Research Librarian and Data Specialist

Posted to IASSIST on: 2013-10-02

Employer: INET@Oxford and Oxford-Man Institute


*How would you assist

  • researchers with the acquisition, discovery and navigation of available economic and financial data?

INET@Oxford and the Oxford-Man Institute conduct data- intensive research on economic and financial systems.

We are seeking a Research Librarian and Data Specialist to source, maintain and update a wide range of data sets from an equally diverse range of providers from data in the public domain, data from commercial sources, and proprietary data held by other institutions and individuals. Proactively supporting researchers in both groups, the Research Librarian and Data Specialist will be skilled in all aspects of data management, with the ability to prepare data for academic analysis. You will already have broad knowledge of economic and financial market data, and know which data provider (or combination of providers) is able to provide the base data needed by researchers, and how that data may be acquired.  

Your tasks will include sourcing and maintaining new data sets, updating existing data catalogues, ensuring compliance with data licences, preparing data for analysis and assisting in the interpretation of that data.

The role will support both the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School

(INET@Oxford) and the Oxford-Man Institute (OMI). Both INET@Oxford and OMI conduct dataintensive research on economic and financial systems and are located in the same building, Eagle House on the Oxford campus.

This is a full-time position, fixed-term to 31 October 2015.

The Research Librarian and Data Specialist will be based at Eagle House and spend overall 3/5 of

his or her time supporting INET@Oxford researchers and 2/5 supporting OMI researchers. The

shared role will ultimately report to the Executive Director of INET@Oxford and the Director of

OMI. The OMI IT Manager will manage some areas of work.


The Research Librarian and Data Specialist will support the academic work of INET@Oxford/OMI

by assisting researchers with the acquisition, discovery and navigation of available economic and

financial data. INET@Oxford/OMI researchers have diverse data requirements, for example:

  • Macroeconomic time series data from national accounts and other sources
  • Microeconomic time series data (e.g. household, labour market, firms)
  • Other economic data such as input-output data, census data, patent data, trade data
  • Financial system data, e.g. flow of funds, interbank transactions, bank balance sheets
  • Financial market data including multiple asset classes, products and categories, time frequencies, and markets at micro and macro levels

Furthermore, INET@Oxford is a member of a research consortium of eleven universities funded

by the European Commission called CRISIS ( which is developing new

tools to assist policymakers seeking to prevent and manage future financial crises. The

consortium is building an agent-based simulation model of the interlinked European financial

system and macro-economy. INET@Oxford is the lead partner for the data aspects of this project.

An important part of the Data Officer’s duties for INET@Oxford will be supporting the data needs

of the researchers in the CRISIS consortiumof universities.


Given this diverse set of needs, an essential aspect to the role is determining which data provider

(or combination of providers) is able to provide the base data needed by researchers, and how

that data may be acquired. The Research Librarian and Data Specialist will be expected to be

familiar with data sources in the public domain, data from commercial sources, as well as4

proprietary data that may be available by negotiation from other institutions or individuals. As

sometimes requested data may not always have obvious sources, the post-holder will be

expected to do research himself or herself to track down such data or find possible proxy data if

the specific data are not available. The Research Librarian and Data Specialist will be expected to

develop a network of contacts in key repositories of data such as government agencies, libraries

(including the Bodleian at Oxford), commercial providers, and other academic institutionsin order

to assistresearchersin finding and interpreting data.


The Research Librarian and Data Specialist will be expected to further develop and maintain data

catalogues for both INET@Oxford and OMI of available products and data, and to determine the

feasibility of building local repositories of commonly used datasets. The Research Librarian and

Data Specialist will also be looked to as a source of knowledge about the quality, interpretation,

and methodology of different data sets and providers.


Finally, the Research Librarian and Data Specialist will be expected to manage site licences and

intellectual property agreements related to data sets and ensure Oxford’s compliance with those



The post-holder will have the following responsibilitiesfor supporting both INET@Oxford (including

members of the CRISIS consortiumat other universities) and OMI:

  • Meeting academic requests through the acquisition, discovery and navigation of economic and financial data from various sources for academic analysis;
  • Actively engaging with new academic members at induction and on an on-going basis to orient them to the Data Officer’s services and to promote the use of data for quantitative analysis. ;
  • Maintaining, updating, and improving the INET@Oxford and OMI data catalogues which provides researchers with a first point of reference of available data;
  • Establishing and maintaining legal boundaries for dataset usage, managing and ensuring compliance with data licences;
  • Assisting with the preparation of data for academic analysis, and provide guidance on how to extract, transform, “clean” and merge data from various sources;
  • Assisting with the identification and procurement of public, commercial, academic and proprietary data products;
  • Providing assistance in the interpretation of frequently used data sets and provide research assistance to academics regarding questions of interpretation or methodology on data sets.

The appointment will be on Grade 7 and the starting salary of the successful candidate will be fixed according to experience.The appointment will be subject to a six-month probationary period. This is a full-time post equivalent to 37.5 hours per week, the actual distribution of those hours to be agreed. The appointment of the nominated candidate will be subject to the satisfactory completion of a medical questionnaire.

The post holder will be entitled to 38 days holiday pro rata (inclusive of public holidays).The policy and practice of the University of Oxford require that all staff are afforded equal opportunities within employment and that entry into employment with the University and progression within employment will be determined only by personal merit and the application of criteria which are related to the duties of each particular post and the relevant salary structure. In all cases, ability to perform the job will be the primary consideration. Subject to statutory provisions, no applicant or member of staff will be treated less favourably than another because of his or her sex, marital status, sexual orientation, racial group, disability or age.

All data supplied by applicants will be used only for the purposes of determining their suitability for the post and will be held in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the University’s Data Protection Policy.Applicants should have evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK. Applicants who would need a work visa if appointed to the post are asked to note that under the UK’s new points basedmigration system they will need to demonstrate that they have sufficient points, and in particular that:(i) they have sufficient English language skills (evidenced by having passed a test in basic English, or coming from a majority English-speaking country, or having taken a degree taught in English) and (ii) that they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves and any dependents until they receive their first salary payment.Further information is available at:


  • Broad knowledge of both economic and financial market data (e.g. national accounts, microeconomic time series, futures, options, commodities, etc.), their sources, uses, and interpretation;
  • Knowledge of commercial data vendors (e.g. Reuters, Bloomberg, Tickdata, etc.), their products, limitations, and idiosyncrasies;
  • Experience handling data-related contracts and licenses, and identifying legal limitations;
  • Educated to degree level in either library science, statistics, maths, economics, finance, computer science, orrelated field;
  • Able to extract and communicate quantitative information;
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to work with senior academic research staff;
  • Ability to work independently, prioritise effectively and work to deadlines.


  • Higher degree in relevant subject;
  • Demonstrable ability with SQL programming language
  • Familiarity with statistical, econometric, or mathematical software (e.g. eViews, SPSS, SAS, MatLab);
  • Proficient with cleaning and transforming large or complex datasets into useable form;
  • Experience with the use of Bloomberg Terminal and API;
  • Experience in higher education or commercial research environment.

Archived on: 2013-10-02