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LAURE: Library Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence: Evaluation Criteria

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LAURE Scoring Criteria

LAURE Evaluation Criteria


LAURE scores are based primarily on submitted research story essays, which are worth 80% of the final score for each contestant. The underlying research projects are also considered, and account for 20% of the final score for each contestant.

Underlying Research Paper/Project (20% of final score):

Research Question Definition (1-5)

Underlying research should clearly identify the research question it investigates. Because research is a conversation, this question should be identified with reference to existing research or the opinions of others.

Clarity (1-5)

Underlying research should be presented as clearly as possible in accordance with disciplinary norms, as far as the judges are able to determine.

Use of sources (1-5)

Sources cited in the underlying research should be selected and cited appropriately, as far as the judges are able to are able determine.

Research Story Essay (80% of final score):

Research Question Rationale/Why (1-5)

Research story essays should identify the question explored in the underlying research and also provide a sense of why this question is interesting or important. The research could be worthwhile for, for example, for scientific, social, and/or personal reasons. While the research doesn’t need to be of extraordinary importance, the essay should help readers understand and share the researcher's curiosity.

Structure and Process (1-5)

Structure. Essays should be laid out effectively, and develop as readers move through them, avoiding repetition.

Process description. The unfolding of the author's research process over time is made clear, without providing a dry or unreflective list of steps taken. Process description should include use of relevant library resources.

Style (1-5)

Voice/tone. Essay should convey a sense of individuality in presenting a thoughtful and engaging narrative voice.

Clarity/Style. Essays should avoid wordiness (preferring active voice) and also avoid ambiguous or unclear constructions, cliches, and other stylistic problems.   

Use of Library Resources (1-5)

Relation to library resources. Essays should make reference to the use of specific library resources such as library spaces or databases, librarian research consultations, print or archival collections and/or digital tools, software, makerspace equipment, etc. More active and explicit use of library resources will be reflected in a higher score in this area.

Evaluation Panel

Illustrated panel of seven people sitting in a row looking like they are judging

The judging panel for this award will be selected on a rotating basis by the Dean and University Librarian. The makeup of the committee could consist of:

  • Three librarians representing diverse disciplines

  • One representative from the Senate Library Advisory Committee

  • One representative from the Office of Research for Undergraduates

  • One faculty member at large

  • One student evaluator from the Student Library Advisory Committee

  • Consulting judges may be called upon as needed

For questions about the judging panel, please contact the Library Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence Committee at:

"Decision time" © Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig and used under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.