[LISdocstudents] Hello from New Zealand

Jonathan Dorey, Mr jonathan.dorey at mail.mcgill.ca
Sun May 19 22:07:33 EDT 2013

Hello everyone,

I'm Jonathan and I'm a PhD candidate at the School of Information Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I'm going into my fourth year and hoping to finish by mid/late 2014.

In the past we typically had cohorts of about 5 students, but the incoming cohort will be slightly larger. There will be about 30 Ph.D. students in the school as of September. I would expect that less than a third of us will apply for lecturer/professor positions after graduation. That is just what I think; I haven't actually asked about everyone's career plans. I would like to stay in Canada after graduation, at any of the 8 LIS schools in the country, but I'm also open to moving abroad. The 8 schools are UBC (Vancouver, BC), UofA (Edmonton, AB), Western (London, ON), UofT (Toronto, ON), Ottawa (ON - not yet ALA accredited and only fully bilingual school), UdeM (Montreal, QC - only school in French), McGill (Montreal, QC), Dalhousie (Halifax, NS). To that you have UofM (Winnipeg) and Laval (Quebec City, QC - also in French) where there is a master's in archival science part of the Department of History.

In English North America (Canada and US), while the pool of LIS graduates is rather small compared to other fields, it is growing, and facing increased competition with candidates from other fields who can't find positions within their own fields (communications, humanities, computer science, etc.). I would imagine this isn't entirely different elsewhere.

Jonathan Dorey
Traducteur agréé / Certified Translator, OTTIAQ
Candidat au doctorat / Doctoral candidate – Information Studies, McGill
MBSI / MLIS – Archives, McGill

On 2013-05-18, at 01:03, Nicole Gaston wrote:

Hello everybody,

I'm Nicole and I'm in the final stages of  PhD in Information Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
I plan to submit before the end of July and will hopefully successfully defend my thesis before the end of the year.

The LIS programme here in NZ is very small - Victoria is the only university in the country with a MIS programme and there are only about 8 or 9 people doing PhDs in information studies/LIS topics at the moment.  Most of my cohort are not New Zealanders - and the majority of them have arrangements with their home country universities to return to lecturing jobs once they have completed their PhDs here.

I'm just wondering if any other members of this list can comment on the size of their LIS PhD cohort at their universities?
I'm trying to get an idea of how many people will be applying for upcoming lecturing/academic positions within the next year :)

My perception (which may be completely wrong) is that within LIS finding academic positions may be slightly less difficult than other disciplines.  For example, an associate of mine nearing PhD completion in the School of Architecture told me he has 15 other colleagues just within his own school who will be looking for academic positions in the next year.     At least in this part of the world, we don't have that many people doing PhDs in LIS.  WIthin my school, I may be the only LIS PhD trying to find an entry-level academic posting within the last 2 years and for next 3 years.  However, most likely the number of architecture programmes worldwide outnumber MLIS/MIS/LIS programmes.

What is the situation in the rest of the world?
What do you plan to do once you finish your PhDs?

On a somewhat related topic, this is an interesting article from the Economist a few years ago about the state of PhD education and hope of employment:

Hopefully this article doesn't put any new-ish students off continuing the PhD journey!!

Warm regards,

Nicole Marie Gaston, MLIS
nicolemgaston at gmail.com<mailto:nicolemgaston at gmail.com>
nicole.gaston at vuw.ac.nz<mailto:nicole.gaston at vuw.ac.nz>

Doctoral student in Information Studies
School of Information Management
23 Lambton Quay, Rutherford House 506
Victoria University of Wellington
New Zealand

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