University of Oklahoma


Postdoctoral Fellow in Software and Research Objects Curation

Position Focus

With research becoming an increasingly digital endeavor through advances in computational technologies, standards for documentation and preservation of software applications must be developed in order that future researchers can learn from, verify, and build upon the original research. As stated by the Software Preservation Network (SPN), “The rapid pace of software development and change makes it urgent for those interested in the practice of preserving software to develop a correspondingly robust research agenda.” It is incumbent that research institutions such as the University of Oklahoma contribute to the progress of the SPN and related entities that are committed to tackling the complexities of software and research objects curation.

The University of Oklahoma Libraries is seeking to create a fellowship that focuses on reviewing best practices and existing standards for identifying and documenting software, disk images and emulator configurations. Specifically, the purpose of the fellowship will be to build on the work of the software curation community and investigate how it can be applied directly to the research objects generated by virtual reality and 3D software applications. The fellowship will also conduct an environmental scan of current software and research object curation practices at the University of Oklahoma and peer institutions and report its findings. Creating such a position will support the University’s goals for the institution to be a leader, to train leaders and to strengthen the OU and OU Libraries brand around the globe.

Job Function

The CLIR Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Software and Research Object Curation will work in a team-based environment and conduct advanced research in digital archiving and software curation for virtual reality and 3D imaging applications. Specifically, for this fellowship the following disciplines will be involved: computer science, information studies, anthropology, archaeology, architecture, film and media studies, and history of science. Working closely with faculty/staff from these areas, the research fellow will be responsible for teaching and training students, staff, and faculty about the significance of software and associated research objects integrity and transparency.

Job Duties

CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Software Curation and Preservation (75%)

  • Work under the direction of faculty members from information studies, computer science, the history of science, and staff at the University Libraries, that are performing research that addresses software and research object integrity and transparency.
  • Work closely with the new Digital Humanities Computing professorship to apply standards for documenting and preserving particular software applications.
  • Continue the work of SPN’s Metadata/Standards Working group “to collect and analyze existing metadata standards, develop approaches for establishing a common metadata framework, suggest crosswalking strategies, advocate for the inclusion of software metadata standards in repositories and content management systems, and promote community awareness of software preservation standards.”
  • Develop a matrix that identifies specific software and file formats for virtual reality and 3D imaging applications, which will be useful for software curators, digital preservationists, and researchers in the field.
  • Investigate and identify the differences between curating cloud-based, open-source, and proprietary software.
  • Conduct an environmental scan of current software and associated research object curation practices at OU and peer institutions, which may take the form of literature reviews, case studies, or surveys.
  • Research and report on technical infrastructure that addresses computer configurations needed to run software packages and/or the creation of emulation environments.
  • Consider cultural heritage implications for curating software applications as artifacts.
    • Lead discussions within the above community on defining curation practices for software.
    • Create a community, and partnership of active participants, interested in developing standards specific to virtual reality and 3D imaging applications and associated digital files.
  • Be responsible for creating and maintaining policies, procedures, workflows, and strategies related to software curation.
  • Be knowledgeable about the community of practice for digital preservation and archiving.
  • Work with library colleagues – Library Administration, Digital Scholarship Specialist, Research Data Specialist, Emerging Technologies Librarians, and others – to coordinate the work documenting software used for research.
  • Participate in regular meetings with the collaborators.
  • Identify and help apply for grants to further the goals of this position as well as help write reports for those funding agencies and any other stakeholders.
  • Coordinate special projects and performs other duties as assigned.

Teaching & Related Support (25%)

  • Work under the direction of faculty members as well as staff at the University Libraries, to provide support and training on documenting and curating software applications.
  • Be involved in doing technology development, consulting, outreach, and training to address software and research object curation best practices.
  • Coordinate public symposia and other events for academic and general community that addresses software integrity and transparency.
  • Write and/or assist in developing presentations and publications about the outcomes of this work.

Job Titles Position Will Supervise

Required Education & Experience

  • Doctoral degree in computer or information science or equivalent.
  • Familiarity with research methodologies and workflows.
  • Creative problem-solving skills and a strong commitment to service excellence.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills, especially involving communicating across multiple research domains and industries.
  • Commitment to fostering a diverse educational environment and workplace and ability to work with a diverse student and faculty population.


  • Masters degree in the humanities or social sciences
  • Knowledge of data management and information and data sharing policy issues.
  • Experience with digital preservation and archiving.
  • Experience in visualizing research data.
  • An understanding of data-intensive research environments; data analytics experience; computer gaming, video or CAD/CAM technologies, programming skills;
  • Understanding of concepts embodied in: OAIS Reference Model, MARC/XML, Linked Data, MODS, CDWA.
  • Knowledge of Python, GitHub and open source development tools and technologies
  • Be comfortable with encountering a variety of technical languages and tools
  • Demonstrable understanding of the Unity game development platform or other 3D platforms such as: Blender, Panda 3D and/or other commercial systems such as Unreal or CryEngine.
  • Ability to work in both PC and MAC environments.
  • Willingness to investigate and learn new technology as needed.

Salary and Benefits

The annual salary is $70,000 and the University of Oklahoma offers an excellent benefits program. For further information please access the Human Resources website at

The University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma (OU) is a Carnegie-R1 comprehensive public research university known for excellence in teaching, research, and community engagement, serving the educational, cultural, economic and health-care needs of the state, region, and nation from three campuses: Norman, Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City and the Schusterman Center in Tulsa. OU enrolls over 30,000 students and has more than 2700 full-time faculty members in 21 colleges.

The University of Oklahoma’s beautiful, bustling campus is nestled in the heart of Norman, the state’s third largest city, located just south of Oklahoma City. Norman combines the charm of a college town, the sophistication of a cosmopolitan city and the history and culture of the American West. With outstanding schools, amenities, and a low cost of living, Norman is a perennial contender on the “Best Places to Live” rankings. With a cost of living close to 15 percent less than the national average, Norman is a very affordable city. For more information visit: or About Norman.