Data Services Librarian for the Sciences

at Harvard University (view profile)
Location Cambridge, MA
Date Posted February 4, 2020
Category Academic
Job Type Full-time
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Harvard University

Data Services Librarian for the Sciences
Harvard College Library

Job Summary

Although the position will remain posted until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by March 13, 2020.

Harvard Library is seeking a creative and self-motivated individual to help develop and coordinate research data services focused on the sciences and engineering. The Data Services LIbrarian for the Sciences (DSLS) will work with relevant stakeholders in developing guidelines and workflows of data management services to ensure good research practice, protection of intellectual property, proper storage and security of research data, compliance with relevant regulations, and appropriate access to research data. New outreach and programming developed by the DSLS will demonstrate an understanding of the research landscape, the role of campus partnerships, and the capabilities and limits of library support.

Reporting to the Head of Collection Development for the Division of Sciences and Engineering Services, and working in close collaboration with the manager of Harvard Library's Research Data Management Program (HL-RDM), the Data Services Librarian for the Sciences will provide data and digital curation support, services, and training to members of the Harvard sciences and engineering community. This role will also advance the mission and objectives of Cabot Library, the Division of Sciences and Engineering Services, and the HL-RDM by building and sustaining relationships with partners across the research data lifecycle, and participating in relevant library-wide and Harvard-wide committees, working groups, projects, and events.

Job Code
386057 Library Professional

Job-Specific Responsibilities

The Data Services Librarian for the Sciences will contribute substantively to the Cabot and Harvard Library data services programs in the following three key areas:

Outreach, Representation, and Instruction

  • Collaborate with members of the Sciences and Engineering services team, the HL-RDM, and members of the Harvard Library Learning Initiative to design and deliver data services training to members of the Harvard sciences and engineering community and the Harvard Library community.
  • Engage in outreach and support for intellectual property, copyright, data management and dissemination, and scholarly communication.
  • Participate in Harvard Library and university projects, working groups, and cross-organizational teams involved in issues pertaining to research data management and data curation.
  • Represent Harvard through active participation in relevant national and international professional and scholarly organization.
  • Build and sustain relationships with Harvard Library and Harvard University partners across the research data lifecycle.

Digital and Data-related Projects

  • Provide consultations for, and management of data-related projects for sciences and engineering faculty, researchers and students, including projects involving digitization and long-term preservation of research data.

Data Curation and Digital Preservation

  • Organize, manage, and provide access to Harvard Library research data collections for text and data mining in a research computing environment and using Harvard Dataverse.
  • Collaborate with members of the Institute of Quantitative Social Sciences (IQSS) Harvard Dataverse data curation and development team to promote Harvard Dataverse tiered data curation services and use of the Harvard Dataverse repository.

The Data Services Librarian for the Sciences will also participate in other activities, as required, to support the mission and objectives of the Division of Sciences and Engineering Services and the Harvard Library Research Data Management Program.

Basic Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in library and information science, computer science, or a science discipline required
  • Two plus years of experience with the research data lifecycle, data curation, and FAIR data principles
  • Two plus years of experience in project management

Additional Qualifications

  • Experience with current technologies and standards used in institutional repository systems and metadata
  • Data curation experience involving a data repository, such as Dataverse.
  • Experience collaborating and communicating with faculty and researchers.
  • Ability, or willingness to learn, to create and use programs, scripts, and other tools, such as Open Refine, to extract and manipulate data from a variety of sources, including web services and APIs.
  • Ability, or willingness to learn, to develop and maintain scripts and tools using common programming languages, especially in Python.
  • Familiarity with open source projects and methodologies.
  • Familiarity with Linux OS and relational (e.g. MySQL) and/or NoSQL databases.
  • Ability to manage workload, priorities and deadlines and achieve timeline goals.
  • Ability to navigate and thrive in a complex organizational environment.
  • Ability to learn new technological tools, applications, and techniques continuously.
  • Ability to manage workload, priorities and deadlines and achieve timeline goals.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including presentation or teaching skills.
  • Ability to learn new technological tools and techniques continuously
  • Basic understanding of virtualization and container technologies (VMWare, AWS, Docker) and familiarity with automation and configuration management (puppet, ansible, etc.) and system monitoring and configuration (nagios, etc.)

Additional Information

About Harvard College Library and Cabot Library
Founded in 1638, Harvard has a rich legacy of libraries that continues into the 21st century. In total there are over 70 libraries at Harvard that comprise the Harvard library system, with combined holdings of over 19 million items, including 900,000 e-journals, ebooks, and other e-resources.

More than 12 million of the Harvard Library items are part of the collection of a centrally administered unit within the FAculty of Arts and Sciences that is referred to as the Harvard College Library (*HCL). It is comprised of Widener, Lamont, Birkhoff Mathematical, Cabot Science, Fine Arts, Harvard-Yenching, Houghton, Loeb Music, and Tozzer libraries and the Harvard Film Archive, Harvard Map Collections, and the Harvard Theatre Collection.

The School of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences serves 1,227 faculty, 4,000 graduate students in 55 degree programs, 6,800 undergraduate students in over 45 fields of study, and is part of Harvard University with 21,000 students university-wide.

The Harvard Library holds membership in Association of Research Libraries, Center for Research Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, Council on Library and Information Resources, and Digital Library Federation.

Diversity at the Harvard Library
Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University's mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success. The Director of Learning and Teaching Services will promote and embody this commitment through his/her work and relationships.

We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to apply to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world's most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery. Serving as an information hub, the Library connects users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, specialized research support, and delivers exceptional experiences to its user communities. Today, Harvard Library's holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University's faculty, students, and researchers-now and in the future-with comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at and about the Harvard University community at

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

Job Function

Sub Unit

USA - MA - Cambridge

Harvard College Library - Sciences and Engineering Services

Time Status

00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Salary Grade

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Education, Identity

35 hours per week

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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