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ACM SIGIR Workshop on Health Search and Discovery: Helping Users and Advancing Medicine

August 1, 2013 – Dublin, Ireland


This workshop brings together researchers and practitioners from industry and academia to discuss search and discovery in the medical domain. The event focuses on ways to make medical and health information more accessible to laypeople (including enhancements to ranking algorithms and search interfaces), and how we can discover new medical facts and phenomena from information sought online, as evidenced in query streams and other sources such as social media. This domain also offers many opportunities for applications that monitor and improve quality of life of those affected by medical conditions, by providing tools to support their health-related information behavior.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Predictive analysis from large-scale data such as log data, microblogs, and other social media;
  • Mining large-scale content (e.g., logs, Web crawls) for insights and links between conditions, drugs, cohorts;
  • Establishing the reliability of health content;
  • Diagnostic search by patients and health practitioners, and its cognitive impact;
  • Modeling the effect of domain expertise on health seeking;
  • Query formulation for medical retrieval (including query expansion, UMLS, concept-hierarchies);
  • Visualization and exploration of medical information;
  • Privacy issues on the storage and retrieval of medical content;
  • Personalization of short- and long-term health interests;
  • Platforms for storing and maintaining health and fitness information (e.g., HealthVault), and;
  • Social networks for sharing and monitoring health-related content (e.g., PatientsLikeMe).

Our workshop description provides more background and motivation.

Submission Information

We solicit short, poster-length submissions of at most four pages in the ACM two-column proceedings format. Papers will be reviewed by workshop organizers or an external committee. Submissions should be in PDF format. All accepted submissions will be presented as posters, and a subset of them may be considered for oral presentation. Submissions reporting work in progress are acceptable, as we aim for the workshop to offer a venue for stimulating discussions.

Please submit PDF versions of papers using our EasyChair site.

Keynote Speakers

We are delighted to announce the following keynote speakers for our workshop:

Important Dates

Submissions due: June 10, 2013 (CLOSED)
Notifcations: July 1, 2013 (SENT)
Final versions: July 8, 2013 (RECEIVED)
Workshop: August 1, 2013

Program Committee

Steven Crain, Oberlin College
Nick Craswell, Microsoft
Munmun De Choudhury, Microsoft Research
Dina Demner-Fushman, NLM
Noémie Elhadad, Columbia University
Luis Fernandez-Luque, Norut IT
Rave Harpaz, Stanford University
Gary Marchionini, UNC Chapel Hill
Dan Pelleg, Yahoo! Research
Andrew Post, Emory University
Joel Saltz, Emory University
Nicholas Tatonetti, Columbia University
Andrew Turpin, RMIT
ChengXiang Zhai, UIUC


Ryen White, Microsoft Research
Elad Yom-Tov, Microsoft Research
Eric Horvitz, Microsoft Research
Eugene Agichtein, Emory University
Bill Hersh, Oregon Health & Science University