Prof. Maayan Zhitomirsky-Geffet

Associate Professor
502/4, Room 14
Reception Hours
By Appointment

Work Experience

2020 - present: Associate Professor, Information Science Department

2016-2020: Senior Lecturer, Bar-Ilan University, Information Science Department

2006-2016: Lecturer, Bar-Ilan University, Information Science Department



Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Computer Science Dept. Bar-Ilan University, 2006.
Research project in the area of Semantic Information Retrieval, funded by the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
Supervisor: Prof. Ido Dagan.

Ph.D., Computer Science in the area of Computational Linguistics and Statistical Natural Language Processing, The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, 2006. 
Thesis: Refining the Distributional Similarity Scheme for Lexical Entailment
Prof. Ido Dagan, Computer Science Department, Bar-Ilan University,
Prof. Dror G. Feitelson, School of Computer Science and Engineering, The Hebrew University

M.Sc., Computer Science in the area of Information Retrieval, The Hebrew University in Jerusalem (Magna Cum Laude), 2000.
Thesis: Automatic Hierarchical Indexing and Document Classification
Supervisor: Prof. Dror G. Feitelson, School of Computer Science and Engineering, The Hebrew University

B.Sc., Computer Science, BA- Linguistics - Magna Cum Laude, The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, 1998.

Referee for:
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Journal of Engineering and Computer Innovation
Information Technology Research Journal
Coling Internation Conference for Computational Linguistics


Contact Information

Ben-Shalom, 14

Personal Information

Marital Status: Married to Benjamin and mother to Elhanan Shmuel, Yael, Rachel and Noam Yosef
Languages: Hebrew, Russian, English.



The ethical data-driven research lab

Maayan Zhitomirsky-Geffet received her PhD in natural language processing from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2006). In the past decade, she has been leading the field of ethical data-driven research in the Department of Information Science at Bar Ilan University. Dr. Zhitomirsky-Geffet has developed the ethical approach to representing, organizing and analyzing information based on multi-viewpoint ontologies. Her research deals with the development of ethical ontological models that serve as a tool for identifying and analyzing opinions and assessing biases in large textual corpora. The ethical approach may help identify various types of biases in the data (e.g. cultural, gender-oriented, religious, political, temporal, and more) in various domains (e.g., art, historical literature, politics, labor market, online personal branding, communication, academic promotion and influence, education) and balancing them by increasing the diversity of voices in knowledge representation and harmonization of different perspectives.

According to this approach, artificial intelligence algorithms will present the user with relevant information based on the "related yet different or complementary information" relevance criterion that allows for diversity, inclusion and balance rather than on the criterion of similarity to the previous content in which a user was engaged. That is, retrieval and personalization of information will be done on the basis of relevance defined as information that is “related yet different” in order to broaden the horizons of the user in the subject of his interest rather than narrowing his vision and views. This approach can neutralize the “rich getting richer” effect on the web that causes distortions and biases in the ranking of information importance by algorithms and ultimately also by humans who are exposed to these automatic rankings directly or indirectly. This ethical and inclusive approach to the organization and retrieval of information aims to prevent the spread and increase of the influence of hate content and fake news on the Internet, and thus also to prevent social polarization and even harm to democracy and civil war. Dr. Zhitomirsky-Geffet's laboratory also investigates other aspects of ethics in the use of technology, such as the application of multi-viewpoint ontological models for quantitative analysis (remote reading) of corpora in the humanities and social sciences, online user privacy and addiction to information technology.

Prof. Zhitomirsky-Geffet is a research partner in the European Time Machine Project, with the aim of building a multi-viewpoint ontology for Jerusalem and other multicultural cities, in the Jerusalem National Knowledge Center of the Ministry of Science, and in the European CSI-COP Project “citizen scientists investigating trackers on the web”. She also serves as a chair of the ethics committee of the Humanities and Jewish studies faculties in Bar-Ilan University.

