Data Curation Research Paper Competition

This is a new category added for 2014!

ICPSR invites original student submissions for a research paper competition on the topic of data curation. Archiving and sharing research data has received significant public attention. This competition has the purpose of encouraging and highlighting exemplary student research on data curation, including, but not limited to, such topics as data management planning, supporting the data curation lifecycle, metadata, data confidentiality, preservation, and cost modeling.

Awards: $1,000 for a single first-place award, $750 for a single second-place award.


  • Entrants must be current PhD, master’s, or undergraduate students, or recent graduates who graduated on or after April 1, 2013. (Students who graduated before April 1, 2013, are not eligible.)
  • Entrants may be from ICPSR member or nonmember institutions.
  • Entrants may be from the US or outside the US.

Deadline: All papers and corresponding entry forms must be received by midnight Pacific Time, May 30, 2014.

Entry Requirements

All entries must meet the following criteria:

  • Author Status: Undergraduate and graduate students, and graduates whose degrees were awarded on or after April 1, 2013, are eligible.
  • Coauthorship: Papers written by more than one student are permitted. Coauthored or multiple-authored winners will share the specified monetary awards.
  • Student Authorship: Papers coauthored with faculty are not eligible. Only student-authored papers are eligible.
  • Single Submission: Students may submit only one paper, whether as sole author or coauthor.
  • Single Category: Author may enter only one ICPSR Research Paper Competition category per year.
  • Originality: Each paper must be an original analysis and must be the author’s own work. Papers previously published are not eligible.
  • Work Product: Papers submitted must be the product of work towards completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree.
  • Preparation: Paper adheres to preparation requirements (see below).
  • Entry Form: Entry form is completed and submitted (see below).
  • Deadline: All papers and corresponding entry forms must be received by midnight Pacific Time, May 30, 2014.

Paper Preparation Requirements

The paper must be written in English and follow these requirements:


Paper should be no longer than 30 pages. Page limits include all charts/graphs, references, and any appendices.

Appearance and Format

  • Font should be Times New Roman — point size 12
  • Margins of 1 inch (2.5 cm) all around
  • Double spaced
  • Papers must be submitted in MSWord (DOC or DOCX) or Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.

Charts and Citations

Title Page and Abstract

  • The title page must include the author’s name, institutional affiliation, expected degree (or recently received degree) and graduation date (month/year), and email address.
  • An abstract of no more than 150 words must follow the title page. Title and abstract pages are not included in page limits.
  • Page headers and/or footers should contain page numbers and a shortened title of the paper. They are not to include the author’s name or the name of his or her institution. This ensures anonymous review by the judges.

Entry Forms

  1. Papers must be submitted electronically along with the Data Curation Entry and Publication Release (Word 150K).

    They must be sent to the email address

    A complete entry includes the research paper and the Data Curation Entry and Publication Release Form in the same, single email.

  2. Please complete all information and save the files (entry form and the research paper) using the appropriate file-naming convention, which is:
    Data Curation Competition – LAST NAME
    Follow this naming convention for the entry and paper file names, and the email subject line.
  3. The content of the email must also include:

    Student/Author Name(s)
    Email Address
    Telephone Contact
    School Affiliation
    Faculty Advisor or Mentor
    Title of Paper
    Competition Category Entered: (ICPSR Data Curation Competition)


After all materials have been received, a confirmation email will be sent to the author(s).


  • Panels: Papers will be judged by panels of at least three judges drawn from the ICPSR staff and/or member institutions.
  • Criteria: Papers will be judged according to scholarly criteria including statement of purpose, thesis development, quality of analysis, and supporting documentation.
  • Anonymity: Judges will not know the entrants’ name or school.


  • First-place winner receives $1,000; second place, $750. (There are not separate awards for undergraduates, master’s students, and PhD students.)
  • Awards will be announced in June 2014.
  • All winning papers will be published on the ICPSR website.
  • Letters of achievement will be written to the student, and to the faculty, departments, and deans at the student’s institution, upon request.

Promoting the Competition

ICPSR encourages promotion of this competition in your campus community. Please share and/or post this flyer (PDF 212K) widely.

For more information, please contact Jared Lyle,

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