The ASIS&T ProQuest Best Dissertation Award is being given to Sarah A. Buchanan. The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding recent doctoral candidates whose research contributes significantly to an understanding of some aspect of information science. The award is intended to encourage participation of new PhDs in the activities of a professional association by providing a forum for presentation of their research and assisting them with some travel support.
Ms. Buchanan’s excellent and original dissertation examines recordkeeping in the context of some classes of archaeological material culture and the documentary records associated with these artifacts. The methodological thinking and theoretical framework which underpin this dissertation are both well thought through, rigorously developed, and applied to the analysis of four case studies adeptly. The thesis eloquently elucidates how very rich data from multiple sources provide unique insights into how artifacts, their histories, and archiving practices all work together. Importantly, the dissertation makes a series of practical recommendations for future archaeological practice which would address some of the ways in which evidence is lost at the artifact and data “hand-off” (i.e. transfer) points. The jurors applauded the trans-disciplinary approaches adopted by the author. Some argued that, as well as making significant contributions to information management in archaeology, it would provide future doctoral candidates with the inspiration to pursue new research territories expanding the horizon of Information Science.