Information Scientist Job roles, responsibilities, descriptions and duties

Date of posting: 14 Jan 20

What are the job roles and responsibilities of an Information Scientist?

Information scientists typically work across the breadth of a company. A lot of their time is spent communicating with colleagues or carrying out research in archives of documents.

Key duties of the job include:

  • evaluating, organising, cataloguing, classifying, managing and distributing information in a variety of formats

  • creating databases

  • ensuring that information is up to date

  • ensuring that data protection laws are met

  • helping to develop intranets for staff to use

  • answering Freedom of Information (FOI) requests

  • carrying out information audits, inquiries and internal commissions

  • answering enquiries from staff and external parties

  • maintaining statistical and financial records

  • writing reports

  • using specialist computer applications

  • searching for and retrieving information from the internet and online databases

  • promoting and marketing services

  • maintaining a budget

  • training and supervising assistant staff.

Typical employers of information scientists

  • Private and public sector organisations

  • Public libraries and information services

  • Government departments

  • Professional associations

  • Research establishments

  • Charities

  • Academic or school libraries

  • Commercial organisations

  • Universities

Qualifications and training required

It’s possible to enter this profession with a degree in any subject. However, some employers require a relevant subject such as information science or information and library studies.

Depending on the industry you work in, you may need a sector-specific degree. For example, if you are managing history databases, a history degree may be preferable.

Any experience of working in a library, archive or research facility is beneficial. You can also apply for IT, technology or administration-related industrial placements, summer internships and insight programs.

Key skills for information scientists

  • Motivation

  • Excellent research skills

  • Attention to detail

  • Organization and efficiency

  • Teamworking skills

  • Verbal and written communication

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Computer skills

  • Proficiency with databases and the internet