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RDAP Association Member Awards

The RDAP Association annual member awards program encourages and recognizes significant contributions to the Association and to the field of research data access and preservation. Awards are presented at the annual RDAP Summit to recognize a significant contribution to the Association with a “Volunteer of the Year” award, and to recognize a significant contribution to the field with a "Work of the Year" award. 

Award Categories

RDAP “Volunteer of the Year” Award

Established in 2023, the “Volunteer of the Year” is recognized annually with an award presented to an RDAP member who has made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the organization. The award serves as acknowledgement of the recipient’s efforts to support the RDAP community through service to the organization. The winner of this award will receive free RDAP membership for the following year, a $100 Visa gift card, an RDAP swag item of choice from the RDAP CafePress Store, an award certificate, and recognition on the RDAP website.

“Volunteer of the Year” Award Criteria:

  • This award has been established to recognize the contributions of a volunteer who has furthered the mission and values of the Association through service on an Action Committee or Task Force.

  • Nominations for this award run on a calendar year cycle. Individuals may nominate themselves and/or others once per calendar year.

  • To be eligible, the nominee must be a current RDAP member and a member of an Action Committee or Task Force during the calendar year in which they were nominated. Current members of the RDAP Executive Board are not eligible for this award.

RDAP “Work of the Year” Award

Established in 2023, the “Work of the Year” award recognizes an outstanding publication, program, or other publicly available work related to research data access and preservation. The award serves as acknowledgement of the work’s impact on the wider research and scholarly communication ecosystem in support of the RDAP Association’s mission and values. Nominated works can be produced by any number of individuals, but prize winners must be RDAP members, and prizes will be awarded to up to five individuals. The prize for this award includes an RDAP swag item of choice from the RDAP CafePress Store, recognition on the RDAP website, an award certificate, and free RDAP membership for the following year.

“Work of the Year” Award Criteria:

  • This award has been established to honor RDAP members’ contributions to exceptional work related to data access and preservation that furthers the mission and values of RDAP.

  • To be eligible, the nominated work must be produced by at least one current RDAP member within the current calendar year. Current members of the RDAP Executive Board are not eligible to receive prizes for this award.

  • Nominations for this award run on a calendar year cycle. Individuals may nominate published and/or publicly available works created by themselves and/or others once per calendar year.

  • To be eligible, nominated works must be published, documented online, or otherwise publicly accessible to allow for evaluation.

  • With the understanding that outstanding works are typically reflective of a group effort, works produced by both single individuals and groups of individuals are eligible for this award. 

Nomination Process 

The RDAP Membership Committee will issue a call for nominations to RDAP members-only communication channels each year beginning in January, with reminders throughout the year and nominations closing on December 31. Nominations must be for activities that were undertaken and/or works that were produced during the current calendar year. Individuals may nominate themselves or others by filling out an online form with the following information:

For “Volunteer of the Year”:

  • Person nominating:

    • Name of the person nominating

    • Institutional affiliation of the person nominating (if applicable)

    • Email address of the person nominating

  • Nominee:

    • Name of the nominee

    • Institutional affiliation of the nominee (if applicable)

    • Email address of the nominee

  • Provide a description of why the nominee should be considered for the award (250 word limit)

    • Include examples of activities and instances where the nominee has served the RDAP Association mission and values
    • Describe the impact that the individual has had on the RDAP community

Volunteer of the Year nomination form

    For “Work of the Year”:

    • Person nominating:

      • Name of the person nominating

      • Institutional affiliation of the person nominating (if applicable)

      • Email address of the person nominating

    • Nominee:

      • Name of the work or program

      • Name(s) of the person/people responsible for the work or program

      • Institutional affiliation(s) of the person/people responsible for the work or program (if applicable)

      • Email address(es) of the nominee(s)

    • Provide a citation or stable link and description of the work or program
    • Include a statement (250 word limit) on how the work or program supports, encourages, or provides access to information that furthers the values of the RDAP Association and aligns with its mission:
        • RDAP (Research Data Access & Preservation) supports an engaged community of information professionals committed to creating, maintaining, advancing, and teaching best practices for research data, access, and preservation.

      Work of the Year nomination form

      Selection Process

      After the nominations close on Dec. 31, the RDAP Membership Committee will review all nominations to ensure that all nominees are eligible before passing the nominations on to the RDAP Awards & Scholarships Working Group*. The Working Group will review nominations and rank them in accordance with the Awards Rubric, then meet to discuss and select a winner in each category no later than May 31. The Membership Committee will take point in coordinating the selection process, communicating relevant award-winner information as described below, and ensuring that the awardees receive their prizes.

      Once the award winners are selected, the following communications will take place:

      • The Working Group will notify the RDAP President of the winners, and the RDAP President will contact the award winners to let them know they have won (June).

      • The Membership Committee will coordinate with winners to facilitate selection of swag prizes and begin the process of distributing the prizes to the winners (June).

      • The Membership Committee will work with other stakeholders listed below, to ensure that the following tasks are carried out:

        • The Marketing Committee will coordinate the creation and distribution announcements to go on the website, Twitter, listserv, and other relevant communication channels (June/July).

        • The Website Committee will coordinate as needed to post the award winners online (June/July).

        • The Publishing Committee will coordinate as needed to include an announcement of winners in the July newsletter (June/July).

        • The Conference Planning Committee will coordinate the public announcement and presentation of all awards at the annual RDAP Summit (March the following year).

        • The RDAP Secretary will maintain reasonable records and files on the nominations received and guarantee confidentiality.

      *In September of each year, the Membership Committee will send a call out to the Leadership group for volunteers to serve on the Awards & Scholarships Working Group for the following calendar year. The Working Group will be composed of all members of the Membership Committee, plus 2-4 volunteers from across the other Action Committees and Executive Board, to ensure an odd number of Working Group members (ideally 5 or 7 people). The number of members may vary from year to year depending on the number of members in the Membership Committee. For example, for 2023 the Membership Committee has 5 members, so 2 additional volunteers will join the Working Group. Individuals who have been nominated for an award may not serve on the Working Group and must find a replacement to stand in during the awardee selection process. Working group members will also recommend improvements to the award process, criteria, and rubric each year.

      Timeline

      The first round of RDAP Member Awards will start in 2023, with the following timeline:

      2023:

      • January - initial information about the Awards program will be shared with RDAP members, and the first call for nominations will go out, followed by reminders throughout the year
      • December - the 2023 call for nominations will close on Dec. 31, 2023

      2024:

      • January - call for nominations open

      • May - award winners from 2023 will be selected and notified no later than June 30, 2024

      • July - award winners from 2023 will be announced in the July newsletter

      • December - the 2024 call for nominations will close on Dec. 31, 2024

      2025:

      • January  - call for nominations open

      • March - award winners from 2023 will be recognized at the 2025 RDAP Summit

      • May - award winners from 2024 will be selected and notified no later than June 30, 2025

      • July - award winners from 2024 will be announced in the July newsletter

      • December - the 2025 call for nominations will close on Dec. 31, 2025

      2026:

      • January - call for nominations open

      • March - award winners from 2024 will be recognized at the 2026 RDAP Summit

      • May - award winners from 2025 will be selected and notified no later than June 30, 2026

      • July - award winners from 2025 will be announced in the July newsletter

      • December - the 2026 call for nominations will close on Dec. 31, 2025

      And so on…

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