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Report Reviews First Decade of CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Contact: Kathlin Smith


167coverWashington, DC, September 10, 2015-A new report from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) celebrates the first decade of the CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program by bringing together 20 past and present CLIR fellows to share their thoughts on their experiences and, more broadly, the direction of academia. The report presents a series of collaboratively written essays in a volume titledThe Process of Discovery:The CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and the Future of the Academy.

“The process of discovery-obtaining new knowledge, developing insight, uncovering what was previously unknown or invisible: the wild surmise of seeing clearly what had been incoherent, fragmented, or disjunctive-is a salient theme of each essay,” writes CLIR President Charles Henry in the report’s foreword. “Each essay is a look into the working conditions associated with creating a new profession of expertise and responsibilities in response to emerging forms of scholarly communication and pedagogy.”

The collection represents the coalescence of ideas and viewpoints from multiple authors participating in collaborative writing groups over several months. The results of this effort include the essays “Collaboration in the Evolving Academy: Experiences from the CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program; “Changing and Expanding Libraries: Exhibitions, Institutional Repositories, and the Future of Academia; “Libraries and the Research Data Management Landscape; and “Toward a Trackless Future: Moving beyond ‘Alt-Ac’ and ‘Post-Ac’.” Collectively, these four pieces explore key themes that arose from a comprehensive survey of program participants and alumni conducted in 2014. Findings from the survey project, led by former fellows John Maclachlan, Jason Brodeur, and Jennifer Parrott, are included in the collection. Also included are an account of the program’s history, contributed by Elizabeth Waraksa, and an exploration of the goals that inform the program’s pedagogy, coauthored by longtime leaders of the fellowship’s educational activities Elliott Shore and Lauren Coats.

The collaborative writing process was conceived and led by Maclachlan, of McMaster University, and managed by Waraksa, an independent consultant, with the support of CLIR Director of Research and Assessment Christa Williford. The three also serve as the volume’s editors.

Appendices to the volume list CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship host institutions, 2004-2014, and name individual professionals who have contributed to the program over its history.

The report is available as a PDF download free of charge at

CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. It aims to promote forward-looking collaborative solutions that transcend disciplinary, institutional, professional, and geographic boundaries in support of the public good.

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