Professor Ruthven leads the Strathclyde Information School Research Group (SISRG). SISRG operates across the boundaries between information and computer sciences and has established an international reputation for research excellence.
Dr. David McMenemy, from the department of Computer & Information Sciences at the University, comments. ‘It was a great honour to nominate Professor Ruthven for award. Since its inception, SISRG has become a popular and respected research team within the international research community. Professor Ruthven has contributed to its success by developing extensive national and international collaborations. His personal research is focused on the human experience of interacting with information, particularly on finding information. This involves understanding how people approach the task of seeking information, designing appropriate interactive search systems, and developing human-focused approaches for evaluating information systems.’
Professor Ruthven met the award criteria in several categories, primarily the advancement of our understanding of information retrieval methods, experimentation and evaluation, at either the theoretical or the practical level; the provision of leadership in education, training, community development and/or collaboration to advance information retrieval at local, national or international level and the development and management of systems, networks or services.
The international support for Professor Ruthven’s nomination has been overwhelming.
Professor Nick Belkin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Department of Library and Information Science, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University said, ‘I believe that he is an exemplary recipient of this award. Professor Ruthven’s research on information need, interactive information searching behaviour, the design of interactive information retrieval (IR) systems, and evaluation of interactive information retrieval has been groundbreaking and fundamental.’
Professor Pia Borlund Oslo Metropolitan University, and recipient of the 2018 Tony Kent Strix Award, concurs, ‘Within the research community, nationally and internationally, Professor Ruthven is recognised for his high quality analytical and practical research. He is driven by a strong devotion to users with the purpose to optimise and support people’s information searching and access to information.’
Professor Fabio Crestani, Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), praised Professor Ruthven’s non-academic achievements. ‘He has provided so much encouragement and support to colleagues and students across the information science sector. He has helped the community grow and strengthen. In this perspective alone, nobody is more deserving this award than Ian.’
Mark Sanderson, Professor of Information Retrieval School of Science, RMIT University described him as ‘a researcher of the highest calibre in information retrieval,’ who has made ‘significant contributions to the discipline across two decades.’
Professor Emeritus Peter Ingwersen, Department of Communication, Copenhagen University, applauded the impact, originality and innovative nature of Ian’s comprehensive research portfolio. ‘He is one of the few academics originating in computer science who has succeeded in bridging the gap between computer science and information science but also the social sciences.’
UKeiG Chair David Ball comments, ‘The nominations this year were excellent, and the judging panel would like to thank everybody who submitted for their interest in this prestigious international award. There was unanimous agreement that Professor Ruthven’s research has enormous potential for improving the quality of search and end-user satisfaction. His research on marginalised groups was particularly interesting. Information poverty, refugee integration, homeless people and young first-time mothers asking for information and support online, for example.’
Professor Ruthven is delighted by the accolade. ‘Thank you all for the 2020 Strix award, I am very honoured indeed. Many of the previous recipients have been inspirations to my research and some very close personal colleagues. Keith van Rijsbergen was one of my PhD supervisors and I remember how touched he was to receive this award in 2004. Now I know how he felt. I look forward to being able to deliver the Strix Memorial lecture next year.’
The Tony Kent Strix Award was inaugurated in 1998 by the Institute of Information Scientists. It is now presented by UKeiG in partnership with the International Society for Knowledge Organisation UK (ISKO UK), the Royal Society of Chemistry Chemical Information and Computer Applications Group (RSC CICAG) and the British ComputerSociety Information Retrieval Specialist Group (BCS IRSG).
The Award is given in recognition of an outstanding practical innovation or achievement in the field of information retrieval.