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USC Libraries Research Award: USC Libraries Research Award

This LibGuide provides information about the USC Libraries Research Award. It includes submission guidelines, requirements, previous award winners and jury members, as well as additional information about primary source materials at USC.


The annual USC Libraries Research Award recognizes excellence and creativity in the use of USC Libraries’ research collections and services. Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to submit papers or projects they have completed at USC in a for-credit class or through independent study during the spring, summer, or fall semesters of 2017. In addition to their papers, a Reflective Essay of 500-1000 words is required. For details, see the descriptions for each award level.

To be eligible for consideration submissions must take the form of an analytical or creative essay or a research paper. The work must have been completed while the author was a student at USC during the 2017 calendar year and in connection with for-credit coursework or independent study at USC. Deadline for submission is January 27, 2018, at 5PM.


The work can be in any field of study, but must have made use of library services and research resources including, but not limited to:

  • printed resources

  • databases

  • primary sources

  • materials in all media, held in and provided by USC Libraries

  • research consultations or reference help

  • library instruction

  • Interlibrary loan

The Reflective Essay must address the following:

- how you became a better researcher by using the resources and/or services of the USC Libraries

- how you gained a deeper understanding of finding and evaluating resources through the use of USC Libraries’ resources and/or services

- how consultation  or interaction with library faculty and/or staff  made an impact  on your research


The work can be in any field of study, but must use primary sources (e.g. historical newspapers, photographs, data, etc.) in collections held in or provided by the USC Libraries in your research. For more information:

The Reflective Essay must discuss how:

- primary sources in particular informed your research

- using primary sources and/or library services contributed to refining your cognitive, investigative, deductive reasoning, and problem-solving skills

- using primary sources and/or library services helped you to gain a deeper knowledge of the variety of formats in which information is presented

- how interactions with library faculty and/or staff as well as physical collections impacted your research



All submissions are judged using the following criteria:

  • quality and depth of library research

  • selection of resources relevant to your research topic

  • analysis and interpretation of resources

  • overall quality of writing including proper citation and attribution

The Reflective Essay is an important part of your submission. It is a way for you to talk about the discovery and choice of resources, your research process overall, as well as how library resources, services, and interactions with library faculty and/or staff impacted your research. Papers must be submitted electronically by 5 p.m. on January 27, 2018, using the submission form.

A panel of faculty and community experts will judge the submissions and select the winners that will be announced at the award reception.Graduate winners receive  up to $500; undergraduate winners receive up to $300. Other awards are available. Selected  winners will be invited to serve on the jury for the following year.

Contact Elizabeth Galoozis at



Elizabeth Galoozis
Tyson Gaskill
Sue Luftschein

Suzanne Noruschat
Shalini Ramachandran

Eimmy Solis
Michaela Ullmann


Support for the awards is generously provided by: