Data Curator

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Created: February 3, 2012


Simon Fraser University Library is seeking a highly flexible, collaborative and innovative individual, committed to providing the best possible service to faculty and students, to undertake a range of project-based and operational activities that will advance the SFU Library’s strategic objectives for expanded research data curation and management services.

Simon Fraser University (SFU) is a comprehensive university with approximately 22,000 undergraduate 
students, 5000 graduate students, 950 faculty and 1500 staff. Ranked by respected national surveys as 
one of Canada’s top three comprehensive universities for the past 20 years, Simon Fraser University has 
also been named one of British Columbia’s top 40 Employers for 2011, as well as one of Canada’s top 
100 employers. SFU offers more than 100 undergraduate major and joint major programs and more 
than 45 graduate offerings, spanning many disciplines in eight faculties, and has an international 
reputation for its innovative interdisciplinary and professional programs. The University was established 
in 1965 in Burnaby and has since expanded to Vancouver and Surrey.  SFU is integrally involved in the 
life of all three of its campus communities, including participation in a range of urban renewal and 
development initiatives. Further information about SFU is available at
The SFU Library has an international reputation as a technologically innovative site which is best 
exemplified by its role as the home for several major open source software projects – the Public 
Knowledge Project (PKP) and reSearcher.  PKP develops and supports a range of scholarly 
communications software applications including Open Journal Systems (OJS) which, as of January 2012, 
has been installed at over 11,500 sites around the world. reSearcher is a suite of library software 
modules including Godot, a link resolver, and CUFTS, an electronic resource management system and 
knowledgebase.  The library also has an active digitization program and has been the recipient of several 
grants to undertake some large digitization projects.   The library maintains most of the technical 
infrastructure required for these initiatives and has assembled a very skilled team of systems and 
technical specialists.
Within the SFU Library, planning and project-based initiatives often cross divisional and campus 
boundaries.  The Library Planning Committee (Dean, AULs, Division Heads) is responsible for advising the 
Dean on budget, personnel and external matters. The Library Council (Dean, AULs, Division/Unit Heads, 
seven library staff representatives) advises on other matters. There are few standing committees, with 
cross-divisional task groups typically planning and guiding specific projects. Further information about 
the Library is available at: 2
Reporting to the Associate University Librarian for Library Technology Services and Special Collections, 
this is a unique opportunity that combines a major research data project funded by the University 
Priority Fund (UPF) with the implementation of several key objectives for research data services in the 
Library’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2016.  The Data Curator will play an important leadership role on the 
UPF-funded project while also working closely with the Library’s Research Data Librarian to plan and 
implement the Library’s vision for expanded services and support for research data.  An important part 
of the latter activity will require participation in succession and related transition planning for  Research 
Data  Services.   This is a continuing position at the SFU Library.
The Data Curator will play a leading role in providing guidance and support in long-term management of 
research data, including issues of data preservation and access, intellectual property rights, and security 
of sensitive data. The position will be based in Research Data Services with close working relationships 
with Library Systems , Research Commons, the Library’s Liaison Librarians, and the Library’s Institutional 
Repository staff. The position will collaborate with staff from both inside and outside the library devoted 
to supporting research data management throughout the different phases of the data life cycle. The 
Data Curator will interact with faculty, students, and various academic and administration units 
throughout the university and will be responsible for the development and administration of policies, 
workflows, and infrastructure/repositories regarding the management of datasets and related 
resources. This is a new position in the SFU Library that will incorporate existing and emerging elements 
of research data support and services.  It is an opportunity for the right candidate to help create and 
establish new services for long-term curation and management of research data at SFU. 
UPF Research Data Project
  • Conduct an environmental scan of SFU research data activities and identify data curation and  management requirements
  • Undertake several  “proof of concept” or pilots for the preservation and management of SFU research data in a number of representative data domains
  • Work with relevant library units and relevant university units (e.g. IT  Services, Westgrid, the Office of VP Research, other research centers) to develop university-wide policies, procedures, and support for research data production, management , curation; and discovery for primary and secondary analysis
Research Data Curation and Management
  • Provide consultation services for faculty/students/staff with devising and implementing projectspecific strategies for long-term data curation and management 
  • Work closely with colleagues in the Library and across campus and provide leadership in ensuring SFU compliance with data curation mandates as well as promoting open access to SFU produced research data
  • Provide leadership role to promote data curation and management services amongst faculty and students and staff, and to solicit feedback from researchers about data management needs
  • Assist faculty/students/staff with writing data management plans to include in grant applications and with preparing annual reports, so as to meet requirements of funding agencies such as NSERC
  • Identify appropriate venues for data storage and access and act as intermediary between researchers and appropriate internal and/or external repositories and archives 
  • Assist with development of mechanisms for searching and accessing data collections 
  • Work with relevant library units to develop procedures and best practices for helping researchers with database creation and metadata creation
  • Assess requirements and plan for future facilities, collections, services and staff
  • Mentor staff and coordinate training and development; collaborate with liaison librarians in regular communication and review of services to departments and faculties
  • Collaborate with other Library departments on library-wide developments of new initiatives and reviews of existing services
  • Graduate degree in library/information science/archival studies from an ALA accredited program or equivalent 
  • Minimum 3 years library professional experience including provision of research data services
  • Experience with project management methodologies and subsequent operationalization in a library or research project/team
  • Demonstrated knowledge of intellectual property issues, related academic/research policies and procedures related to data curation and management such as preservation, retrieval, and managing access to sensitive data
  • Demonstrated knowledge of research infrastructure, tools (e.g. DSpace, Fedora, or other repository software), standards and facilities for preservation, data formats and migration, discovery and access.
  • Demonstrated awareness of both national and international trends and developments with research data curation and management
  • Knowledge of relevant metadata standards (e.g. DC, DDI, FGDC, ISO, SMDX)
  • Demonstrated success at collaborating
  • Demonstrated success in achieving innovative change 
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Superior interpersonal and intercultural skills
  • Familiarity with current trends in post-secondary education and academic library services
  • Able to meet the requirements of a confirmed appointment librarian position
  • Second advanced degree with a research component
  • Familiarity with research data analysis tools (statistics, data mining)
  • Familiarity with major data resources from government and other agencies
  • Familiarity with domain specific metadata standards
This appointment is a continuing position and will be made at the Librarian II or III rank, commensurate 
with experience, and in accordance with SFU Policy AD 12.03. The applicable SFU Librarian Salary Scale 
can be viewed at:
A summary of benefits for Librarians is available at: and
Simon Fraser University is committed to the principle of equity in employment and offers equal 
employment opportunities to qualified applicants.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; 
however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
Under the authority of the University Act, personal information that is required by the University for 
academic appointment competitions will be collected.  For further details, see:
To be given assured consideration, application should be submitted, with resume and three references 
by 9:00am PST on Thursday, February 23, 2012 to:
Catherine Louie Phone: 778-782-6704
Library Management Office Fax: 778-782-3023
W.A.C. Bennett Library Email:
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S


Published: Friday, February 3, 2012 21:23 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:47 UTC