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Library Research Award 2017: About

The Pepperdine University Libraries are pleased to announce the third annual Library Research Award! This page provides eligibility and submission requirements.


Award Overview

The Pepperdine University Libraries are pleased to announce the fourth annual Library Research Award! This award will be given in several categories for the best scholarly or creative projects that utilize library resources, collections, and services in order to recognize the importance of effective library research in academics.

If you have used the electronic databases, talked to a librarian, edited a film in ACE, or made any other kind of use of the library, you are eligible to apply!

Prize Categories

  • Best undergraduate student project: $500

  • Best graduate student project: $500

  • Best use of Special Collections and University Archives materials: $250

  • Honorable Mention: $150

Please note that awards may be subject to tax.


Important Dates
  • Deadline for submission: April 3, 2017 (11:59pm PST)

  • Notification of winners: April 14, 2017

  • Award reception: April 18, 2017



For any questions, please contact: 

Melissa Nykanen

2016 Winners




The project must be based on research conducted using Pepperdine University Libraries’ resources, collections, tools, and/or services, both online and in print. This can mean use of electronic databases, InfoGuides, or consulting with a librarian.

  • Projects can include research papers, theses, dissertation chapters or sections, lesson plans or curriculum, videos, screenplays, musical compositions, performances, poems, short stories, artistic projects, and other formats. Creativity is encouraged!
  • Undergraduate students, graduate students, all disciplines, and all class levels are welcome to enter.
  • The student must be enrolled in Seaver, GSEP, GSBM, SPP, or SOL at Pepperdine University in the Spring 2017 semester.
  • Group submissions are allowed; the prize money will be split equally among all group members. Please fill out and submit a separate form for each group member, but designate one member as the main contact.
  • The project must be the student’s own work.
  • The project submission must include four components: an application form (see below), the completed project, a bibliography, and a reflective essay. The bibliography and essay should clearly articulate the use of Pepperdine Libraries’ resources.
  • Revising and submitting a project previously submitted for a course is allowed and encouraged.

Be sure to review the evaluation criteria in the Judging Criteria section to understand what is expected in the essay, bibliography, and project.

Projects must be submitted by 11:59pm (PST) on April 3, 2017. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

How to Enter

Application Packet Requirements

  • The reflective essay must be between 750 and 1,000 words. Essays longer than 1,000 words will be redacted. Essays shorter than 750 words will receive a 5-point penalty.
  • Please include a detailed bibliography so the judges can review your sources. Footnotes or endnotes are not sufficient for judges to review your sources.
  • Your name must only appear on the application form, and the first page of your reflective essay, project, and bibliography. Be sure to remove your name from the remaining pages of your project and bibliography.
  • Written projects must be double-spaced; there is no minimum or maximum length for the project. Other types of projects should be submitted in any common digital format.

Be sure to review the evaluation criteria in the Judging Criteria section to understand what is expected in the essay, bibliography, and project.

How to Submit Your Application Packet

Your completed application packet will consist of the application form (see below) along with the completed project, bibliography, and the reflective essay to Clarissa Ng, coordinator for submissions, at in .pdf format. If the project is in a format that cannot be submitted electronically, please contact Clarissa to arrange for delivery. Large attachments can be sent via

Judging Criteria

Judging the Entries

Applications will be scored on:

  • Reflective Essay (25 points)
  • Quality of the Project (15 points)
  • Bibliography (10 points)

Evaluation Criteria - Reflective Essay

The reflective essay should be 750-1,000 words and be a clear description of how you planned and pursued your research, including how you located and chose the library resources, services, and collections you used and how those resources contributed to the development of your project.

Some of the library resources, services, and collections that might be used include: online databases, books and periodicals (electronic and print), InfoGuides, the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), Special Collections and University Archives, digital collections, other primary sources, the iPoint, chat, email, or phone reference, research consultations with librarians, specialized software available in the library, and Interlibrary Loan.

The most accomplished reflective essays are ones that detail:

  • the formulation and path taken to articulate the research question

  • adjustments made to search strategies and any advanced search strategies used

  • specific search terms that show creativity, complexity, and/or flexibility to strengthen the search strategies (additional points may be awarded at grader’s discretion for explanation of how the search terms were selected)

  • potential finding aids and tools appropriate to the inquiry

  • types of sources consulted (books, periodicals, videos, primary sources, data, etc.) and explains the criteria for why they were included and used

  • specific Pepperdine Libraries’ resources including print, digital, special collections, University archives, and/or online resources, InfoGuides, librarian consultations, ACE tutoring consultations, and ILL

  • what was learned about the research process and how this new understanding will affect future research (additional points may be awarded at grader’s discretion for discussion of research challenges and how they were overcome)

Evaluation Criteria - Project

The committee of judges will be evaluating the project on how you used the resources you discovered to enhance the quality of your research and to learn more about your subject.

The criteria for determining the most accomplished completed projects:

  • Project addresses and articulates significant questions within the discipline  (additional points may be awarded at grader’s discretion for a project that poses new questions related to cited research)

  • Clearly communicates, organizes, and synthesizes information from sources in support of the argument or thesis and/or in a manner that support project purposes

  • Additional points may be awarded at grader’s discretion for a project that involves original research data such as conducting interviews, administering surveys, using archives, conducting lab experiments)

  • Quotations and acquired ideas are well selected and integrated conceptually and rhetorically with applicant’s argument

Evaluation Criteria - Bibliography

The bibliography will be judged on the variety and appropriateness of sources used. It should be formatted using a style guide appropriate to your project’s discipline. See the InfoGuide on citation styles for more information.

Cite all sources you used, even if you did not directly quote them. For long bibliographies, subdividing your sources into categories may be helpful, although an alphabetical list is also acceptable.

To help the judges understand your unique set of resources, you may include an explanatory note identifying specific characteristics of these sources that were important in your selection and use for your project.

The most accomplished applicants will have a bibliography that meets the following criteria:

  • Sources demonstrate breadth and depth, representing a balanced mix and wide range of multiple authors and resources appropriate to the discipline and information need  

  • Citations are in a standard format, accurate and complete with minimal errors, and all sources that are cited in the project appear in the bibliography