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Taxonomist, Art Information Commons

How You Will Contribute
The Taxonomist will lead the creation and maintenance of taxonomy and metadata for the Art Information Commons. Project outcomes are to increase institution-wide efficiency in data management, provide access to the full range of art information resources stewarded by the Museum for both internal and external researchers, and to lay the groundwork for sharing collections data with other cultural institutions by adopting a linked data approach. The Taxonomist will work closely with the Arcadia Director of the Library and Archives, Art Information Commons Project Manager, Systems Developer, Information Architecture Consultant, metadata managers, and subject/data owners throughout the institution, to build consistency of data across the entirety of Museum holdings, support system efficiency, and facilitate consensus among different subject experts to support their user communities.

Specifically, you will:

  • Understand and analyze museum activities and assess and document user needs in order to strategize for creation and implementation of controlled vocabularies, robust classifications, and multi-use faceted taxonomies.
  • Work closely with the Information Architecture Consultant to align content and data with user needs and organizational metadata and standards, then build rigorous content models and schemas.
  • Develop and source terms, facets, and definitions for the taxonomy and ontology of encyclopedic museum collections, library, archives, web, publications, and related resources.
  • Contribute to establishing review and governance practices related to institutional metadata practices.
  • Create taxonomy training materials and conduct training sessions for stakeholders across the Museum.
  • Contribute to mapping existing metadata to be presented as linked data and harmonized across all collections and the museum’s data management and content delivery systems.
  • Work with Systems Developer to evaluate software tools for data management and analysis, along with tools for creating, delivering, and managing taxonomies.
  • Work with Systems Developer and organizational stakeholders to support taxonomy management practices and reporting within systems.
  • Work with Digital Asset Management team to establish taxonomy for the DAMS.

Your diverse background includes:

  • Strong problem solving and conceptual thinking abilities.
  • Experience contributing to measurable quality improvements in data, content, or taxonomy.
  • Ability to clearly communicate technical topics to audiences of all levels of expertise.
  • Ability to approach new challenges with resourcefulness, humility, and curiosity.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with a focus on rapport-building, listening, and meaningful questioning.
  • Comfort working across a complex organization in transition.
  • Experience developing and managing enterprise-wide taxonomies, controlled vocabularies, and metadata schemas.
  • Experience with tools and techniques for data normalization, mapping, and transformation.
  • Familiarity with linked data principles and specifications, including but not limited to Resource Description Framework (RDF), Resource Description Framework Schema (RDFS), Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS), SPARQL Graph Query Language, ontologies, and other similar standards.
  • Familiarity with the use of vocabularies and taxonomies in browse navigation, search index tuning and user results filtering.
  • Comfort collaborating with software development teams to achieve successful, user-centered outcomes.
  • A general understanding of museum, library, and/or archive databases, classifications, and systems, in particular the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CIDOC CRM) preferred.
  • Proficiency in user research techniques, including but not limited to: taxonomy research (card sorting, tree testing, etc.), contextual inquiry, interviewing, formal usability studies, literature review preferred.
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