Skip to content

Pratt-Severn Best Masters Student Paper Award

Purpose of the Award

The purpose of this award is to foster student research and writing in the field of information science by recognizing an outstanding master’s-level research paper.


The nomination must meet the following qualifications:

  • For this award, “information science” is considered to include all the communication activities and information science and technology fields noted in the first paragraph of Article II, “Purpose,” of the ASIS&T Constitution and Bylaws, published on the ASIS&T website.
  • Author must be enrolled (or have been enrolled at time of authorship) in a master’s degree program or equivalent. Doctoral students are not eligible.
  • Papers should be original manuscripts (not previously published) and should not be submitted to other publications or groups while they are being considered by the Jury.
  • Papers with multiple student authors are eligible;
  • Papers co-authored with doctoral students or faculty are not eligible;
  • Prior award winners, current members of the Awards & Honors Committees and current members of the Board of Directors are not eligible.


Submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Technical competence in information science (20%)
  • Significance of information science findings (20%)
  • Originality (20%)
  • Clarity of expression (20%)
  • Style (10%)
  • Organization (10%)

Nominations Process

Nominations must be submitted by 11:59 pm US Pacific Time on the deadline date via the designated online portal.

Nominations must include the following only:

  • Name, affiliation, and contact information of author;
  • A cover letter from the author; and
  • The paper.


A jury of five members (including the Jury Chair) and one alternate shall be appointed by the Awards & Honors Committee at the recommendation of the Jury Chair. Jury members must:

  • Be a member in good standing of ASIS&T;
  • Not be a member of any other ASIS&T committee;
  • Not submit a nomination for the award in the year of their jury service; and
  • Declare any conflict of interest related to any nominee for the award and recuse themselves from the jury should the conflict be deemed significant by the Jury Chair (in which case the alternate would be appointed).

Selection Process

  • The jury will utilize both asynchronous scoring and synchronous discussion to arrive at a final decision as to who wins any award.
  • Through the evaluation platform or system, jury members will rate each nominee on a scale of 10 (highest) to 1 (lowest) on each of the five criteria listed above. Jury members should also submit a brief synopsis summarizing the most exemplary accomplishments of that nominee. In the event of a tie that cannot be resolved through synchronous discussion, the jury chair will identify an additional jury member to break the tie. This new jury member will evaluate only the tied nominations and will rate them using the same criteria used by the other jurors.
  • The Jury shall make one award or none, but reserves the right to designate runners-up, if the quality of the entries so merit.
  • The jury chair shall use the qualitative feedback from the jury as well as their own judgment to write a ~ 250-word citation stating the rationale for making the award.

Nature of the Award

The Best Student Research Award was established in 1972 and is administered by the ASIS&T Awards & Honors Committee. Since 1996 it has been sponsored by Pratt Institute, School of Information and Library Science, on behalf of the late David Severn, a 1968 Pratt Alumnus. The award shall consist of one 1-year membership in ASIS&T, up to US$500 towards meeting registration and travel expenses for the ASIS&T annual meeting, a certificate, and the opportunity to present the research at the ASIS&T Annual Meeting and be listed in the meeting proceedings. If runners-up are designated, they will receive letters of “honorable mention,” signed by the ASIS&T President, but shall not share in the award.

Presentation of the Award

The award shall be presented at the ASIS&T Annual Meeting.

Important Dates

  • Jury Appointment: March 15
  • Submission Deadline: May 31 (or adjacent weekday)
  • Selection Deadline: June 30