LIRGweb Home‎ > ‎Awards‎ > ‎

LIRG Student Award

The Library and Information Research Group (LIRG) awards a student prize each year for an outstanding research-based project on any LIS topic. LIRG offers the prize to promote a greater awareness amongst students of the importance of research and to facilitate the dissemination of the results of outstanding projects. Entries are usually extremely high quality and very interesting to read, covering a diverse range of topics and utilising an increasingly wide range of research methods.

The 2017 LIRG student prize has been awarded to Rob Challis for a dissertation entitled “The academic information seeking behaviours of Law undergraduates”.

Rob was a student at the Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies at the University of Western England (UWE) in Bristol. LIRG would like to offer congratulations to Rob and his supervisor.

The panel would also like to commend Lynsey Shenton from Sheffield University on her dissertation entitled “Perceptions of journal prestige in library and information science: A comparative analysis”.

The dissertations submitted for the award were of an exceptionally high standard. All were well executed rigorous projects covering a wide range of subjects and utilising a range of interesting methods. All were of professional relevance, but Rob’s was selected as the winner due to its strong applicability to library practice.

The Award is for £300 and a short paper based on the winning dissertation will appear in a future issue of our journal, Library and Information Research (LIR).

Further details on the prize are available in the Procedures and Conditions section below.

Previous winners

Previous winners of the award have included:
  • Two dissertations also received commendations in 2014:
    • Archana Desmukh, University of Brighton for her investigation into the feasibility of designing a framework for the quantitative evaluation of the Clinical Librarian service at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.
    • Denise Byrne, University of Northumbria was also commended for an extremely high quality and innovative undergraduate dissertation on “Neogeography and the democratisation of GIS and Geospatial data: a metasynthesis of qualitative research”.
  • Mary Davies: MSc Library and Information Management Student, University of Ulster: A study of post-primary teacher and librarian collaboration in Northern Ireland (2013).
  • Timothy Lowe - MA Library and Information Management student at Northumbria University: The role played by public libraries in the provision of library services for the visually impaired in the London area. (2012) The judges commented: “It used a variety of research methods, involved both librarian and service user perspectives and was applicable to practice in both public libraries and other sectors.  All these factors made this a worthy winner.”
  • Thomas Muggleton - Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Strathclyde University: The effect of homelessness on information access, identity formation and social interaction. (2011) The judges commented: "An original piece of research that has relevance to the profession and has practical application"

  • Johanna Anderson - University of the West of England: Library Aid to Developing Countries: A case study investigating how a Western literary library model is integrated into a Sub-Saharan African oral culture within the Malawian primary education system (LIRG Award) and Nicky Ransom - University of Aberystwyth: Facets of user assigned  tags and their effectiveness in image retrieval (JIBS Award) (2010)

  • Christina Ritchie, University of Strathclyde: Self perceived status of school librarians (2009)

  • Harmut Schwamm, Loughborough University: National libraries marketing orientation (2009)

  • Joanna Bryant, Loughborough University: An ethnographic study of user behavior in Open3 at the Pilkington Library (2008)

  • Catherine Parkinson, Loughborough University: Website accessibility statements; a comparative investigation of local government and high street sectors (2007)

  • Neil Parkinson, City University: What's so special about special collections? (2006)


LIRG Student Prize: Procedures and Conditions

1. Prizes will be awarded to students completing courses leading to a first professional qualification recognised by CILIP in Schools/Departments of Library and Information Studies.

2. The value of the award is £300.

3. The work of one student may be submitted by each of the Schools/Departments of Library and Information Studies with a short (no more than 200/300 word) supporting recommendation.

4. The closing date for submission is 20 January 2017. Work completed and assessed in the past twelve months is eligible.

5. Projects to be submitted shall be ones completed as part of normal course requirements in a course leading to a first professional qualification and shall be of the level which might be called "dissertation", "major project", etc.

6. Research is to be interpreted broadly but must include some original work.

7. A Panel will be appointed by the Library and Information Research Group to judge entries and award prizes. The Panel's decision will be final. The Panel will publish a general summary of the strengths and weaknesses of entries in order to encourage the quality of student research.

8. The Library and Information Research Group will from time to time publish a set of criteria for the judging of entries.

9. Prize winners shall agree to:

9.1. Give a short presentation on their projects at a special LIRG meeting, when the prizes will be awarded;

9.2. Write a short summary for the LIRG journal Library and Information Research

10. LIRG may wish to negotiate publication rights with the prize winner's department or school. Alternatively, LIRG will advise prize winners on the publication of suitable work.

11. Applicants should be residents of the UK or Ireland.

12. Applications should be sent by email only.

 Applications and enquiries should be sent by email, to:

Alison Brettle

LIRG Awards and Prizes Co-ordinator

Telephone: 0161 295 0447

Judging Criteria

1. Quality and design of research
a. Have the objectives been clearly stated?
b. Have the objectives been met?
c. Is the background information sufficiently explanatory?
d. Is the literature search thorough and analytical?
e. Are the topic and the problems associated with it, clearly explained and understood?
f. Have relevant ethical issues been identified and addressed?
g. Is the methodology (including and statistical techniques used):
i. Appropriate?
ii. Understood?
iii. Correctly applied?

h. Has the proposition been well argued?
i. Are the conclusions consistent with the findings?

2. Quality of Presentation
a. Is the report well presented in terms of:
i. Clarity
ii. Layout
iii. Readability?

b. Is good use made of:
i.  Diagrams
ii. Supporting illustrations?

3. Originality -  does the work show evidence of originality

4. Other Comments

5. Is the work:
a. Of professional relevance
b. Applicable to Practice