The Text REtrieval Conference (TREC), co-sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and U.S. Department of Defense, was started in 1992 as part of the TIPSTER Text program. Its purpose was to support research within the information retrieval community by providing the infrastructure necessary for large-scale evaluation of text retrieval methodologies. In particular, the TREC workshop series has the following goals:
to encourage research in information retrieval based on large test collections;
to increase communication among industry, academia, and government by creating an open forum for the exchange of research ideas;
to speed the transfer of technology from research labs into commercial products by demonstrating substantial improvements in retrieval methodologies on real-world problems; and
to increase the availability of appropriate evaluation techniques for use by industry and academia, including development of new evaluation techniques more applicable to current systems.