Data Services Specialist

Posted to IASSIST on: 2017-09-15

Employer: British Library

Employer URL:


The Data Services Specialist will have a key role in supporting the British Library to implement its new Research Data Strategy . As part of a team developing and delivering various data services, the post holder will support the data needs of research users who may be commercial, private or academic researchers, as well as the British Library’s own staff. This post has primary responsibility for day-to-day management of the British Library’s DataCite UK service, which will include provision of support and events for users; liaison with DataCite and its working groups; and engaging various UK organisations with DataCite UK and data citation. The role will be central to supporting British Library staff with research data management and reporting on developments in the data landscape to the Research Services department, which includes similar roles focusing on open access, discovery and repository services.

* *The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the data management landscape, including policies, technologies and procedures, and an understanding of metadata and persistent identifiers. They will be able to confidently communicate those concepts to expert as well as novice users and stakeholders. The successful applicant will have recent experience working in data management or data curation and demonstrate an understanding of the role of libraries in the data landscape.

Key areas of responsibility

  • Supporting the Data Services Lead in the implementation of the British Library’s Data Strategy in conjunction with other British Library staff involved in data initiatives; including prototyping and evaluation of data-related tools and resources and implementation of data management processes.
  • Administering the UK DataCite service including maintenance of client accounts, organisation of events and representation as required.
  • Supporting British Library staff in the production of data management plans for British Library datasets by maintaining a central register of British Library-derived datasets and acting as a resource for data skills within the British Library.
  • Monitoring the external data landscape, producing reports to inform future strategic thinking and acting as the primary data support within the Research Services team.

Resources managed

Assistant Data Services Specialist

Main tasks

  • Support the Data Services Lead in the implementation of the British Library Data Strategy, in conjunction with other British Library staff involved in data initiatives.
  • Provide secretariat to the British Library Data Strategy Group, including action plans and assisting in the preparation of strategic documents.
  • Administer the UK DataCite service including implementing new processes as a result of changing business models, maintaining client records, setting up new client accounts, setting up test accounts, invoicing clients and answering enquiries on the service.
  • Contribute to the promotion of the DataCite service by organising events such as workshops and user group meetings and presenting where necessary.
  • Represent the British Library at regular DataCite group meetings (e.g. Open Hours).
  • Supporting  British Library staff in the production of data management plans for British Library datasets by providing templates, advice and presentations.
  • Maintain a central register of British Library-derived datasets and ensure compliance with established metadata standards and data management best practice.
  • Monitor the external data landscape and produce reports as required.
  • Keep up to date with the latest developments in data management and update skills as necessary; act as a resource for data skills and training within the British Library.
  • Act as the primary data support within the Research Services team and work closely with other members of the team on data-related initiatives.
  • Manage outsourced research on the data landscape.
  • Assist the Data Services Lead with integration of data content into the Everything Available change management portfolio.
  • Support the Data Services Lead in the development of the Value Proposition Design
  • Product/Value Map canvas. **Value Proposition Design (VPD)
  • is an iterative process for designing and testing value propositions to ensure we create products and services customers really want, and ensure they remain relevant over time. (Adapted from
  • Prototype and evaluate tools and resources for data-related content (e.g. discovery, analysis, visualisation, storage) from a technical/implementation standpoint.
  • Liaise with colleagues across the British Library (e.g. Digital Scholarship, Metadata Services) on the development and operation of the service.
  • Present on British Library data initiatives to internal and external audiences and produce written communications as required.
  • Demonstrate willingness to take on a range of tasks and to develop new skills, as appropriate, in own or other departments/directorates to support the delivery of the British Library’s services as required by line management


  • First degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or information degree or professional experience of working in data management or data curation.
  • Demonstrable knowledge of research data management policies and procedures.
  • Demonstrable knowledge of the research data management landscape and technologies.
  • Awareness of the needs of researchers in respect of the use and creation of datasets.
  • An understanding of library environments and their role within the data landscape.
  • An understanding of metadata and identifiers and their relationship to research data.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to summarise and present information to different audiences.
  • The ability to be proactive and use own initiative in supporting colleagues.


  • Experience of working with different metadata types and standards relevant for data.
  • Knowledge of Intellectual Property Rights and licensing issues relevant to research data and outputs.
  • Experience of working with research data in a Higher Education/research organisation.
  • Experience with outreach and training activities, ideally relating to research data management.
  • Familiarity with DataCite and ideally also ORCID.
  • An understanding of the requirements associated with Data Management Plans.
  • An understanding of digital curation approaches.

Archived on: 2017-10-03