Best Paper & Best First Paper Awards Info

NEAIR offers three Best Awards for papers or reports presented at the NEAIR annual conference:  Best Paper, Best First Paper, and Best IR/Practitioner Report. This document contains information for the Best Paper and Best First Paper Awards.
About the Best Paper & Best First Paper Awards
The Best Paper Award was established in 1988 to recognize and promote scholarly contributions presented at the annual NEAIR conference. The Best First Paper Award was established in 1998 to encourage and recognize new NEAIR presenters and authors who demonstrate commendable research in their first NEAIR scholarly papers.
Recognition for Best Paper & Best First Paper
Best Paper and Best First Paper recipients will receive:
  • A $200 award,
  • A waiver of the conference registration fee for the following year’s NEAIR conference (excluding the NEAIR membership fee), 
  • A letter of notification and congratulations from the President of NEAIR to the recipients, with their immediate supervisor and their institution’s president or organization’s head copied on the correspondence,
  • A formal announcement at the following year’s NEAIR conference,
  • A presentation opportunity at the following year’s NEAIR conference, and
  • An invitation to present at that year’s AIR Forum. (Authors are not obligated to accept the AIR invitation. Neither AIR nor NEAIR contributes funds for AIR Forum attendance.)
For papers with multiple authors, the formal recognition, monetary award and fee waiver are split among authors who are current NEAIR members during the respective conference year.  While NEAIR recognizes the effort put forth by non-NEAIR authors, any co-author who is not a NEAIR member is not eligible for the NEAIR Best Awards. 
Submission Deadline
All Best Paper and Best First Paper Award submissions must be uploaded to the NEAIR Proposal Submission Website by Friday, September 22, 2017.
Submission Requirements
All Scholarly Paper authors are required to submit a scholarly paper prior to the annual NEAIR conference. Papers must conform to the Scholarly Paper Guidelines.
All Scholarly Papers presented at the annual NEAIR conference and submitted through the NEAIR Proposal Submission Website by Friday, September 22, 2017 will be considered for the Best Paper or Best First Paper Award, and will be included in the annual conference Proceedings.  A paper will be eligible for the Best First Paper Award if it is the first Scholarly Paper presented at a NEAIR conference for all authors. Otherwise, the paper will be considered for Best Paper.
Criteria for Evaluation
Papers will be evaluated according to two sets of criteria, content and substance, weighted equally.
Content criteria consider the quality of the paper’s:
  • Literature review,
  • Methodology in relation to the research question(s) posed,
  • Data and information sources,
  • Results, and
  • Conclusions, including the extent to which conclusions follow from results, as well as implications for future research or current practice.

Substance criteria include evaluate:
  • The importance and relevance of the research questions(s) to the field of institutional research or another appropriate area of higher education research and/or the innovativeness of the approach in the field of institutional research,
  • Soundness of methodology, including the appropriateness of the quantitative or qualitative approach given the research question(s), and validity of any statistical or other analytical techniques,  
  • Soundness of conclusions reached given the paper’s results,
  • Organization and writing, and
  • Utility of the paper for the institutional research and/or broader higher education community; special attention will be paid to the generalizability of the paper to the field of institutional research (this can include but is not limited to applicability of the conclusions to different institutional types).
If no Scholarly Paper qualifies for the respective award category in a given year, then the award(s) will not be granted that year. If only one paper is submitted to any of the award categories, it will be evaluated according to above criteria and, if appropriate, an award(s) granted.
Selection Process
The Best Paper Awards Committee will select the recipient of the Best Paper and Best First Paper Awards, if any.
The Program Chair will consult with the Steering Committee in the appointment of the Best Paper Awards Committee Chair. The Program Chair and the Best Paper Awards Committee Chair will appoint the balance of the committee members (an additional two to four persons). It is highly recommended that the previous year’s Best Paper recipient and the Publications Chair be considered as potential members of the Committee. To avoid any perceived conflicts of interest, a member of the Committee shall excuse him/herself if someone from their institution/organization submits a paper for consideration. In this case, the Chair of the Committee will appoint a replacement after consulting with the Program Chair.
Note: The following individuals are ineligible for any of the awards in any given year:
  • Current NEAIR officers, as determined by their officer status when the original proposal is submitted,
  • Conference Program Chair and Associate Program Chair, and
  • Chair and members of the Best Paper Award Committee.