

Clinical Decision Support Track

The clinical decision support track investigates techniques for linking medical cases to information relevant for patient care.
Track coordinators:
Matthew S. Simpson, U.S. National Library of Medicine
Ellen Voorhees, NIST
Track Web Page:
Mailing list:

Contextual Suggestion Track

The Contextual Suggestion track investigates search techniques for complex information needs that are highly dependent on context and user interests.
Track coordinators:
Adriel Dean-Hall, University of Waterloo
Charles L A Clarke, University of Waterloo
Jaap Kamps, University of Amsterdam
Paul Thomas, CSIRO
Track Web Page:
Mailing list:
Send a mail message to listproc (at) such that the body consists of the line subscribe trec-context <FirstName> <LastName>

Federated Web Search Track

The Federated Web Search track investigates techniques for the selection and combination of search results from a large number of real on-line web search services.
Track coordinators:
Djoerd Hiemstra, University of Twente
Thomas Demeester, Ghent University-iMinds
Dolf Trieschnigg, University of Twente
Dong Nguyen, University of Twente
Ke Zhou, University of Edinburgh
Track Web Page:
Mailing list:

Knowledge Base Acceleration Track

This track looks to develop techniques to dramatically improve the efficiency of (human) knowledge base curators by having the system suggest modifications/extensions to the KB based on its monitoring of the data streams.
Track coordinators:
John R. Frank, MIT
Max Kleiman-Weiner, MIT
Dan Roberts, MIT
Steve Bauer, MIT Ian Soboroff, NIST
Track Web Page:
Track Mailing List:

Microblog Track

The Microblog track examines the nature of real-time information needs and their satisfaction in the context of microblogging environments such as Twitter.
Track coordinators:
Miles Efron, University of Illinois
Jimmy Lin, University of Maryland
Track Web Page:
Mailing list:

Session Track

The Session track aims to provide the necessary resources in the form of test collections to simulate user interaction and help evaluate the utility of an IR system over a sequence of queries and user interactions, rather than for a single "one-shot" query.
Track coordinators:
Ben Carterette, University of Delaware
Paul Clough, University of Sheffield
Mark Hall, Edge Hill University
Evangelos Kanoulas, Google Zurich
Track Web Page:
Mailing list:
Use the link given on the track web page to join the email list.

Temporal Summarization Track

The goal of the Temporal Summarization track is to develop systems that allow users to efficiently monitor the information associated with an event over time.
Track coordinators:
Javad Aslam, Northeastern University
Fernando Diaz, Microsoft Research
Matthew Ekstrand-Abueg, Northeastern University
Richard McCreadie, University of Glasgow
Virgil Pavlu, Northeastern University
Tetsuya Sakai, Waseda University
Track Web Page:

Web Track

The goal of the Web track is to explore and evaluate Web retrieval technologies that are both effective and reliable.
Track coordinators:
Kevyn Collins-Thompson, University of Michigan
Paul N. Bennett, Microsoft Research
Fernando Diaz, Microsoft Research
Craig Macdonald, University of Glasgow
Track Web Page:
Mailing list:
Send a mail message to listproc (at) such that the body consists of the line subscribe trec-web <FirstName> <LastName>

Conference Format

The conference itself will be used as a forum both for presentation of results (including failure analyses and system comparisons), and for more lengthy system presentations describing retrieval techniques used, experiments run using the data, and other issues of interest to researchers in information retrieval. All groups will be invited to present their results in a joint poster session. Some groups may also be selected to present during plenary talk sessions.

Application Details

Organizations wishing to participate in TREC 2014 should respond to this call for participation by submitting an application. Participants in previous TRECs who wish to participate in TREC 2014 must submit a new application. To apply, submit the online application at

The application system will send an acknowledgement to the email address supplied in the form once it has processed the form.

Any questions about conference participation should be sent to the general TREC email address, trec (at)

The TREC Conference series is sponsored by NIST's
Information Technology Laboratory (ITL)
Information Access Division (IAD)
Retrieval Group
Search the TREC site:

Last updated: Thursday, 10-Apr-2014 14:36:39 EDT
Date created: Monday, December 23, 2013
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