Preview: the Library Prize for Undergrad Research

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Staff Writer

Every year, the Schurz Library at IU South Bend holds the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research to honor student research excellence. The deadline to submit a project for the prize, Feb. 22, is fast approaching.

“The prize is designed to reward students’ academic scholarship” said Nancy Colborn, the chair of the committee for the prize.

The winner of the prize is awarded $500, as well a ceremony usually held in April during National Library Week. All students are eligible to submit to the competition, as long as they were students during the 2012 school year.

Library prize
Preface Photo/NICK WORT

“We’re most interested in the research process,” said Colborn “we focus on the evidence in the project showing how students used their research sources effectively.”

To submit to the prize, students are required to not only submit the  project, but also an essay explaining their research and reflecting on their research strategy, as well as a letter from the faculty member the project was competed under.

“The prize is not just for papers,” said Colborn “any project can be submitted, as long as there was a significant amount of research done, we encourage students to think about the projects they did well on and submit them.”

Although a prize has always been offered, participation in the competition has varied a lot over the years. “But the winners have always had great projects, and deserved their prize” added Colburn.

The contest is judged by a committee made up of the committee chair, a librarian, one librarian staff member and two faculty members. These judges then review the projects and discuss among each other to figure out a winner based on their criteria.

“Sometimes you can really see how a particular research article changed the direction of the  students research,” said Colburn “and that’s the information literacy aspect and the research process aspect that we look for evidence of, the projects that have won are usually from students that understand the research process and understand how the process guided them through the project.”

The winning projects are currently not published, but that option is still a possibility in the future. The research projects are available at the library for any student who would like to see what a winning project looks like.

The deadline for submissions to the Library Prize for Undergrad Research is Feb. 23, and the winner will be announced by March 22. More information and all of the criteria can be found on the libraries website at under the “News and Events” section.

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