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Library Research Award  

Last Updated: Mar 21, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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The Pepperdine University Libraries are pleased to announce the first 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, or edited a film in ACE, you are eligible to apply!


Eligibility and Requirements

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, the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), or consulting with a librarian, among many other possibilities.

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 full-time in Seaver College, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, or the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University in the Spring 2014 semester.

Group submissions are allowed; the prize money will be split equally among all group members. One group member should be listed as the primary contact on the application form.

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.

Projects must be submitted by midnight (PST) on March 31, 2014. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please see the "Evaluation Criteria" tab at the top of this page for more information.


Submission Guidelines

Please review the "evaluation criteria" tab at the top of this page for instructions on what is expected in the project, bibliography and essay.

Please email the application form (see below), the completed project, the bibliography, and the reflective essay to Melissa Nykanen at If the project is in a format that cannot be submitted electronically, please contact Melissa to arrange for delivery.

Written projects must be double-spaced; there is no minimum or maximum length.

Other types of projects should be submitted in any common digital format.

Large attachments can be sent via

Please contact Melissa Nykanen at or at (310) 506-4434 with any questions.


Judging Categories

Projects will be judged in three categories for 50 total possible points:

Reflective Essay: 25 points

Completed Project: 15 points

Bibliography: 10 points


Reflective Essay

The reflective essay should be 500-750 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 reflective essay should address some of the following questions:

  • How did you formulate your research question?
  • How did you find your sources (catalog, databases, InfoGuides, librarians, professors)? What search strategies did you use?
  • Describe the types of sources (books, periodicals, print, electronic, video, microfilm, etc.) used and why.
  • Discuss outside sources used, if any, such as interviews, other libraries, original research data, etc.
  • How did you select the sources you used? What criteria did you use to determine their appropriateness?
  • Were there sources you identified but decided not to use? If so, why?
  • What, if any, difficulties did you run into in doing your research?
  • What did you learn about research from doing the paper or project?
  • Any other information that you feel will add to your description of the research process.

Prize Categories

Best undergraduate student project: $500

Best graduate student project: $500

Best use of Special Collections and University Archives materials: $250
(Please note that this category also includes use of the Michael Marlatt Collection of Revolutionary War-Era Books and Documents, currently on loan to the library.)

Honorable Mention: $150





Deadline for submission: March 31, 2014 (midnight PST)

Notification of winners: April 8, 2014

Award reception: April 15, 2014



For any questions, please contact:

Melissa Nykanen
(310) 506-4434



This rubric will be used to score the submissions.


Completed 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 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 from 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.


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