Graduate students

Masters students:

Yigal Maman, 2013

Real-estate ontology construction for market trend detection and user behavior analysis on the Israeli real-estate web sites

Yossi Daya, 2014

Extracting sub-topics and re-ranking search engine’s query results using social bookmarking and social tagging systems

Yair Bratspiess, 2014

Professional information disclosure on social networks and their effectiveness for finding a job: the case of Facebook and LinkedIn in Israel

Hodaya Uzan, 2014

Utilizing posts from public Facebook profiles and political pages to automatically predict the political stance of their authors (with Prof. Moshe Koppel and Dr. Ester David),

Orna Bloch, 2015

Improving proverb search and retrieval with a generic multidimensional ontology (with Dr. Gila Prebor)

Maya Blau, 2016

Cross-generational analysis of predictive factors of addictive behavior in smartphone usage

Haim Mograbi, 2016

Development of a methodology for guided construction of ontology by domain experts and information scientists: the case of pests in agriculture

Avital Zadok, 2016

Risk analysis and prediction in welfare institutions using a dedicated expert system

Maor Weinberger, 2016

User online anonymity awareness among students (with Prof. Dan Bouhnik)

Golan Avidan, 2019

Modelling multi-viewpoint and multi-theory ontologies

Avraham Weic, 2019

Sectorial differences in job-hunting perceptions and behavior in social networks in Israel

Shir Hillel, 2019

Towards a wider perspective in the social sciences using a network of variables based on thousands of results (with Dr. Ofer Bergman)

Omri Suissa, 2019

A neural network approach for generating a training corpus for OCR post-processing error correction for historical newspaper corpus (with Dr. Avshalom Elmalech)

Shai Shlomo Eistein, 2019

Browser search hijackers (with Prof. Dan Bouhnik)

Sarah Minster, 2021

Biases in digital culture collections - developing a new approach for automatic evaluation based on Wikidata

Gal Oz, 2022

The discourse changes on Facebook of politicians in Israel during the four consecutive election campaigns in the years 2019-2021 (with Dr. Avshalom Elmalech and in collaboration with Dr. Jonathan Schler)


Doctoral students:

Maor Weinberger, 2021

Developing a model for assessing and predicting academic influence based on the citation graph structure

Avital Tzadok, 2022

Automatic construction and comparative analysis of networks between the Jewish sages in the texts of Mishnah and Tosefta (in collaboration with Dr. Binyamin Katzoff)

Omri Suissa, 2022

Developing deep neural network models to answer natural language questions on a large genealogical corpus (joint guidance with Dr. Avshalom Elmalech)

Nati Ben Gigi, 2024

Automatic construction and analysis of local and global citation networks in the Jewish responsa literature using machine learning methods (joint guidance with Dr. Jonathan Schler and in collaboration with Dr. Binyamin Katzoff)

Efrat Miller, 2024

Building a multi-viewpoint ontology as a tool for analyzing differences between countries in UN speeches over time (joint guidance with Dr. Mor Mitteraney as part of the ISF-funded Talking States project)

    Sara Minster, 2024

Semi-automatic classification of multi-viewpoint texts based on diverse similarity and Wikidata as a multi-viewpoint ontology


Course no. 35-728: Introduction to Databases

Course no. 35-730: Web Site Construction in HTML and CSS

Course no. 35-746: Seminar on Semantic Web Technologies

Course no. 35-867: Programming in C# 

Course no. 35-879: Introduction to the Semantic Web




  1. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. & Y. Krymolowski, (2022). Integrating GIS and semantic web technologies as a next step in the evolution of spatial digital humanities. Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

  2. Suissa, O., Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. & Elmalech, A. (2022). Toward a Period-Specific Optimized Neural Network for OCR Error Correction of Historical Hebrew Texts, Journal of Computing and Cultural Heritage, ACM.

  3. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M., Bouhnik, D., & Eistein, S.S. (2022). Browser search hijacking. Meidaat, an Israeli journal of Information Science (in Hebrew)

  4. Suissa, O., Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. & Elmalech, A. (2022). Question Answering with Deep Neural Networks for Semi-Structured Heterogeneous Genealogical Knowledge Graphs, Semantic Web Journal.

  5. Suissa, O., Elmalech, A. and Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. (2021). Text Analysis Using Deep Neural Networks in Digital Humanities and Information Science, Journal of Association for Information Science and Technology.

