Submission Guidelines for 2020 Award Winners

Guidelines for Research Statement

A critical component of your award application is a 500-750 word research statement describing your research strategies and use of library tools and resources. While we always like to hear about how great the library is or what databases people use the most, that is not what we are looking for in a submission. The statement is worth 20 points. We encourage you to look at the rubric.

The statement offers applicants an opportunity to demonstrate to the reviewers what is known and/or has been learned about the research process including topic/project development, finding and evaluating sources, responding to challenges and redirecting inquiry when necessary. It allows you to explain in detail how the University Libraries’ collections and resources contributed to your research. Keeping in mind that books, articles, archives, technical reports, standards, patents, diaries, images, maps, data, librarians and library spaces are all examples of library resources, the applicant should address the following points:

--Research Topic Development: Reflect upon the process of adapting your interests to the scope of the paper/project. How did you think about and refine your preliminary research topic? How did you modify your original thesis as a result of what you discovered during your initial research? Did the library help to cultivate and further develop your ideas?

--Research Strategies: What specific strategies did you develop for finding and using relevant information? Were any of these strategies specific to your submission’s discipline? What discoveries did you make by chance and which through planned search strategies? How did these events impact each other? What search language(s) did you use? Did you have a failed search or dead ends during the research process? How did you adjust your search if you reached a dead end? Did you display persistence and initiative in gaining access to appropriate sources not available in the library (ILL, Library Express)? Were there specific library services, spaces, people or equipment that contributed to your research process?

--Research Resources: What did you discover about tools and techniques for research? What are the primary research tools (i.e., databases, subject experts, special collections, Research Guides, websites) in your topic area? Which did you use -- why and why not? Are there particular tools or resources that you felt were invaluable to your research? When discussing the research tools used, please do so in an evaluative way and not just a list of things you tried. What did you learn about finding and evaluating information on your topic or in your discipline? What type(s) of sources (journal articles, books, government documents, videos, data, tweets, etc.) did you use? Did you have trouble finding some kinds of information? Describe your decision-making process for solving this challenge.

Guidelines for Bibliography

We encourage you to review the rubric for additional information (insert url here). When preparing your bibliography keep in mind these points:

--Format your bibliography using a style guide appropriate to your project's discipline. See

--Cite all sources you used, even if you did not directly quote from them.

--For long bibliographies, subdividing your sources into categories may be helpful, but listing them alphabetically is also acceptable.