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EIU Booth Library

Awards for Excellence in Research & Creativity Guidelines


Booth Library at Eastern Illinois University announces its 15th annual awards program to promote and celebrate excellence in student research and creative works. The awards program recognizes student use of the wealth of information resources, expert services, and technology available at Booth Library. A digital copy of winning works will become part of the EIU’s institutional repository, The Keep. Information on past awardees can be found at


The Booth Library Awards for Excellence in Student Research and Creativity program is open to all Eastern Illinois University students who are/were enrolled during the current academic year. Prizes of up to $300 will be awarded, in addition to certificates of recognition.


Entries must be submitted electronically no later than 11:59 p.m. CST February 29, 2024.  Recipients will be selected by March 29, 2024, and the winners will be honored during National Library Week on April 10, 2024. Work submitted for consideration must have been completed within the last 12 months.

Competition Rules

  1. Both individuals and groups of students may submit an entry, with only one entry accepted per person. If more than one person is involved in a project, please specify each person’s role and contributions to the work. Only one entry is needed for each group project.
  2. This award recognizes works that featured support or contributions from library personnel, resources or technology. Each applicant(s) must describe what role Booth Library played in the success of the project methods and outcome. For example, did you use library materials or databases? Did you get help from a librarian or staff person, online or in person? Did you use the library’s computer labs or other spaces? Applicants must describe in detail the library spaces, materials, technologies, services and/or personnel that contributed to this project.
  3. The product of student research and creative activity may take the form of any of the following; however, this list is not intended to be exhaustive.

    Written Work

    Artistic Work


    Musical Work




    Oral History


    Data Analysis or Visualization


  1. A list of references is required for all entries that relied on the work of others. The list should contain all primary and secondary sources used in preparing the entry. The use of Internet sources is acceptable; however, the ideal submissions use a variety of sources. When using Internet sources, students must link to the specific record used, not just the general website. Citations and references, including those related to AI (Artificial Intelligence), must follow a standard format, regardless of which style manual is used (see:


  1. Students should explain the relationship of their submitted work to their education or research interests in general.
  2. All entries must be original works created or finished within the past 12 months. Plagiarism and other breaches of academic integrity will result in disqualification. The use of AI technology may be acceptable, but the submission must disclose this and describe the tools and methods.
  3. All written entries arelimited to 25 pages. Students may choose portions of their theses to submit, in which case a summary and/or outline of the remainder of the document would be appropriate. Students should explore the accepted publication standards in their discipline.
  4. The work submitted must be introduced in such a way that an interdisciplinary panel can understand it.
  5. All proposals submitted for the Booth Library Awards for Excellence in Student Research and Creativityprogram will be used solely to judge the submission for the purpose of receiving an award. However, digital copy of award-winning entries will become part of the library’s institutional repository, The Keep. In some instances of ongoing research, upon request an “embargo” period is possible during which the work will not be publicly accessible for a defined period of time.
  6. Incomplete submissions will not receive full consideration.


The Booth Library Awards for Excellence in Student Research and Creativity jury is comprised of members of the Booth Collaborative Advisory Committee.

Judging Criteria

The judges will select the award recipient(s) based on the following criteria:

  1. Use of library resources (25%): Review of the applicant’s explanation of the role that library spaces, materials, technologies, services and/or personnel played in the success of their project.
  2. Creativity/research (37.5%): Review of the applicant’s research methodology (the number of resources, primary sources vs. secondary sources, unique sources, creative use of the research to support their conclusion, etc.) or creative process.
  3. Overall excellence (37.5%): Review of the work overall. For research, considerations will include originality, clarity of argument/discussion, absence of errors, quality of citations, originality topic, clarity of conclusion, etc. For creative works and others: originality, technique, appropriateness of chosen format, organization, impact, etc.

For questions or concerns, please contact:

Anna Nelson, Booth Library Marketing Associate

Phone: (217) 581-6064



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