SIGIR is the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval. The scope of the group's specialty is the theory and application of computers to the acquisition, organization, storage, retrieval and distribution of information; emphasis is placed on working with non-numeric information, ranging from natural language to highly structured data bases.
The group gives out several awards to contributions to the field of information retrieval. The most important award is the Gerard Salton Award (named after the computer scientist Gerard Salton), which is awarded every three years to an individual who has made "significant, sustained and continuing contributions to research in information retrieval". Additionally, SIGIR presents a Best Paper Award  to recognize the highest quality paper at each conference.