Position Opening: Social Science Data Curation Fellow at Penn State University

Pennsylvania_StateThe Pennsylvania State University Libraries seek a Social Sciences Data Curation Fellow to collaborate with librarians, technologists, and researchers, primarily in the social sciences, on building out a program of services for the lifecycle management of social science research data. The fellow’s work will dovetail with an investigation, launched in summer 2013 by the University’s Information Technology Services (ITS), into curation needs for restricted data. Penn State has experience handling restricted data, as evidenced by the Clinical Science and Translational Institute, which works with primary data that carry high-risk identity disclosure issues, yet fall under the NIH data sharing mandate. The Libraries also has a significant university records management program, and in spring 2014 it will house a new Census Research Data Center. Working with ITS, relevant liaison librarians, and research institutes in the social sciences, the fellow will contribute to the overall stewardship of social science research data at Penn State, including consideration of curation issues for public data sets arising from restricted data.

The fellow’s responsibilities will focus on three fundamental, interconnected areas: 1) investigation of current research data practices to assess curation needs; 2) collection planning, based on assessment, for local research data sets, exploring approaches to ensuring data quality and optimizing for access, use, and reuse of data; and 3) pilot project investigations of curation processes to inform operationalizing a data curation service. By concentrating on these three areas, the fellow will contribute to our understanding of the costs of implementing data curation services for the social sciences at Penn State. Also central to these efforts will be Penn State’s repository service, ScholarSphere, developed in 2012 as a partnership of the Libraries and ITS. As a tool for supporting researchers in data management planning, ScholarSphere is poised for further development as a data repository, especially for data that otherwise have no institutional, organizational, or domain-specific base: it offers state-of-the-art preservation technology, flexible access and permission levels, and robust file versioning capability. The fellow’s contributions will test and help expand ScholarSphere to meet the curation needs of research data, initially in the social sciences and potentially extending to data from other disciplines, depending on outcomes from the sets of activities described.

This is a two-year, fixed-term appointment at the rank of assistant librarian. The Data Curation Services postdoctoral fellow will be based in the Libraries and expected to work in collaboration with a range of departments, both within and beyond the Libraries.  This position is offered as part of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) program of Fellowships in Data Curation for the Sciences and Social Sciences (http://www.clir.org/fellowships/postdoc/applicants/dc-science).

To Apply:
This position is offered as part of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) program of Fellowships in Data Curation for the Sciences and Social Sciences.  Applicants must apply by December 27, 2013 following the instructions found online at http://www.clir.org/fellowships/postdoc/applicants/dc-science.   Following an initial screening by CLIR, applications will be forwarded to Penn State University Libraries which will make the final hiring decisions.  Employment will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and diversity of its workforce.

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