  6. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. & G. Avidan. (2021). A new framework for systematic analysis and classification of inconsistencies in multi-viewpoint ontologies, Knowledge Organization.

  7. Weinberger M. & Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. (2021). Diversity of success: Measuring the scholarly performance diversity of tenured professors in the Israeli academia. Scientometrics,

  8. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. & Avraham Weic. (2021). Utilizing Facebook for professional integration of three ethnic groups in Israel. AI & Society: Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Communication, Springer, DOI: 10.1007/s00146-020-01131-7

  9. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. & Hajibayova, L. (2020). A New Framework for Ethical Creation and Evaluation of Multi-Perspective Knowledge Organization Systems. Journal of Documentation.

  10. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M., Bergman O. & S. Hillel. (2020). Towards a Wider Perspective in the Social Sciences using a Network of Variables Based on Thousands of Results. Scientometrics, 123(3), 1385-1406. DOI: 10.1007/s11192-020-03446-0.

  11. Prebor, G., Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M., & Miller, Y. (2020). A Multi-dimensional Ontology-based Analysis of the Censorship of Hebrew Manuscripts. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 14(1). 

  12. Suissa, O., Elmalech, A. and Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. (2020). Toward the optimized crowdsourcing strategy for OCR post-correction, Aslib Journal of Information Management, 72(2), 179-197.

  13. Prebor, G., Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M., & Miller, Y. (2019). A new analytic framework for prediction of migration patterns and locations of historical manuscripts based on their script types. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, (35(2), 441-458.

  14. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. & O. Bergman. (2019). Towards variables’ network for mining relationships between results of thousands of papers in Social sciences. Meidaat, an Israeli journal of Information Science, 14(1), in Hebrew

  15. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. (2019). Towards a Diversified Knowledge Organization System – An Open Network of Inter-Linked Subsystems with Multiple Validity Scopes. Journal of Documentation

  16. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., Bar-Ilan J. and Levene, M. (2018). Categorical relevance judgment. Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology.

  17. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M., Prebor G. (2018). SageBook: A cross-generation network of the Jewish sages. Journal of the Digital Scholarship in the Humanities.
  18. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. and O. Bergman. (2018). Towards variables’ network for mining relationships between results of thousands of papers in Social sciences. Meidaat, in Hebrew.
  19. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. and Mograbi C. Z. (2017). A new framework for collaborative ontology construction for an agricultural domain from heterogeneous information resources. Journal of Agricultural & Food Information.

  20. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. and Blau M. (2017). Cross-generational analysis of information seeking behavior of smartphone users. Aslib Journal of Information Management.

  21. Weinberger, M., M. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, andD. Bouhnik. (2017).Gender disparity in attitudes towards online privacy and anonymity among students in Israel. Information Research.

  22. Weinberger, M., D. Bouhnik and M. Zhitomirsky-Geffet. (2017). Factors Affecting Students’ Privacy Paradox and Privacy Protection Behavior. Open Information Science, 1(1), DeGruyter. DOI:

  23. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. and Zadok A. (2017). Risk analysis and prediction in welfare institutions using a recommender system. AI & Society, Springer.

  24. Weinberger, M., Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., and D. Bouhnik. (2017). Factors affecting users' online privacy literacy among students in Israel. Online Information Review.

  25. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. (2017). Ontologies in Information Science and Approaches for their Construction. Meidaat 13 (in Hebrew) -

  26. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., Bar-Ilan J., & Levene M. (2017). Analysis of change in users' assessment of search results over time. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST).

  27. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., Bar-Ilan J., & Levene M. (2016). Testing the stability of “wisdom of crowds” judgments of search results over time and their similarity with the search engine rankings. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 68(4), 407-427.

  28. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. & Blau, M. (2016). Cross-generational analysis of predictive factors of addictive behavior in smartphone usage. Computers in Human Behavior, 64, 682-693.

  29. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., Bar-Ilan J., & Levene M. (2016). A Markov chain model for changes in users’ assessment of search results. PLoS ONE 11(5): e0155285. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155285

  30. David, E., Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., Koppel M., & Uzan H. (2016). Utilizing Facebook pages of the political parties to automatically predict the political orientation of Facebook users. Online Information Review.

