Frank R. Smith Award

Technical Communication, the Society’s journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field’s most noteworthy writers.

The Frank R. Smith outstanding journal article award recognizes the authors of exceptional articles that appeared in Technical Communication during a calendar year. Since 1966, STC has paid tribute to the authors whose contributions have made Technical Communication one of the most highly respected journals devoted to the arts and sciences of technical communication.

Judges base their decisions on the article’s content and form. Content is judged on the degree to which it represents contributions to new knowledge, new perspectives, or practical communication applications or techniques. Form is judged by the degree to which it embodies effective and appropriate organization; apt language and correct grammar; relevant and meaningful tables and illustrations; and spirit of vibrancy, intensity, conviction, or enthusiasm in transmitting information.

2014 Honoree for Outstanding Article


Lisa Meloncon and Sally Henschel for their article, “Current State of U.S. Undergraduate Degree Programs in Technical and Professional Communication” in the February 2013 issue of Technical Communication.

Citation: For their in-depth, critical review of 65 programs in technical and professional communication in the United States. Their analysis of trends between 2005 and 2011 uses a methodology that makes it easy to replicate their study.


2014 Honoree for Distinguished Article

van_der_MeijHans van der Meij and Jan van der Meij for their article, “Eight Guidelines for the Design of Instructional Videos for Software Training” in the August 2013 issue of Technical Communication.

Citation: For enunciating guidelines that can help us produce training videos that lead to increased motivation, proficiency, and retention of skills. The authors validate each guideline by connecting it to major experimental studies and closely analyzed examples of effective videos.



Nomination process

Please consult the guidelines for the complete nomination process.

Who is eligible: Technical Communication authors

Who may nominate: Frank R. Smith Award committee

Due date for nominations: February 2014

Honorees notified: After vote by STC Board of Directors, usually March

Award Presented: At the Honors Banquet at the STC Technical Communication Summit 

The Frank R. Smith Guidelines.

Previous winners of the Frank R. Smith Award


Frank R. Smith Chair: TBD

Technical Communication Editor: Menno de Jong, PhD