ALISE/ProQuest Methodology Paper Competition

Previous Winners

The purpose of this award is to stimulate communication on research methodologies at ALISE annual conferences.

The competition is open to all types of methodology. Papers must be limited to description and discussion of a research method or a technique associated with a particular research method. (For example, papers may address such areas as sampling, grounded theory, historical methods, or statistical methods.) Papers must explain the particular method/technique, including methodological implications for library and information science. Examples to illustrate its value can come from LIS-related published studies, proposed studies, and works in progress. Papers that stress findings are not eligible for this competition.

One winning paper will be selected. An honorarium of $500 will be awarded to the author(s). In cases of joint authorship, one honorarium will be awarded for the paper. Methodology papers prepared by joint authors are eligible for entry but at least one author must be a personal member of ALISE as of the deadline date.

2019 Sponsor

ALISE is thankful for the generous support of ProQuest for sponsoring the award.

Award Criteria

  • Only one methodology paper per entrant will be considered; multiple entries from the same author will not be accepted. Authors may submit papers for other ALISE competitions; however, the same paper cannot be submitted for more than one category.
  • Authors may not submit papers that have been published. Manuscripts that have been submitted for consideration for publication as well as unpublished manuscripts posted to institutional repositories are acceptable as submissions. Authors who have won the award within the past five years are ineligible for this competition.
  • Papers submitted to this competition can originate from a variety of different sources and applicants are encouraged to develop such papers from their research. Methodology papers completed in pursuit of master's and doctoral studies (e.g. thesis, seminars, dissertation, course work paper) are eligible, as are papers generated as a result of a research grant or other source of funding.
  • The papers will be judged by the ALISE Research Committee with the assistance of additional ALISE members in those cases where the methodology warrants. All reviewing is "blind." Methodology papers will be judged on the following criteria:
    • Description of the method or technique
    • Explanation of methodological implications of the method/technique for LIS
    • Examples of actual or potential applications to library and information science research or studies in related fields (i.e., from published studies, proposed studies, and work in progress)
    • Appropriateness of the examples to the paper's focus on method/technique
    • Clarity in the writing and in the paper's organization
The committee reserves the right to select no winning paper if, in its judgment, none of the papers is considered satisfactory.

Submission Requirements

  • Papers, including the abstract and references, must not exceed 25 double-spaced pages (6,000 words), should have one inch margins and be in 12 point font.
  • Two title pages must be sent: One with, and one without, author name(s) and institution. Both title pages must carry the name of the competition for which the paper is being submitted.

Submission Process

Submit award nominations/applications online via EasyChair.

If you have not used EasyChair in the past and do not have an account, please create an account. Once logged in, select "Enter as an author."

Select the track that corresponds to the award name/type.

Submission Deadline

The submission deadline was April 15, 2020. We are no longer accepting submissions.

Winner Responsibilities

The winners of the awards are expected to present a summary of their papers at the ALISE Annual Conference.

Committee Membership

  • The Committee consists of five ALISE Members, one of whom serves as Chair
  • Members are selected by the President-Elect and serve for two years, and may be appointed to serve a second consecutive two-year term.
  • The chair is selected by the President-Elect holds this position for one year, and may be appointed to serve a second consecutive one-year term.
  • The Committee reports to the President-Elect


Noah Lenstra, University of North Carolina - Greensboro


Kristen Rebmann, San Jose State University 
Besiki Stvilia, Florida State University
Xiaohua Zhu, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Michaela Widdersheim, Emporia State University
Amy VanScoy, University at Buffalo

Board Liaison

Stephen Bajjaly, Wayne State University, President

Previous Winners

2020 - Vanessa Kitzie, Travis Wagner, A. Nick Vera and Jocelyn Pettigrew: Using the World Café Methodology to Support Community-centric Research and Practice in Library and Information Science.

2019 - Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Chris Cyr, Brittany Brannon, Peggy Gallagher, Erin Hood,  OCLC, for Speaking on the Record: Combining Interviews with Search Log Analysis in User Research

2018 - Lynne Bowker, University of Ottawa, for Corpus Linguistics: It's not just for linguists!

2017 - Sarah Barriage, Rutgers University, for The Use of Task-Centered Activities in Research with Children & Youth: Inspiration from Childhood Studies for Research in Library & Information Science

2016 - Lili Luo, San Jose State University, Allison Benedetti, UCLA, and John Jackson, Whittier College for Vignettes:  Implications for LIS Research

2015 - Leslie Thomson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for Surveying and Situating the Guided Tour in Library and Information Science

2014 - Angela Pollack, Western University, for Visual Methods Primer: Complimentary and Alternative Sources of Data in LIS Research

2013 - Beth St. Jean, University of Maryland - College Park, for Devising and Implementing a card-sorting technique for a longitudinal investigation of the information behavior of people with Type 2 Diabetes

2012 - Mahria Lebow and Heath L. O'Brien, University of British Columbia, for Is There a Role for Physiological Methods in the Evaluation of Human-Information Interaction?

2011 - John M. Budd, University of Missouri - Columbia, for Phenomenological Critical Realism: A Practical Method for Us

2010 - Heather Archibald and Lisa M. Given, University of Alberta, for Visual Traffic Sweeps (VTS): A Research Method for Mapping User Activities in the Library Space

2009 - Derek L. Hansen, University of Maryland, for Studying Reference Encounters with the Pair Perception Comparison (PCC) Method

2008 - No award given

2007 - No award given

2006 - Jenna Hartel, University of California

2005 - No award given

2004 - No award given

2003 - No award given

2002 - Lisa M. Given and Hope A. Olson, University of Alberta

2001 - Diane H. Sonnenwald and Barbara M. Wildemuth, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2000 - Boryung Ju, Robert Brooks, and Kathy Burnett, Florida State University, for Measuring Navigational Preference in Hypertext Systems

1999 - Yin Zhang, University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign, for Using the Internet for Survey Research: a Case Study

1998 - Cheryl Knott Malone, University of Illinois

1997 - Matthew L. Saxton, University of California - Los Angeles