Data Services Librarian for the Sciences

Data Services Librarian for the Sciences

locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 12/8/2023
Full Time


Data Services Librarian for the Sciences

Harvard College Library


Job Summary

Harvard Library is seeking a creative and self-motivated individual to help develop and coordinate research data services focused on the sciences and engineering in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). As a functional liaison, the Data Services Librarian for the Sciences (DSLS) will work with relevant stakeholders in developing guidelines and workflows of data management services to ensure good research practice, protection of intellectual property, proper storage and security of research data, compliance with relevant regulations, and appropriate access to research data. New outreach and programming developed by the DSLS will demonstrate an understanding of relevant subject data repositories, the research landscape, the role of campus partnerships, and the capabilities and limits of library support. 

Reporting to the Director of Sciences and Engineering Services, the Data Services Librarian for the Sciences will provide data and digital curation support, services, and training to members of the Harvard sciences and engineering community. This role will also advance the mission and objectives of the Division of Sciences and Engineering Services, which encompasses Cabot Library, the Ernst Mayr Library, the Botany Libraries, and the Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) library, by building and sustaining relationships with partners across the research data lifecycle, and participating in relevant library-wide and Harvard-wide committees, working groups, projects, and events.

Position Description

The Data Services Librarian for the Sciences will contribute substantively to the Division of Science and Engineering Services data services programs in the following three key areas: 

Outreach, Representation, and Instruction 

  • Collaborate with members of the Sciences and Engineering services team, and the Open Scholarship and Research Data Services (OSRDS) to design and deliver data services training to members of the Harvard sciences and engineering community and the Harvard Library community. 
  • Engage in outreach and support for researchers on topics of intellectual property, copyright, data management and dissemination, and scholarly communication. 
  • Participate in Harvard Library and university projects, working groups, and cross-organizational teams involved in issues pertaining to research data management and data curation. 
  • Represent Harvard through active participation in relevant national and international professional and scholarly organizations. 
  • Build and sustain relationships with Harvard Library and Harvard University partners across the research data lifecycle. 

Digital and Data-related Projects 

  • Provide consultations for, and management of data-related projects for sciences and engineering faculty, researchers and students, including projects involving digitization and long-term preservation of research data. 
  • Provide assistance and support for researchers, students, and librarians working to extract and transform biodiversity data from digitized collections and digital libraries such as the Biodiversity Heritage Library. 

The Data Services Librarian for the Sciences will also participate in other activities, as required, to support the mission and objectives of the Division of Sciences and Engineering Services.

Basic Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in library and information science, computer science, or a science discipline required. 
  • Two plus years of experience with the research data lifecycle, data curation, and FAIR data principles. 
  • Two plus years of experience in project management.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Experience with current technologies and standards used in institutional repository systems and metadata
  • Data curation experience involving a data repository, such as Dataverse.
  • Experience collaborating and communicating with faculty and researchers.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and antiracism.
  • Ability, or willingness to learn, to develop and maintain scripts and tools using common programming languages, especially in Python.
  • Familiarity with open source projects and methodologies.
  • Familiarity with Linux OS and relational (e.g. MySQL) and/or NoSQL databases.
  • Basic familiarity with discipline-specific informatics initiatives (e.g. biodiversity informatics)
  • Ability to manage workload, priorities and deadlines and achieve timeline goals.
  • Ability to navigate and thrive in a complex organizational environment.
  • Ability to learn new technological tools, applications, and techniques continuously.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including presentation or teaching skills.
  • Basic understanding of virtualization and container technologies (VMWare, AWS, Docker) and familiarity with automation and configuration management (puppet, ansible, etc.) and system monitoring and configuration (nagios, etc.)

Working Conditions

  • The position is based onsite in Cambridge, MA. There may be the opportunity for a flexible or hybrid work model compliant with Harvard University remote work policies.
  • Located in a library office setting, there may be limited exposure to dust and dirt.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

386057 Library Professional

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)



Salary Grade



Science and Engineering Services


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University’s mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world’s most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support.  Today, Harvard Library’s holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University's faculty, students, and researchers—now and in the future—with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at http://library.harvard.edu and about the Harvard University community at http://hr.harvard.edu/why-harvard.

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.