Guide: Boydston Committee

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2014 Edition

The following reflects the selection process for this award with monetary prize in 2014.

1) As soon as the committee membership is decided, the chair should establish e-mail contact with other members and review the general obligations to be fulfilled. Clarify any scheduling constraints of its members and establish a work schedule. The goal is to choose a recipient (and backup second-place winner) seven to eight weeks before the conference takes place. This will allow ADE officers to create a plaque for the winner and to send a check to its recipient in a timely fashion.

2) Craft a call for submissions and self-nominations, including the chair’s e-mail address. The following sample is from the 2014 call:

The Association for Documentary Editing invites nominations for the 2014 Boydston Essay Prize. The prize will be awarded to the best essay or review published between 1 July 2011 and 31 December 2013, the primary focus of which is the editing of a volume of works or documents. The award carries a cash honorarium of $300. Eligible essays may have been published in digital and print journals, monographs, and collections. Please submit nominations and citations in the body of an e-mail, and attach essays or reviews to be considered as Rich Text Format (RTF), MS Word, or PDF to the address below. Self-nominations are welcome. The prize will be awarded at the ADE annual meeting in July 2014.

Nominations are due by 1 January 2014.

Noelle Baker,

3) Advertise robustly, posting the CFS and following up with several reminders. Circulate the CFS to ADE members via the newsletter, website, and the chair of the liaison committee. In addition, disperse the CFS to editors of the journals on our “inherited” list and a number of listservs, including SEDIT-L, Liaison Committee listservs, DIGAM-L, Exlibris-L, C19-L, Humanist-L, Women Writers Project-L, and Penn State’s CFP:

4) Work with the Prize committee members to amplify the list of such outlets to receive the CFS. Delegate responsibilities, allowing each member to tailor the call to the organizations to which s/he belongs. E-mail Lists and organization websites are crucial to garnering a good range of submissions.

5) Create a master list of publications to be read for essays and review essays to consider, and designate committee readers for each one (see also recommendations below). Here is the 2014 list:
American Historical Review
American Literary History
Journal of American History
Journal of the Early American Republic
Journal of Peasant Studies
Journal of Southern History
Journal of Women’s History
Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas
London Review of Books

Los Angeles Review of Books
Modernism/Modernity – Modernist Studies Association

New England Quarterly
New York Review of Books
PMLA – Modern Language Association

Resources for American Literary Study
Reviews in American History

RIDE: A Review Journal for Scholarly Digital Editions and Resources:

Scholarly Editing
Slavery and Abolition
Textual Cultures (formerly TEXT)
William and Mary Quarterly
Western Historical Quarterly

6) Establish reading schedule (including final schedule for completion and reporting on selections for the entire group to consider) and begin! Should committee members find themselves reading reviews of their own editions or projects, suggest that they pass on those selections but recuse themselves from the final judging of those selections.

7) As nominated essays and self-nominations arrive, log in the date received and acknowledge receipt by e-mail. The chair took on this task in 2014.

8) After the deadline for submissions has passed, distribute self-nominations and submissions to the committee.

9) Check in with committee members by 15 January 2016 to remind them of the final schedule for reporting on their individual selections for the entire group to consider. Gather their contenders three months before the conference takes place (allowing one month to review the final contenders and select a winner and runner-up). Contact John Lupton (or his replacement as the liaison for the plaques) to confirm when he would like to get the name of the award recipient. Previously he has asked for approximately a two-month advance notice.

10) Ask committee members for PDF copies to circulate via e-mail. Compile list of contenders and nominees; distribute copies of essays to committee members by e-mail.

11) Ask committee members to rank top five contenders, along with comments on each selection.

12) Poll members for their top five choices by e-mail. Consult by conference telephone call or Skype, if needed, to discuss the final choice.

13) Make final decision two months in advance of the conference. Select a second-place winner in case the first choice cannot accept the award. Notify the president of ADE of the committee decision. Notify the winner, along with ADE’s treasurer so he or she can be in touch about the monetary prize. Notify John Lupton (or his replacement) of the correct spelling of the recipient’s name.

14) Respond to all those who nominated themselves or others but did not receive the prize. The chair took on this task in 2014 and found it to be a useful form of ADE outreach (especially with journal editors), as there is always something positive to say about nominated essays and what this award hopes to do.

15) Announce the winner at the annual meeting’s banquet.

2014 Committee Recommendations:

Essays that treat the aims and methods of editing in any sustained manner are far more rare than those that consider the subject matter of editions. In order to produce a more robust list of candidates, the committee recommends the following:

1) A rigorous advertising campaign, with multiple CFS reminders targeting listservs and the editors of our journal list.

2) A narrowly focused journal list, featuring only such venues that treat the aims and methods of editing. We revised the current list with additions and subtractions, but it probably needs more pruning. We also advise the next chair to monitor the journal list closely. For 2018 we recommend rigorous advertising and a conversion to submission and self-submission only if the 2016 journal list continues to produce few viable candidates.

Respectfully submitted,
Noelle Baker
6 August 2014