  31. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., Erez E. S., &  Bar-Ilan J. (2016).  Towards multi-viewpoint ontology construction by collaboration of non-experts and crowdsourcing: the case of the effect of diet on health. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST). DOI: 10.1002/asi.23686

  32. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., David, E., Koppel M., & Uzan H. (2016). Utilizing overtly political texts for fully automatic evaluation of political leaning of online news websites. Online Information Review, 40(3). 

  33. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. & Prebor G. (2016). Towards an ontopedia for historical Hebrew manuscripts. Frontiers in Digital Humanities, section of Digital Paleography and Book History, 3, 3.
  34. Zhitomirsky-Geffet  M. & Bratspiess Y. (2015). Professional information disclosure on social networks: The case of Facebook and LinkedIn in Israel. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), 67(3), 193-204.

  35. Zhitomirsky-Geffet  M. & Daya Y. (2015). Mining query subtopics from social tags, Information Research, 20(2), 1-15, 2015‏.

  36. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. & Bratspiess Y. (2015). Perceived effectiveness of social networks for job search, Libri, 65(2), 105-118, 2015.

  37. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., Prebor G., & Bloch O. (2015). Improving proverb search and retrieval with a generic multi-dimensional ontology. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST). DOI: 10.1002/asi.23573.

  38. Zhitomirsky-Geffet  M. and Judit Bar-Ilan. 2014. Towards maximal unification of semantically diverse ontologies for controversial domains. Aslib Journal of Information Management, special issue on semantic search. Ed. by Dirk Lewandowski and Fran Alexander, Vol. 66(5), pp. 494 – 518.

  39. Zhitomirsky-Geffet  M. and Eden S. Erez. 2014. Maximizing agreement on diverse ontologies with "wisdom of crowds" relation classification. Online Information Review Vol. 38(5), pp. 616 - 633.
  40. Zhitomirsky-Geffet  M. and Yigal Maman. 2014. "Wisdom of the crowds" and online information reliability: A case study of Israeli real estate websites. Online Information Review. Vol. 38(3), pp.417 – 435.
  41. Judit Bar-Ilan, Zhitomirsky-Geffet Maayan, Yitzhak Miller, and Snunith Shoham. 2012. “Tag-based Retrieval of Images through Different Interfaces - A User Study”. Online Information Review.
  42. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., J. Bar-Ilan, Y. Miller and S. Shoham. 2010. “A Generic Framework for Collaborative Multi-perspective Ontology Acquisition”. Online Information Review. Vol. 34(1), pp.145 - 159. 2010.
  43. Lili Kotlerman, Ido Dagan, Idan Szpektor and Maayan Zhitomirsky-Geffet. “Directional Distributional Similarity for Lexical Inference”. Special Issue of Natural Language Engineering on Distributional Lexical Semantics, Issue 4(16), pp. 359-389. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  44. Judit Bar-Ilan, Zhitomirsky-Geffet Maayan, Yitzhak Miller, and Snunith Shoham. “The effects of background information and social interaction on image tagging”. The Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), 61(5), 940-951. 2010.
  45. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. and I. Dagan. “Bootstrapping Distributional Feature Vector Quality”. Computational Linguistics Journal. Issue 3(35), pp. 313-343. 2009.
  46. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M., E. Frachtenberg, Y. Wiseman, and D. G. Feitelson. “A Unified Strategy for Search and Result Representation for an Online Bibliographical Catalog”. Online Information Review, Issue 3(33), pp. 511-536. 2009.
  47. Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. (2009). What are words with similar meaning and how do they assist information retrieval?  The Israeli Journal of Information, Meidaat, 5, 59-69.
  48. Geffet M., Y. Wiseman and D. G. Feitelson. “Automatic Alphabet Recognition”. Kluwer Journal of Information Retrieval, Vol. 8(1), pp. 25-40, 2005.

Chapters in Books

  1. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., J. Bar-Ilan, Y. Miller and S. Shoham. 2012. “Exploring the effectiveness of folksonomy based tagging vs. free text tagging”. Book Chapter in 9. Indexing and Retrieval of Non-Text Information. Ed. by Rasmussen Neal, Diane. Series: Knowledge and Information / Studies in Information Science.




