Information Retrieval Meeting (IRM 2022)

Please note - IRM 2022 postponed: 10th to 11th June 2022

We invite you to discuss current developments and practical experiences with digitalization and automation in information retrieval in our “Information Retrieval Meeting (IRM 2022): Transition into the Digital Age“. The aim is to inspire participants through a mix of lectures and workshops as well as other participatory formats and networking events.


Dear Colleagues,

Digitalization and automation are currently much discussed topics. There is hardly an aspect of life for which a digital solution cannot be identified. Digitalization primarily means that individual processes and tasks are to be digitally supported, while automation means the independent and automatic execution of processes and tasks.

The systematic identification and retrieval of relevant studies and related documents is a pillar of evidence-based medicine (EBM) and thus the basis for systematic reviews and health technology assessment (HTA) reports. High methodological and practical demands are made for information retrieval and the daily work is greatly influenced by electronic data processing and software-based procedures.

The changes in working methods and the associated expectations through increasing digitalization and automation are considerable. The Covid 19 pandemic has accelerated this development, especially with regard to virtual collaboration.

In information retrieval for systematic reviews and HTA reports, information specialists deal with these challenges in very different ways and organizations come up with different solutions. This can involve the use of comprehensive software solutions (e.g. complex systematic review management tools) or merely simple macros or online tools supporting the daily work.

During our meeting, we would like to discuss current developments and practical experiences with digitalization and automation in information retrieval. The aim is to inspire participants through a mix of lectures and workshops as well as other participatory formats and networking events.

We look forward to your contributions and an exciting programme!

It will be a pleasure to welcome you to Cologne on behalf of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care - IQWiG.

Dr. Siw Waffenschmidt
General Chair
Siw Waffenschmidt

Highlights planned so far

  • Presentations on digitalization and automation in information retrieval and management, including presentations from HTA agencies from Germany and abroad.
  • The International Collaboration for the Automation of Systematic Reviews (ICASR) working group will hold its annual meeting within the context of our meeting and participate in discussion panels/activities.
  • Workshops will be held on a wide range of topics.

We look forward to welcoming

information specialists and librarians, as well as all those interested in information retrieval from Germany and abroad.

We look forward to your contributions on automation and digitalization, especially on topics such as:

This refers to the automation of individual working steps up to the complete development of search strategies. Contributors could present, for example, the software applications or (online) tools required.

Screening tools have been used for years to select studies and related documents, sometimes in a prioritized and automated way. Contributors could present current developments and experiences in this field, such as examples of testing the effectiveness of such applications in daily practice.

Approaches to continuously update systematic reviews or guidelines are becoming increasingly important. New methods and technologies are designed to help keep the results of reviews up to date or to provide guidance on when updates are needed.

Established bibliographic databases are increasingly opening up further options for database use through linking and supplementary data processing (such as iCite, “Similar Articles” or "Best Match" functions in PubMed). Contributors could present the features of such options or similar options as well as any related evaluations.

  • A core task of scientific libraries is to make literature available. Contributors could show options, experiences and tools for automating and optimizing workflows for full-text retrieval (e.g. by implementing discovery systems, integrating link resolvers or other tools for fast, uncomplicated access to full texts).
  • In addition, new options, challenges and concepts for publications could be presented (e.g. preprint servers or repositories). In addition, collaboration / support in the area of publishing could be offered.

Contributors could present particular challenges and barriers, such as the selection, purchase, and implementation of applications. Potential negative effects of these measures, such as high costs or data protection concerns, should be considered.

Contributors could describe technical solutions that simplify complex working steps or make them possible in the first place. These could be information on the development of the contributors’ own applications (e.g. macros), the use of software interfaces, or practical presentations of existing tools, such as the automated translation of search strategies.


General Chair: Dr. Siw Waffenschmidt, Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, IQWiG

Programme Committee Members:

- Gerhard Bissels (University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons, Switzerland)
- Maria-Inti Metzendorf (Cochrane Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders Group, Germany)
- René Spijker (Cochrane Nethderlands, The Netherlands)
- Marion Spring (NICE, UK)


Keynote 1: Digital transformation and automation - reports on collaboration between information specialists and IT developers

  • Ashley Elizabeth Muller, Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), Norway
  • Justin Clark, Bond University, Australia
  • Maria-Inti Metzendorf, Cochrane Metabolic and Endocrine Disorder Group, Germany

Keynote 2: Challenges and pitfalls with digitalization and automation

Dr. Margaret Sampson, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Canada


The meeting is currently planned as a face-to-face event in Cologne. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to postpone the meeting to 10th to 11th June 2022. The registration process will also be postponed to March 2022.
However, depending on the developments of the coronavirus pandemic, we explicitly reserve the right to cancel the meeting or to hold it in digital form.

Venue: > KOMED Event Centre, Cologne
KOMED Zentrum für Veranstaltungen im MediaPark Köln

If you have any questions about the event, please do not hesitate to contact us at