There is a substantial body of research on computer methods for managing collections of images and videos. There is little evidence that this research has had important impact on an any community yet. I use an invitation to speak on a topic on which I am not expert to air some opinions about evaluating image retrieval research. In my opinion, there is little to be gained in measuring current solutions with reference collections, because these solutions differ so widely from user needs that the exercise becomes empty. The user studies literature is not well enough read by the image retrieval community. As a result, we tend to study somewhat artificial problems. A study of the user needs literature suggests that we will need to solve deep problems to produce useful solutions to image retrieval problems, but that there may be a need for a number of technologies that can be built in practice. I believe we should concentrate on these issues, rather than on measuring the performance of current systems.