  1. Prebor G., Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., and Y. Miller. (2017, November). A Large-Scale Data-Driven Analysis of Censorship of Hebrew Manuscripts in Italy. ASIS&T digital library: Maryland US, Crystal City, Washington D.C., US.
  2. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. and Blau, M. (2017, March). Predictive factors of information seeking behavior of smartphone users from different generations. I-Conference 2017, Wuhan, China. 
  3. Weinberger M., Bouchnik D., Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. (2017, March). Predictors of Online Privacy Paradox Behavior among Students (poster). I-Conference 2017, Wuhan, China.
  4. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., Prebor G., & Feigeinboim A. (2016, July). Towards a cross-generation social network of the Jewish sages. Digital Humanities 2016 - The annual International conference of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO), Krakow, Poland.
  5. Erez E.S., Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., & Bar-Ilan, J. (2015, November). Subjective vs. objective evaluation of ontological statements with crowdsourcing. Poster in Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science, St. Louise, MO, USA. ASIS&T digital library: Maryland, USA.
  6. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., Bar-Ilan J., & Levene, M. (2015, November). How and why do users change their assessment of search results over time? Poster in Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science, St. Louise, MO, USA. ASIS&T digital library: Maryland, USA.
  7. Prebor  G. & Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. (2015, July). Towards the ontopedia for Hebrew historical manuscripts. Digital Humanities 2015 - The annual International conference of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO), Sydney, Australia.
  8. Uzan, H., David, E., Koppel M., & Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. (2015, January). Automatic political profiling in heterogeneous corpora.  In Proceedings of the ICAART Conference on Artificial Intelligence, (pp. 476-481), Lisbon, Portugal. SciTePress 2015.
  9. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M. & Erez E. S. (2014, July). Collaboratively maximizing inter-ontology agreement for controversial domains: a case study of Jewish cultural heritage. Digital Humanities 2014 - The annual International conference of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO), Lausanne, Switzerland.
  10. Bar-Ilan, J., Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M., Miller, Y. and Shoham, S. “Tag cloud and ontology based retrieval of images”. In Proceedings of the Third Symposium of Information Interaction in Context (IIiX), 2010, pp. 85-94.
  11. Lili Kotlerman, Ido Dagan, Idan Szpektor and M. Zhitomirsky-Geffet. “Directional Distributional Similarity for Lexical Expansion”. In Proceedings of ACL-IJCNLP. Singapure. 2009.
  12. Zhitomirsky-Geffet M., J. Bar-Ilan, Y. Miller and S. Shoham. “A Generic Framework for Collaborative Multi-perspective Ontology Acquisition”. The 17th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2008). Beijing, China. 2008.
  13. S. Mirkin, I. Dagan and M. Geffet. “Integrating Pattern-based and Distributional Similarity Methods for Lexical Entailment Acquisition.” In Proceedings of the 3rd Joint COLING/ACL-06 Conference, pp. 107-114, Sydney, Australia. July, 2006.
  14. M. Geffet and I. Dagan. “Distributional Inclusion Hypotheses and Lexical Entailment”. In Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2005), pp. 107-114, Ann Arbor, Michigan. June, 2005.
  15. M. Geffet and I. Dagan. “Feature Vector Quality and Distributional Similarity”. In Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (Coling 2004). pp. 247-253, Geneva, Switzerland. August, 2004.
  16. A. Prior and M. Geffet, “Mutual Information and Semantic Similarity as Predictors of Word Association Stength". In F. Schmalhofer, R. Young & G. Katz (Eds.), Proceedings of the 1st European Cognitive Science Conference (EuroCogSci-2003). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 2003.
  17. Maayan Geffet, Yair Wiseman and Dror G. Feitelson, “Automatic
    Alphabet Recognition”, The 6th World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (SCI 2002/ISAS 2002), pp. 122-128, Orlando, Florida, July 2002.
  18. Maayan Geffet and Dror G. Feitelson, “Hierarchical Indexing and
    Documents Matching in BoW”, In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL 2001), pp. 259-267,
    Roanoke, VA. June, 2001.


Department of Information Science,

Bar-Ilan University,

Ramat Gan, Israel

Last Updated Date : 11/04/2022