Research Data Metadata Librarian

at UC San Diego Library
Location La Jolla, California
Date Posted November 30, 2017
Category Academic
Job Type Full-time
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Working primarily in the Research Data Curation Program, the Research Data Metadata Librarian is also a member of the Metadata Services Program. This position serves an important collaborative role between these programs, as well as working with other programs in the Library and a wide range of campus research constituents.
The UC San Diego Library is committed to supporting academic excellence and diversity within the faculty, staff, and student body.

The University and the Library
With nearly 30,000 students, UC San Diego is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through excellence in education and research at the undergraduate, graduate, professional school and postdoctoral levels. UC San Diego has been recognized as one of the top 10 public universities in the nation by US News & World Report, as well as one of the top schools for medical research. UC San Diego is also in the top 10 of all universities in the nation in receiving federal R&D research grants. The UC San Diego Library plays a critical role in advancing and supporting the university's research, teaching, patient care, and public service missions.

Program Descriptions
The Research Data Curation Program (RDCP) provides a suite of services for the campus research community. This includes helping to create data management plans, consultations and customized workshops on metadata and data management best practices, assistance creating identifiers for data and people, ingest of research data into the Library’s Digital Collections website for sharing and discovery, preservation of data via Chronopolis and customized workshops and training on a variety of data-related applications.

The Metadata Services Program (MS) connects our UCSD community to intellectual and creative content and materials by analyzing, describing and organizing resources using methods and systems that promote discovery. MS provides, augments and normalizes metadata for digitized and born‐digital objects and for tangible resources— particularly collections of distinction for which UC San Diego is known. MS delivers and manages bibliographic access to licensed and open access electronic resources in all formats. The program includes approximately 37 FTE staff.

Within MS, the Digital Object Metadata Management Unit (DOMM) establishes and manages metadata standards and policies for metadata creation and encoding practices. The unit advises on metadata creation and provides metadata augmentation, manipulation, normalization, and mapping for digitized and born-digital objects. Staff provides consulting services on tools, standards, controlled vocabularies, and workflows for metadata creation. The unit is actively engaged with the Hydra community, and works closely with Information Technology Services on the development of our Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) and Digital Collections (DC) site.

Responsibilities of the Position
The successful candidate will provide consultation services to researchers and other data owners, assisting in analysis of their materials, modeling their collections, advising on techniques for metadata collection and enhancement, and ingesting collections into the Library’s digital repository. They will become deeply embedded in assessing specific researcher needs in the areas of data curation best practices, metadata for research datasets, and data ingest processes. The person will be a central link between the Research Data Curation Program and the Metadata Services Program, relaying discipline-specific metadata needs and advocating for processes and tools to support data curation work.

The successful candidate will also play a large role in developing and conducting training on metadata and data management best practices. The Library is currently focused on developing an instructional program utilizing Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry, and Library Carpentry workshops. The candidate will be expected to take part in this ongoing work, including participating in Software Carpentry teacher training and certification, and continued development of lesson plans. More generally, the candidate will actively participate in RDCP and MS outreach efforts on campus.

In addition, metadata for digital materials is actively shared between the Library’s systems and a number of other systems and services, including the University of California’s Calisphere portal, the Digital Public Library of America and the Center for Open Science’s SHARE service. Sharing metadata is expected to increase as time goes on, and the successful candidate will be expected to participate in community discussions and take a leadership role where possible.



  • Consults with data and content owners on research and metadata strategies, including introducing them to best practices, selection of appropriate metadata standards and schemas, and advising on tools and workflows for metadata creation and cleanup.
  • Analyzes metadata from data and content owners for quality and completeness, making recommendations of changes for consistency and to assure coherent aggregation with other metadata in the DAMS.
  • Ingests objects and collections into the DAMS, and provides quality control review of digital objects and metadata following ingest.
    Contributes to planning of long term metadata strategy for UCSD Library and the DAMS.
  • Assists with specifications for DAMS development as needed.
  • Contributes to the development and revisions of policies, schemas, and guidelines to support the DAMS.
  • Advises on standards, vocabulary control, taxonomy support, database management, and metadata input and edit tools in the DAMS.
  • Works with RDCP staff to help plan training sessions, create lesson plans, exercises and slide decks for Software, Data, and Library Carpentry workshops.
  • Provides metadata support for local classes on data management, data best practices, and data analysis tools for UCSD researchers.
  • Assists with the training of Metadata Services and other library staff on metadata tools, standards, and workflows.
  • Assists with the implementation of open linked data in library systems.
  • Documents projects, standards, and decisions on group and project websites and wikis; provides online resources to assist data and content owners in understanding metadata and its importance.


Required Qualifications

  • Professional degree from a library school, or other appropriate degree or equivalent experience in one or more fields related to library services.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of issues and trends in the field of research data curation.
  • Experience with metadata analysis and support.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the issues and trends in the application and usage of metadata for organizing and managing digital resources.
  • Experience working with metadata standards for digital materials, for example MODS, Dublin Core, Darwin Core, Europeana Data Model, or others.
  • Working knowledge of descriptive principles and content standards, controlled vocabularies, authority control and ontologies.
  • Experience working with a digital asset management system or digital repository.
  • Excellent problem solving skills.
  • Good organizational skills and an aptitude for complex analytical and detailed work; initiative and follow-through in equal measure.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills; ability to present and share ideas clearly and effectively.
  • Ability to participate in multiple concurrent projects in a given timeframe.
  • Ability to work independently as well as collegially in a complex, rapidly changing and culturally diverse environment.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with linked data, RDF and semantic web technologies.
  • Experience with ontologies or taxonomies.
  • Experience working in a research environment, or participating in research processes.
  • Experience with Samvera or Fedora.


Librarians at UC San Diego are academic appointees and entitled to appropriate professional leave and all other perquisites granted to non-faculty academic personnel. Librarians at UC San Diego are non-Senate academic appointees and are represented by an exclusive bargaining agent, University Council – American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT). This is a represented position.

The UC San Diego Library is committed to supporting the University’s rich and diverse academic environment inclusive of students, faculty, and staff of varying social, economic, cultural, ideological, ability, and ethnic backgrounds. UC San Diego Librarians are expected to participate in library-wide and system-wide planning and governance and to contribute professionally with scholarly publications and/or presentations and through active participation in professional organizations.

Salary and level of appointment in the Librarian series commensurate with qualifications and experience and based on the University of California pay scales.

Application consideration begins December 31, 2017.

For full consideration, please submit applications to: