Information for OSPA Judges

Thank you for your interest in judging the Outstanding Student Paper Awards (OSPA)!  Volunteer judges are an integral part of the judging process.  Many long-term AGU members think fondly of their first OSPA win as it marked the beginning of their scientific career.

Judge Registration and Scheduling- Open!

Judges may sign up and schedule themselves to judge the OSPA’s online!  Please visit this site to view available papers.  Judges must be scheduled by 16 November 2011.

Inability to Judge

If judges are unable to assess a student or the multiple students they are assigned to assess, they are responsible for finding a substitute.  For reasons of impartiality, it is very important that students be assessed by three individual judges.  In previous years, a significant number of judges failed to assess their scheduled students, resulting in numerous students not being assessed.

Conflicts of Interest

When judges are asked to judge specific students, they should be mindful of conflicts of interest (i.e., a judge asked to assess his/her own student).  This should be brought to the attention of their section/focus group’s OSPA Coordinator during the judge assignment process—prior to the Fall Meeting.

Judging Process

While the science presented is important, the primary objective of the award is to recognize presentation skills.  Whether an oral or a poster session, the presentation must be orally presented and explained by the student.  The poster itself is not judged without student commentary, just as an oral session’s slides are not judged independently.

Presentations will be judged by several judges in order to ensure impartiality and balance out unusually high/low scores.  Students have been informed that they must remain by their posters for the entirety of the session and if they are unable to do so, they must leave a sign indicating the hours they will be present.

Judging need not be anonymous, although it is ideal.  For Fall Meeting 2011, judges will be given a meeting ribbon identifying them as an “OSPA Judge.”

Judging Criteria

The presentation of the poster/oral session is as important as the science itself.  The award encourages preparation and the clear, concise presentation of a student’s work.

Judges will assess the students in the following areas and rate them on a scale of 0–5.  Comments from judges are also encouraged in order to distinguish papers with similar scores.

Presentation: Visuals, effective use of allotted time or space, diction (enunciation, volume, and clarity), general style, liveliness, and stage presence

Content: Organization and logic, appropriate comprehension/knowledge of field, clear explanation/ability to answer questions, and significance and originality

Overall Impression Compared to Other Papers Judged

A more detailed document entitled “Criteria for Judging” will be provided to judges when they sign up to become judges.

**  It is important that no half-scores be given.  Students will be rated on a scale of 0–5.

Returning Score Sheets

All score sheets must be returned to the OSPA Resource Center at Fall Meeting.  It’s very important that even blank or incomplete score sheets be returned for the purposes of data collection.  This year, a new section has been added to score sheets to indicate whether the student was not assessed because he/she was not present, the judge was unable to make the session, the presentation was cancelled, or there was a conflict of interest.

Questions?  Please contact Student Member Specialist Kara Smedley at 202-462-6910 ext. 622.