The first SIGIR workshop on Information Retrieval and Databases (WIRD'04) has explored research topics where data retrieval meets information retrieval. Special interest of this workshop has been in research and applications focusing on search in intranets in the enterprise setting.
Information retrieval (IR) is associated by many with document retrieval because of its past (and still ongoing) focus on text document retrieval. Database (DB) research is associated with (object-) relational data modelling, SQL, transaction-based processing, and many more aspects of databases. Whereas DB research has been driven for years by structured languages and the idea of data modelling and abstraction, IR focused on measuring retrieval quality for large (mostly text) collections.
Nowadays, multimedia and XML collections are a driving force for the integration of IR and DB approaches. IR yields the methods for relevance-based ranking, while DB research provides methods for dealing with structured, and, increasingly, semi-structured data.
David Hawking, A Panoptic View on Databases, XML and IR (presentation).
Vojkan Mihajlović, Djoerd Hiemstra, Henk Ernst Blok, and Peter M.
G. Apers, An XML-IR-DB Sandwich: Is it Better With an Algebra in
Mayssam Sayyadian, Azadeh Shakery, AnHai Doan, and ChengXiang Zhai,
Toward Entity Retrieval over Structured and Text Data
A write-up of both workshops, including the final group discussion What do we gain (loose) with XML, and IR+DB? will be published in SIGIR Forum.