Director of the UCLA Libraries Social Science Data Archive

Posted to IASSIST on: 2016-06-27

Employer: University of California, Los Angeles

Employer URL:


The Social Science Data Archive (SSDA), in operation since 1961, is a recognized leader in the management of quantitative social science research data and represents UCLA in local, state, national and international professional communities. The mission of the Social Science Data Archive has been, and continues to be, to provide a foundation for social science research with faculty support throughout an entire research project involving original data collection or the reuse of publicly available studies. Data Archive staff work in partnerships with researchers to provide a collaborative environment where the focus is on understanding the nature and scope of research approach and management of research output throughout the entire life cycle of the project.

The Social Science Data Archive is heavily focused on the long term management of unique research data gathered using quantitative methods. This includes providing Data Quality Review, and processes at each step of the archival process, including appraisal, ingest, metadata preparation, development of discovery and access tools, online analysis, and ensuring long term usability.

Instructional support, especially support that links research with instruction, is also a mainstay of operations. The Social Science Data Archive is one of the key support components in those disciplines that provide instruction in research methods, survey design and methods, statistics, and data analysis. Throughout the campus, data provided by the Archive is used by faculty in courses to transmit pedagogy, illustrate theory and develop understanding of social, political, demographic, economic, geographic and historical trends and issues.

Position Duties The Director of the UCLA Libraries Social Science Data Archive is responsible for planning, coordinating, and deploying research data services directed at supporting the research lifecycle. This includes creating and implementing data management assistance for the campus, outreach to faculty in collaboration with subject specialists, informationists, training, and assessment of SSDA programs and services. The SSDA operates in 4 key areas: 1) Data Curation and Preservation 2) Consultation and Services, 3) Technical Infrastructure, 4) and Education, Awareness and Community Building. The responsibilities of the Director of the UCLA Libraries Social Science Data Archive will fall in all key areas; the initial focus of this position will be to contribute to the development of the data repository in collaboration with colleagues and stakeholders, in the library and across campus.

In addition, the Director of the UCLA Libraries Social Science Data Archive is responsible for data curation, preservation and research data management activities. The director provides oversight, encourages collaboration and innovation, and ensures the successful stewardship and sustainability of the Social Science Data Archive services, and initiatives intended to respond to the scholarly research needs of UCLA faculty, students, and staff.

Programmatic and Technical Oversight

  • Oversees SSDA operational and administrative activities, with the goal of creating innovative and sustainable data curation services in support of research scholarship.
  • In collaboration with key partners, acts as the Social Science Data Archive point person for the data archive.
  • Investigates integrative infrastructures to connect campus needs to the archive.
  • Designs and implements workflows, and executes technical processes involved in managing the lifecycle of digital research datasets including data transformation projects.
  • Participates in research data management consultations, data curation activities (including, data quality review, disclosure analysis, appraisal, ingest, metadata creation, discovery and access tool use, to ensure long term usability, including format migration), and the development of resources, documentation and instructional content about data curation.
  • Participates in selected cross-library working groups to create and improve services.
  • Builds and maintains functional relationships with inter-university consortia and develops methods to leverage their services and offerings.

Community Engagement

  • Communication of, consultation on, and advocacy for SSDA and UCLA Library’s activities to University stakeholders and national and international communities of common concern and practice.
  • Develops and encourages ongoing dialogue with UCLA colleagues and the users of SSDA tools and services; actively partner with UCLA librarians to promote service awareness and adoption.
  • Pursues opportunities for UCLA to engage strategically with emerging “open” communities, such as open source technology, open access publishing, and open data.
  • Serves as a consultant to researchers and librarians on data issues and services.
  • Performs data management planning and research data curation with principal investigators and researchers.
  • Assists in the development and delivery of training and instructional materials on data curation.
  • Provides guidance and instruction on discovery, acquisition and use of research data in the public domain.

Required Qualifications

  • ALA-accredited Master’s Degree in Library or Information Science, data science, computer science, or related area OR significant graduate-level coursework toward such a degree OR equivalent education and experience (subject expertise combined with professional library education and/or experience).
  • Demonstrated expertise in digital library, data curation, research data management, and scholarly communication theory and practice.
  • Familiarity with technology issues and best practices in data archives and data repositories libraries and/or higher education, such as systems administration, programming, digitization, and digital scholarship.
  • Excellent collaboration, networking and community engagement skills. 
  • Ability to work within a group setting, facilitate discussion and build consensus.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including engaging presentation skills and the ability to connect dynamically with an audience.
  • Demonstrated record of initiating, leading or actively participating in successful collaborative activities within the data archive and digital library community at large.
  • Familiarity with a broad range of data and archive management software packages, and ability to train others to use them.
  • Strong familiarity with the OAIS and ISO 14721 reference models, and the ability to translate and apply their concepts to ongoing archive production activities.
  • Familiarity with data repository design, implementation, operations, and best practices.
  • Familiarity with historical data file formats, including: SAS sd2, SAS7bdat and SAS7bcat; STATA dta and do; SPSS sav and sps; M-PLUS inp; and BMDP.
  • Ability to read, use and create codebooks for archival data.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of ethical, legal and privacy issues relating to archival management.
  • Substantial knowledge of research methodology and skill at providing research assistance.
  • Knowledge of the historical contexts governing archival operations.

Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrated understanding of data visualization techniques.
  • Experience teaching quantitative software packages and/or research methods.
  • Knowledge of computer science concepts including data structures and algorithms.
  • Experience programming with a language like Python.
  • Experience working with a Digital Asset Management System.

Archived on: 2016-06-27