Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries

Software Curation Postdoctoral Fellow


The Software Curation Fellow will lead an investigation to inform the Libraries about immediate and long-term implications of collecting and curating software and of providing software curation services to our community of users. Software plays a dynamic and growing role in shaping the scholarly record, both as a component of research methodology, and as a research outcome. This presents academic libraries with a challenge, as well as an opportunity, as we contemplate practices and possibilities for acquiring, appraising, describing, documenting, preserving, and disseminating software’s broad impact on the scholarly record.

The primary focus of the Software Curation Postdoctoral Fellowship will be to contribute to the development of a software curation model for the MIT Libraries built on representative use cases. Software curation is a digital sustainability research interest at MIT Libraries. We are particularly interested in developing preservation strategies when emulation is not possible or sufficient and elaborating a means to more correctly and specifically cite the versions, components,  processes, roles, and rights that are associated with software.

The Libraries will support the Fellow in identifying collaborators in the digital curation community and in the Departments, Labs, and Centers at MIT, such as the Composite Information Systems Laboratory (CISL), CSAIL, IDSS, and the Media Lab.


  • Lead a comprehensive exploration of the scope and current practice of software curation to inform potential investments in library collections and services.
  • Investigate potential selection, preservation, and service strategies through use cases and prototypes that address the breadth of software curation issues.
  • Explore a model that applies digital curation principles and practice to software.
  • Share findings and observations throughout the Fellowship through all available means, including presentations, publications, and use of social media.

Required Skills and Qualificatiions

  • Ph.D. in a relevant discipline acquired within the five years preceding the fellowship appointment.
  • Familiarity with software development and associated technologies.
  • Strong research skills, including using exploratory research methodologies.
  • Demonstrated commitment to collaborative research.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

Desired Skills and Qualificatiions

  • Experience with the techniques and tools of software curation.
  • Familiarity with the long-term management issues of digital scholarship.
  • Familiarity with the standards and practice of the digital curation community.

Salary and Benefits

  • 2-year term
  • Annual salary of $70,000  using 12 month-appointment calendar
  • Subsidized medical, dental and vision
  • Paid vacation, holidays, sick leave, parental leave

Local Guidance and Professional Development Support

The MIT Libraries will support the fellow’s professional development, including the following:

  • Developing a individual development plan that captures how the fellowship activities, including publication, presentations, projects and collaborations, contribute to the Fellow’s current and future academic goals.
  • Collaborating with stakeholders across the MIT Libraries, including the Digital Sustainability Lab, the Institute Archives, Data Management Services, and liaison librarians.
  • Connecting with scholars at MIT and with researchers in the digital curation community.
  • Presenting work at professional meetings.

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