Editorial guidelines


The goal of Not Relevant is to provide a novel dissemination venue for research in information retrieval, particularly when that research does not fit well in existing channels. Not Relevant strives for open dissemination of research, to put that research into the wild quickly, and to foster open and public discussion of that research.

Content criteria

Submissions may be approved by any two members of the editorial board. The primary criterion for acceptance is that the work either

  • offers novel contributions to IR research, in particular those pushing the boundaries of the field, or
  • contains results representing significant and meaningful improvements over the state of the art, or
  • addresses new IR challenges, in particular those for which there is no established evaluation methodology, benchmark, or validated use case, or
  • is something that the greater IR community should know about right now, and thus NR is the right way to disseminate it.

We may very well reject high-quality work, particularly when it appears that more traditional publishing venues would serve. Rejection does not mean a paper is not a good paper, just not appropriate for Not Relevant.

Licensing and copyright

Content on the site is licensed using a Creative Commons Attribution license. This leaves copyright in the hands of the originator but allows us to post and link to it. Contributors accept this license by submitting their work.


We are pleased to accept preprint articles. These may be articles you have had reviewed in another venue (such as a conference or a journal) and would like to make available sooner to the broader IR community. They may also be as-yet-unpublished work which deserves broader dissemination and discussion. Preprints that appear on Not Relevant are not reviewed and should not be considered full publications.

To submit a preprint, submit it to arxiv.org, select the Creative Commons Attribution license option, and submit the arxiv.org link plus the abstract paragraph in the “Submit an article” form linked on the right. One of the editorial board members who approves the submission will compose a short comment and post the link, abstract, and comment to the blog.

Authors should be cautious of simultaneously submitting a paper to Not Relevant and to a conference or journal, as they may consider this grounds for rejection. We recommend asking the chairs or editors of the other venue, but the safest approach may be to wait until after that venue’s review period is complete.

If the submission was reviewed in another venue, we ask that you include the reviews with your submission.

Reviews and surveys

We are also pleased to accept surveys and reviews of books, software, and conferences. These should be prepared and submitted either as plain text or using the same procedure as for preprints.

Technical correspondence (Letters, corrigenda, errata)

We are also pleased to accept technical letters, corrigenda, errata, and other technical correspondence. To our knowledge, this is a form of scientific literature not currently served by the technical publications in the information retrieval community. Such correspondence should be sent to the contact address below, as plain text. Frequent contributors in this area may be invited to become authors on the Not Relevant blog, subject to decision by the editorial board.


Submissions should use the form linked under the “Links” section in the right navbar.

Questions may be sent to isoboroff [at] gmail {dot} com.

You can also follow us on Twitter at @nonrel.

  1. Hany
    August 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm
  1. May 18, 2010 at 10:29 am

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