Job Opportunity: Data Specialist for Visual Arts and Women’s History

Join the Smithsonian Institution and Help to Advance Women’s History Research

Applications due by Friday, December 18, 2020

The Smithsonian Institution is seeking a metadata expert and digital project coordinator with an interest in advancing women’s history research. The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and American Women’s History Initiative (AWHI) are offering a position for a Data Specialist to provide coordination and support for the use of digitized art and art-related collections data with the goal of advancing women’s history research at the Smithsonian and around the world.

The incumbent will coordinate, develop, and manage the sharing of digital collections data and metadata about women in the arts Smithsonian museums and research units, working collaboratively with AWHI and museum staff, and supporting interchange with third-party platforms such as Wikidata and other Wikimedia projects.


This is a Smithsonian Trust (non-Federal) position, with a starting salary comparable to the Federal pay scale at GS-9, from $45,000 - $59,534/year, dependent on U.S. locality pay. In addition, it includes a Smithsonian Trust employee benefits package, including full health and leave benefits. This is a three-year term appointment. Remote work is possible.

NOTE: United States citizenship is not required. However, if the selected applicant is not a United States citizen, or if their education is not from a United States education institution, the selected person will have to 1) obtain an appropriate visa to work in the United States and 2) must show proof that the education credentials have been submitted to a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials and that such education has been deemed to be at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs; or an accredited U.S. state university reports the other institution as one whose transcript is given full value, or full value is given in subject areas applicable to the curricula at the state university.


Communication and Data Coordination

  • Coordinates and provides support for collections data-sharing among Smithsonian entities, reflecting the range of collections data found within the various Smithsonian visual arts-collecting museums and research units.
  • Collects information from Smithsonian staff and stakeholders on priorities, objectives, and potential platforms for data dissemination.
  • Coordinates evaluation of audiences and platforms and makes recommendations to modify or create data workflows and processes as needed.
  • Remains up to date on digital metadata publishing best practices. Monitors, increases, and reports upon data distribution metrics as appropriate.
  • May accompany higher-level officials to Smithsonian-wide or AWHI committee meetings.

Distribution and Re-publication of Smithsonian Collections Data

  • Works with AWHI Wikipedian-in-Residence for Gender Equity and Smithsonian Wikimedian at large to distribute Smithsonian collections data as linked data on third party platforms such as Wikidata and other open knowledge projects.
  • Coordinates and develops data distribution and sharing by identifying, gathering or adapting existing data from a variety of sources (such as databases, APIs, and other publications and Smithsonian work products), or by creating, modifying, or soliciting new data sets.
  • Manages data review, modification, cross-walking, and approval processes for online data as needed.
  • Consults with unit and AWHI staff, contractors, interns, and researchers on appropriate material and required formats.
  • Liaises with data owners and schedules the distribution of data.

Liaison with Global Wikimedia Community

  • Monitors Wikimedia volunteer, staff, and community activity on Smithsonian collections data, coordinates evaluations, and makes recommendations for improving activities and interactions.
  • Monitors user-generated data activities and collects feedback through websites, email, discussion forums, and social sharing platforms. Responds to user inquiries regarding Smithsonian arts data in collaboration with unit and AWHI staff and contractors.


  • Knowledge of Internet and website data management principles and methods, including linked data and the semantic web, and of open data platforms such as Wikimedia.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of museum, library, and archives collections data standards and metadata management, including the use of collections databases and software, to enable research, education, and community engagement.
  • Knowledge of communications and project coordination principles, techniques, methods, and best practices for managing collaborative digital projects.
  • Ability to manage, organize and present for public consumption complex information from many different sources.
  • Ability to monitor application usage and effectiveness and propose adjustments or enhancements.
  • Skill in oral and written communication to collaborate with staff and advisors associated with museum projects and to develop written communication materials, including correspondence and project documentation.
  • Educational and experience requirements include a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant field of study such as information management or library science, OR at least one year’s experience equivalent to the Federal GS-7 level undertaking similar duties to those described above.

How to Apply

To apply, send a résumé plus a cover letter which outlines your qualifications to Applications must be received by Friday, December 18, 2020.