Review Process for the Publication Award Candidates

IS Awards Committee: Reviewing the Literature for Publication Award Candidates

For the Rockman Publication of the Year Award, the committee solicits external nominations, and it also conducts a thorough review of the relevant literature. The literature review activity is undertaken in order to have as comprehensive a pool as possible from which to base its selection. This document provides an overview of the literature review process and the individual and collective responsibilities of committee members for generating a pool of candidates for the award. Qualified publications may include journal articles, books, chapters in edited books, and conference papers published within the two years prior to the award year.

Identifying Relevant Publications

  1. Members of the committee (four members ideally) conduct the initial literature review for the specified period of time under consideration using appropriate search tools, suggested search limiters and subject headings. The initial search  should be completed by September 30.
  2. One member (often the chair of the committee) compiles all lists, removes duplicates and sends the completed lists to the full committee for review by mid October. Previous chairs recommend that citations be sent in a file format that can be uploaded into a citation management software program. This will make it easier to remove duplicates.
  3. For this initial review, Awards committee members are divided into review teams. If at all possible, a returning committee member is paired with a new committee member. If there are 9 committee members, there should be 3 teams of two members, and 1 team of three members.
  4. Each review team is responsible for reviewing the abstracts only of about one fifth of the items on the complete list. Pairs should use the guidelines listed on the Rockman Award Guidelines & Evaluation Sheet. During their review, teams discuss and double check each other’s nominations.
  5. Awards chair creates a post in ALA Connect to gather all nominations. External nominations that have come in, and nominations from the group itself will be posted here. (They will be posted in separate lists, to avoid confusion.)
  6. Each pair selects 5 publications worthy of consideration and adds them to the ALA Connect page. Due date for this should correspond to the deadline for external nominations (set by ACRL)
    1. For journal articles and conference papers, each pair is responsible for obtaining these in electronic format (if available) and posting them to the connect page as an attachment.
    2. For books and book chapters, citations are sufficient. The Awards chair should try to contact author to see if electronic version is available.
  7. For the next stage, all members of the committee must read all the nominations – both external and internal nominations.
  8. If an item is not electronically available, committee members are responsible for obtaining the work, for example through their institutions’ ILL services.
  9. Committee members will have a month (or a little longer) to read all nominations.
  10. Awards chair will create a poll to ask members to individually vote for their top 5-7 choices from the list of nominations. Narrowing it down in advance, will make the discussion more efficient.
  11. Committee will meet virtually before Midwinter Meeting to discuss and decide on a winner.

External nominations are due to the IS Awards Co-Chairs in early December. Nominations are accompanied by a letter of recommendation that clearly states how the nominated publication fits the award criteria. As the external nominations come in, the IS Awards Chair reviews them, and adds all nominations meeting the submission criteria to the review list on ALA Connect.