Job Opportunity: Community and Public Data Curation Fellow at University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania
Community and Public Data Curation Fellow

The Community and Public Data Curation Fellow will help the library develop new capacities for supporting community and public data. As a complement to the Data Curation Librarian, whose work focuses on helping Penn faculty and students manage data produced within the University Community, the Community and Public Data Curation Fellow will work on a Penn project that focuses on stewarding data that is produced and published beyond the University walls. Specifically, we have identified two projects that will expand our capacity to care for and curate valuable and vulnerable data that may be beyond the scope of the library’s collections. One project will focus on supporting government publishers, and the other project will focus on supporting community publishers and collectors in Philly neighborhoods. Each project is tied to an ongoing library collaboration with Penn faculty members. In the first project, the fellow will join in and expand on Data Refuge, an effort to support the long-term safety of environmental and climate data published by local, state, and federal governments. In the second project, the fellow will partner with faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Education who are building an archive of Black Philly by helping to care for vulnerable data published by members of the Black community in Philadelphia, especially in neighborhoods that are rapidly changing due to gentrification and other forces.

As Community and Public Data Curation fellow, the incumbent will help the library responsibly and creatively build and expand sustainable models for the care of vulnerable collections of data, even in cases where Penn Libraries may not take these collections in for the long term. As partners to the owners and publishers of this data, applicants should have experience working in open public partnerships in a social science, government or scientific context, and facility working within and across institutional boundaries. They should also have a demonstrated commitment to ethical methods in the stewardship of community materials. An understanding of the standards of data curation and management, and of the varieties of digital scientific and open data standards will also be important.


Help the Penn Libraries establish the boundaries and understand the level of effort and partnerships necessary for the curation of public open data, and some forms of community data
Collaborate with faculty and collaborators in the Graduate School of Education and Africana Studies Department working on the Black Philly project to identify and support the curation of data related to changing neighborhoods in Philadelphia
Participate in the continuation of the Data Refuge project through connections with state and local government open data publishers and collaborators
Participate in Data Refuge storytelling efforts in collaboration with the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities
Provide support for the digitization and description of community records that may or may not enter institutional collections
Collaborate with community members, bibliographers, and curators at Penn Libraries and other local institutions to identify potential partnerships in the long term stewardship of some materials
Collaborate with colleagues in Data Curation Librarian, Library Technology Services, and Preservation to establish appropriate workflows for ingestion of materials into institutional systems where appropriate
Support development efforts for new and improved repository and publishing platforms within the Penn Libraries to support community and government created data


PhD in relevant field and demonstrated interest in public and community scholarship
Understanding of data curation and management basics
Demonstrated commitment to ethical methods in the stewardship of community materials

Salary and Benefits

Annual salary of $70,000 using 12 month-appointment calendar
Competitive benefits package


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