Open Position: Research Fellow at OpenCitations (University of Bologna, Italy)

OpenCitations is seeking applicants for a one-year Research Fellow position to be held from April 2023, for which the application closing deadline is 28 February 2023.

Pubblicato: 31 gennaio 2023 | Innovazione e ricerca

Title: Evolving the OpenCitations infrastructure as a scalable and interoperable cluster of services

Job Venue: Bologna, Italy

Contract duration: 12 months

Net salary: 22.797,92 euros per year

Application deadline: 28 February 2023

Call for applications

OpenCitations is seeking applicants for a one-year Research Fellow position to be held from April 2023, for which the application closing deadline is 28 February 2023. The Research Fellow will work directly with Professor Silvio Peroni and will become a member of the Research Centre for Open Scholarly Metadata at the Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies, University of Bologna, Italy.

OpenCitations ( is as a fully free and open infrastructure to provide access to global scholarly bibliographic and citation data, of quality and coverage to rival those from proprietary services, such as Web of Science and Scopus. OpenCitations is not-for-profit and all its services are free. OpenCitations is managed by the Research Centre for Open Scholarly Metadata of the University of Bologna (

Currently, the amount and complexity of the data made available by OpenCitations opens up several issues related to the improvement, scalability and optimisation of its infrastructure. Therefore, it is crucial to study and customise recent approaches for managing Big Data to create a knowledge base to build decentralised, scalable, long-lasting and easily-customizable services.

The goal of the Research Fellowship is

  1. to study the current limitations and possible improvements to introduce in the OpenCitations infrastructure 
  2.  to reengineer the current infrastructure to make it more scalable, reliable, interoperable, reusable and distributed.

Thus, the Research Fellow is expected to address issues related to the provision of Web services, the management of distributed and heterogeneous databases and services, data conversion and ingestion processes, parallel computing and security. Particular attention will be given to data preservation and the long-term maintenance and update of the infrastructure.


The minimal formal requirement for this position is a Master's degree in Computer Science, Computer Science and Engineering, Telecommunications Engineering, Digital Humanities or equivalent. 

Moreover, applicants are expected to have

  • sysadmin skills 
  • computer programming skills
  • the ability to read, write and speak in good English

It is highly desirable for the applicants to have 

  • demonstrable expertise in using and managing Linux servers (especially Debian and Raspbian), container orchestrator systems (e.g. Kubernetes), infrastructure-as-code systems (e.g. Terraform), Web servers implementing FastGCI (especially lighttpd), graph databases (especially Blazegraph), Python programming and Python Web Application Frameworks (especially and Flask), Git-based version-control systems (especially GitHub); 
  • a strong and demonstrable commitment to open science
  • demonstrable knowledge of Semantic Web technologies, Linked Data and Web technologies

Teamwork abilities and a good knowledge of Italian would also be very beneficial.

How to apply 

The Research Fellowship application (written either in Italian or in English) should minimally comprise the following: 

  1. a cover letter of application, motivating why the candidate is applying for this position;
  2. a full Curriculum Vitae containing information about prior scientific and professional jobs and the scientific production of the candidate;
  3. a public portfolio of software, projects and activities undertaken within the past ten years, with a clear indication of the applicant’s role in each.

The Call for Applications (in Italian and in English) is available online on the website of the University of Bologna. It also includes an attachment with a description of OpenCitations and of the activities related to the position. As indicated in the Call for Applications, candidates need to apply exclusively through the University of Bologna web portal.

Apply here:

Supervisor: Professor Silvio Peroni ( )