Assistant University Librarian for Research Data Services

Posted to IASSIST on: 2021-10-14

Employer: Stanford University

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The Stanford Libraries’ Research Data Services division (RDS) will provide unified, holistic, and end-to-end library services supporting the research data lifecycle. Core members of RDS and a matrix of additional team members throughout the Libraries will assist members of the Stanford community with services from licensing and acquisition to description and curation, from data management consultation and training to data preservation and sharing. Individual departments within the Stanford Libraries already provide many of these services through service points such as the Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research (CIDR), the Stanford Geospatial Center (SGC), Data Management Services, the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR), and through tools such as EarthWorks, Redivis, and other data discovery and access platforms. RDS will seamlessly tie these services –and deliver new ones—In a cohesive environment in support of research data needs at Stanford.

Partnerships will be key to the success of the new division. Many units and schools within Stanford have an established history of working with data: the Stanford Research Computing Center (SRCC), the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research, the Graduate School of Business, the School of Medicine, and more. Professors and other researchers in the new Stanford initiatives such as the School of Sustainability, Stanford Data Science, and the Long-Range Vision Initiative in Shared Research Platforms will be heavy users of research data services. Coordination of the needs and expectations of these key players and others in each of the Schools will be crucial to the successful creation of a seamless environment for the Stanford researcher.

Stanford-wide support and sustainability will be essential characteristics for this new division of the Stanford Libraries, RDS. Because Stanford is composed of a loose confederation of schools and institutes, support for each facet of the data lifecycle—identifying and acquiring datasets, negotiating licenses &Data Usage Agreements (DUAs), providing data management consultation or planning, and sharing data to promote reuse—will vary widely by department, center, and discipline, and can come or go or be concentrated in pockets over time. These are elements of the datalifecycle, for which the Stanford Libraries have practiced expertise and for which RDS will provide persistent, dependable, and expert support across the University.

Although many elements of RDS already exist within the Stanford Libraries, others will need to be developed for instance:

  • Data Catalog. Preliminary work on this necessary discovery tool is under way; the Data Catalog will be a Stanford-wide catalog of data sets and data including data held by the Stanford Libraries, the coordinate libraries, and data held elsewhere at Stanford but available within the University as well as data available via licensing or open access as we learn about such resources in use by Stanford researchers.
  • Data Commons. We will propose a life-cycle approach to coordination of services among several Stanford agencies that are core to uniting research data with computing, applications, and services needed to identify, acquire/license, process, analyze, preserve, share/publish results, and re-use datasets.

Research data has become ubiquitous in nearly all domains at Stanford. Funding agencies such as NIH and NSF are issuing mandates for data sharing and access. Forging a path forward in this complex and shifting landscape will require decisive leadership built on a foundation of subject and technical expertise.Stanford Libraries and the newly created Research Data Division can be instrumental in helping developa strategic vision for Stanfordaround research data, focusing on fivecore areas of planning/management, acquisition/creation, analysis/research, sharing/publishing, and preservationThe goal of the Research Data Division will be to work across the Libraries and across Stanford tohelpcoordinate the development and delivery of services to promote and support the research data lifecycle in use by researchers at Stanford.

Please send questions or comments regarding this prospectus to Deputy University Librarian Philip SchreurPhDat pschreur(at); Phil will be the interim leader of the new division until a permanent Assistant or Associate University Librarian is appointed.He will see that appropriate Libraries’ leaders respond.

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Archived on: 2021-12-28