The Library Friends’ Senior Thesis Prize award seeks to identify the work that reflects the highest level of scholarship. This begins with the clear identification of a worthy research problem and the rigor of research methodology and its execution. It must also include thorough background research on the prior work upon which the current project is based. Finally it is dependent on the quality of the narrative that brings it all together so that the reader, even a non-expert, can follow the logic and appreciate the research project.

Student applications will not be considered without a faculty nomination. Both the thesis and nomination are due June 1, 2021. Application instructions for students can be found here: https://libguides.caltech.edu/c.php?g=591721&p=4091433

Selection Criteria

Submissions will be judged based on the following criteria:

  1. Faculty evaluative comments on the soundness, originality, and creativity of contribution to the field of research.
  2. The clarity and eloquence of the essay describing the research process, literature review strategy and importance of scholarship skills.
  3. Superior ability to locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize library resources in support of the senior thesis or project, as evidenced in the thesis:
    • evidence of a complete search
    • use of literature to establish the background
    • comparison of results with other work in the field
    • consistent use of an accepted citation style
  4. The use of library collections, including, but not limited to, printed resources, databases, journal articles, conference papers, primary sources, and materials in all media.

For more information, please email libraryprize [at] library.caltech.edu

Please comment on the soundness and quality of the project's "scholarship of discovery", including the creativity of the inquiry and the significance of the original findings produced by this work that advance our knowledge of its topic. Please describe the value of the project's findings for your field in a manner that may be understood by a reader from outside your field.
Please also comment on the nature and thoroughness of the project's "scholarship of integration" addressing the author's ability to knowledgeably and creatively locate, synthesize, and present the relevant, previously existing information on the topic that sets the context for the present work. Include your understanding of the effort and creativity expended by the student to use library services, collections, appropriate research databases and tools to successfully shape the investigation and to exhaustively identify the relevant scholarly record.