Frank R. Smith Award for Outstanding Journal Article

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.

Honorees notified: After vote by STC Board of Directors

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

Nomination Process

Consult the guidelines for the complete nomination process.


Technical Communication authors are eligible.

Who may nominate: Frank R. Smith Award Committee

2020 Honorees for Outstanding Article

Aileen Cudmore and Darina Slattery for their article, “An Analysis of Physical and Rhetorical Characteristics of Videos Used to Promote Technology Projects, on the Kickstarter Crowdfunding Platform” in the November 2019 issue of Technical Communication.

Citation: Slattery and Cudmore found, per their conclusion that “Kickstarter project videos are an important feature on the main project page and may influence potential supporters' decisions to fund projects. While other factors can also contribute to project success, an awareness of physical characteristics and rhetorical appeals of successful videos can help project campaigners, technical communication practitioners, and educators create more effective videos.”