ALISE/Bohdan S. Wynar Research Paper Competition

2024 Winners: Travis Wagner, University of Illinois, and Vanessa Kitzie, University of South Carolina

Previous Winners

The purpose of this award is to further stimulate the communication of research at the ALISE Annual Conference. Research papers concerning any aspect of library and information science are eligible. This competition is not limited to research regarding LIS education. Any research methodology is acceptable. Up to two winning papers may be selected.

2024 Sponsor

Interested in sponsoring the ALISE Bohdan S. Wynar Research Paper Competition? Click here to view the 2024 prospectus and claim your sponsorship!


Award Criteria

  • At least one applicant in a group must be a personal member of ALISE as of the deadline date.
  • Only one research paper will be considered from each entrant; multiple entries by the same author will not be accepted. The same author may submit for both the Research Grant Award and the Research Papers Competition; however, the same work cannot be submitted for both categories.
  • Papers must represent completed research not previously published. However, the manuscript may have been submitted and be in process for publication.
  • Research papers completed in the pursuit of master's and doctoral studies (e.g., theses, seminar papers, and dissertations) are not eligible for entry. Research utilizing data gathered by a master's or doctoral student is eligible unless the research report is taken directly from a paper submitted for degree requirements. Papers which are spin-offs of such research are eligible for entry.
  • Papers generated as a result of a research grant or other source of funding are eligible for the competition.
  • Papers whose author or authors have won the award within the past five years are not eligible.
  • The candidate may not be a current member of the committee, nor may a current committee member nominate a candidate for the award.
The papers will be judged by the committee with the assistance of additional ALISE members in those cases where the research topic or methodology warrant. All reviewing is blind. Research papers will be judged on the following criteria:
  • Significance of the research problem.
  • Presentation of the relevant literature.
  • Design of the study (i.e., appropriateness of methodology, selection of specific techniques and/or tests).
  • Conduct of the study (i.e., application of methods of data collection).
  • Analysis and presentation of the data (i.e., quality of analysis, logic of findings).
  • Appropriateness of the conclusions.

Submission Requirements

  • Papers, including abstract and references, must not exceed 7,000 words, should have one-inch margins and be in 12 point font.
  • Two title pages must be sent. One with, and one without, author names(s) and institution. Both title pages should carry the name of the competition for which the paper is being submitted.
  • Please submit a blind copy of your paper. Papers will be disqualified if they exhibit one or more of the following:
    • Lack of adherence to submission requirements
    • Submission of paper for the wrong award
    • Poor quality in the writing
    • Poor organization of material

Submission Process

All submissions must be completed through the ALISE 2024 submission system

*First-time users will be required to create an account (separate from your account). Once created, return to the ALISE '24 submission page to log in. Once logged in, select 'Enter as an author'. Select the relevant track for your submission, ensuring you review all requirements prior to completing your submission.

Submission Deadline

March 25, 2024

Winner Responsibilities

The winner(s) of the award will be honored at the ALISE Annual Meeting and will be expected to present a summary of their paper at that meeting. The award does not include an honorarium.

Committee Membership

  • The Committee consists of four 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 Past President


Joseph Winberry, University of North Carolina


Murtaza Ashiq, University of the Punjab
Beth St. Jean, University of Maryland, College Park
Gbolahan Olasina, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Melissa Gross, Florida State University

Board Liaison

Rong Tang, Simmons University

Previous Winners

2023 - Michelle Caswell & Anna Robinson-Sweet, University of California, Lose Angeles: "It Was as Much for Me as for Anybody Else": The Creation of Self-Validating Records

2022 - Xiaofeng Li, Clarion University of PA and Shelly Mathis, Grand County Library District: "My Mom Recommended It to Me”: Understanding Homeschoolers’ Information Practices

2021 - Joseph Winberry and Devendra Potnis, University of Tennessee-Knoxville:  Social Innovations in Public Libraries: Types and Challenges

2020 - Mega Subramaniam, Natalie Pang, Shandra Morehouse, and S. Nisa Asgarali-Hoffman:  Positioning vulnerability in youth digital information practices scholarship: What are we missing or exhausting?

2019 - Margaret Zimmerman, The University of Iowa, for Mapping Literacies: Comparing Information Horizons Mapping to Measures of Information and Health Literacy

2018 - J. Elizabeth Mills, University of Washington; Kathleen Campana, Kent State University; Allyson Carlyle, University of Washington; Bowie Kotrla, Florida State University; Eliza T. Dresang, University of Washington; Ivette Bayo Urban, University of Washington; Janet Capps, Independent Researcher; Cheryl Metoyer, University of Washington; Erika Feldman, Independent Researcher; Marin Brouwer, Kent School District; Kathleen Burnett, Florida State University for "Early Literacy in Library Storytimes Part 2: A Quasi-Experimental Study and Intervention with Children's Storytime Providers"

2017 - Min Zhang, Southwest University, China, Feng-Ru Sheu and Yin Zhang, Kent State University, for Understanding Twitter Use by Major LIS Professional Organisations in the U.S.

2016 - Denise Agosto, Rachel Magee, Michael Dickard, and Andrea Forte, Drexler University, for Teens, Technology, and Libraries:  An Uncertain Relationship

2015 - No award given

2014 - Virgil E. Varvel, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Yi Shen, John Hopkins University, for Data Management: Consulting at the John Hopkins University

2013 - Marie Radford, Rutgers University, and Lynn Connaway, OCLC for Not dead yet! A longitudinal study of query type and ready reference accuracy in live chat and IM reference
Joseph Tennis, University of Washington, for The strange case of eugenics: A subject's ontogeny in a long-lived classification scheme and the question of collocative integrity

2012 - Jessica F. Lingel, Rutgers University, for Improvision, Tactics, and Wandering: Urban information Practices of Migrational Individuals

2011 - Catherine A. Johnson, University of Western Ontario, for I'm like librarian bartender sometimes: How Informal Interactions Between Library Staff and Patrons Help to Create Social Capital

2010 - No award given

2009 - Yin Zhang and Athena Salaba, Kent State University, for What is Next for FRBR? A Delphi Study

2008 - Rong Tang, Simmons College, and Martin A. Safer, Catholic University of America, for Author-Rated Importance of Cited References in Biology and Psychology Publications

2007 - Charles Hildreth and Selena Aytac, Long Island University, for Recent Library Practitioner Research: A Methodological Analysis and Critique

2006 - No award given

2005 - Lokman Meho, Indiana University and Kristina Spurgin, University of North Carolina, for Ranking the Research Productivity of LIS Faculty and Schools: An Evaluation of Data Sources and    
Research Methods

2004 - No award given

2003 - No award given

2002 - No award given

2001 - George D'Elia, Corinne Jorgensen, and Joseph Woelfel, School of Information Studies, University at Buffalo, SUNY, and Eleanor Jo Rodger, Urban Libraries Council, for The Impacts of the Internet on Public Library Use: An Analysis of the Current Consumer Market for Library and Internet Services.

2000 - Allyson Carlyle, University of Washington, for Developing Organized Information Displays for Complex Works: A Study of User Clustering Behavior

1999 - Caroline Haythornthwaite, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for Network Structures among Computer-Supported Distance Learners: Multiple Relations, Multiple Media, and Time

1998 - Louise S. Robbins, University of Wisconsin - Madison

1997 - Ingrid Hsieh-Yee, Catholic University of America