Maristella Agosti is an expert in information retrieval, digital libraries and archives, and digital cultural heritage. She is a professor emerita at the University of Padua, where in 1975 she earned her laurea degree in statistics, with a thesis on algorithms for automatic classification.

Following her doctoral studies, Agosti did research in the UK, specializing in databases and information retrieval. As part of this work, she designed the first Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) in Italy, which was available before the world wide web. In 1987, she established the Information Management Systems (IMS) group, which was Italy’s first academic research group on information retrieval and digital libraries. She went on to work with other European colleagues on digital libraries in the 1990s, developing one of the first systems for making multimedia objects available.

In addition to serving on the editorial boards of numerous journals on information processing and retrieval, Agosti has herself published widely on the subject, as well as on user engagement and accessing digital cultural heritage collections. For her groundbreaking work, Agosti received the prestigious Tony Kent Strix Award, which honors outstanding contributions to the field of information retrieval, in 2016.

In 2020, she retired after more than 20 years as a full professor of computer science in the University of Padua’s Department of Information Engineering.