In Memory of Judit Bar-Ilan

By 17 July 2019 August 7th, 2019

In Memoriam

Prof. Judit Bar-Ilan

1958 – 2019

Prof. Judit Bar-Ilan









In July 2019 the scientometric community lost one of its outstanding scholars, Prof. Judit Bar-Ilan. Judit was a leading professor at the Department of Information Science of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, having chaired the department from 2008-2012. Recently, she was academic head of MALMAD, the Israeli Inter-University Center for Digital Information Services.

Judit received her doctorate in computer science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and started her research in information science in the mid-1990s at the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies (Hebrew University of Jerusalem). She moved to the Department of Information Science at Bar-Ilan University in 2002, where I met her almost immediately, as the pre-award manager of the university research support office.

Judit was scientifically prolific in many sub topics of our field. Her academic input could be felt in citation analysis, informetrics, information retrieval,  ‘altmetrics’, research assessment, internet research, information behavior, search engines, usability and more. She was, finally, the Editor-in-Chief and founder of the international Open-Access journal “The Journal of Altmetrics”.

She received numerous competitive research grants and awards, and sat on more program committees and editorial boards than I can count. For her outstanding contributions, she received the Derek de Solla Price Memorial Medal of the journal Scientometrics in 2017, and the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) awarded Judit the 2018 ASIS&T Research in Information Science Award for her significant impact in the field. These awards, so rightfully deserved, highlight her academic life and work and acknowledge her outstanding contributions to Information Science, and in particular, to the field of scientometrics.

As many colleagues have noted these past few weeks, “Judit was such a nice person and a truly great scholar”. See this page for personal reflections –  .

On a very personal note, Judit was my PhD supervisor, having also studied under Prof. Sara Fine (who died prematurely as well). She was no less than a brilliant scholar, driven by curiosity, with an eye for detail unmatched by other lecturers during my studies. She was a true academic giant in her field, a methodical researcher, kind but firm, and a true inspiration to her peers and students. I learned a tremendous amount from her, also watching her interact with peers at conferences.

Judit is already missed by her many students and peers, world-wide, who either worked with her, studied under her, or read her work in her 200+ published articles.

May her memory be for a blessing.

Dr. Eric Zimmerman



I had learned about Judit’s passing yesterday and immediately felt shocked and saddened.  However, I feel glad to have spent some lovely moments with her at the last ISSI conference in China (we visited some Wuhan sites together) when she won the Derek de Solla Price award, and at other venues including ENRESSH meetings.  She was such a positive and highly contributive person in our profession and will be greatly missed.

Dr. Alesia Zuccala

I am utterly dumbfounded. Judit was such a nice person and a truly great scholar. She brought a lot to ENRESSH. We interacted a lot when she applied to join, but my fondest memories are the wonderful round table at the Antwerp ENRESSH/RESSH conference where her insights into books and the SSH were so powerful. She will be sorely missed, but remembered with much fondness. She will live on in all she brought to the fields in which she worked.

Prof. Geoffrey Williams