Scientific Data Curation Specialist / Metadata Librarian

Posted to IASSIST on: 2011-05-19

Employer: Cornell University Library

Employer URL:


Cornell University Libraries seeks an analytical, creative individual interested in scientific research data, digital resources, technology, and metadata to become our newest information professional.  The Scientific Data Curation Specialist is actively engaged across science fields to support e-science, digital data curation, and cyberscholarship working closely with other library staff.  This position has three main emphases: research data consultation, digital resources discovery, and professional and research activities.  First, the Scientific Data Curation Specialist focuses on metadata issues related to the data curation lifecycle while providing consultation to Cornell researchers.  Second, s/he explores semantic approaches and ontologies while working on initiatives related to the discovery of digital resources.  Third, s/he is professionally involved and conducts research aligning with her/his job duties and interests.  To be successful, close collaboration is essential in working with faculty and library staff devoted to digital libraries, information technologies, public services, technical services, and data working groups.

Duties and Responsibilities: Research Data Consultation Participates in the Research Data Management Service Group (  Performs outreach and consults with Cornell’s faculty, staff, and community partners on information organization and access needs related to research data. Assists in the creation of data management plans.  Creates and maintains local documentation on metadata standards and metadata application guidelines.  Participates in the development of DataStar (  Stays abreast of scientific research trends, data documentation tools, and standards important for data exchange, reuse, and interoperability.

Digital Resources Discovery Participates in initiatives related to the discovery of digital resources. Explores semantic approaches, ontologies in the sciences, linked open data, and bibliometrics as they may be applicable to projects and services.  Assesses and works to improve access to resources such as data sets, e-books, library web sites, and locally-created digital collections.  Advises on digital preservation strategies, including metadata used for digital repositories.  Suggests methods for streamlining or automating metadata creation and management, using various tools for metadata manipulation and scripting.  Plays a consulting role in the development of VIVO (

Professional and Research Activities Actively participates in departmental, library-wide, and national professional working groups, task forces, instruction programs, and committees.  Seeks opportunities to enhance one’s own professional knowledge, skills, and abilities.  Monitors and contributes to the development of local, national, and international metadata standards and trends.  Conducts research and contributes to professional publications and forums in areas related to research data, metadata, access to information, and digital libraries.

Background:  Cornell University is an Ivy League comprehensive research university located in Ithaca in the scenic Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.  The town and university offer a unique cosmopolitan and international atmosphere in a beautiful natural setting of waterfalls, gorges, and lakes.  The university comprises 14 schools with over 2,700 faculty members and nearly 21,600 students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional schools.  The Cornell University Library is a vigorous professional organization with a strong track record in innovation and service quality.  It contains nearly 8 million printed volumes, 99,000 current serials in print or online, over 650,000 additional networked electronic resources, and rich materials in other formats.  The Library was a recipient of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in 2002.

Comprehensive benefits package including 22 vacation days, 11 paid holidays, health insurance, life insurance, and university retirement contributions (TIAA-CREF and other options).  Professional travel funding available.

Required Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in science, information science, or related field.
  • Knowledge of at least one science discipline and its research data methods.
  • Knowledge of XML, scientific data formats, and scientific metadata standards.
  • Familiarity with semantic web technologies, ontology editors, and web services and/or capacity to develop expertise in these areas.
  • Strong communication, interpersonal, and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, document, and complete projects.
  • Ability to work well in a collaborative team-based environment.
  • Self-motivated and ability to multitask.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience with one or more metadata manipulation and scripting languages: XSLT, Java, Perl, Python, or PHP.
  • Experience with metadata issues related to the discovery of academic resources.
  • Experience with ontologies in the sciences, linked open data, and/or bibliometrics.
  • Experience with digital preservation standards and best practices.
  • Experience with repository platforms.

Archived on: 2011-05-30