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


Outstanding Article of 2022

Recipients: Rebekka Andersen, and JaAnn Hackos

Title: Practicing Technical Communicators’ Experiences with and Perspectives on Academic Publishing

Issue: August 2021

Distinguished Article of 2022

No award in 2022


Outstanding Article of 2021

Recipients: Dr. Ryan Boettger, and Dr. Erin Friess

Title: Content and Authorship Patterns in Technical Communication Journals (1996-2017: A Quantitative Content Analysis

Issue: November 2020

Distinguished Article of 2021

Recipient: Dr. Charles Kostelnick

Title: The Art of Visual Design: The Rhetoric of Aesthetics in Technical Communication

Issue: November 2020


Outstanding Article of 2020

Recipients: Aileen Cudmore and Darina Slattery

Title: An Analysis of Physical and Rhetorical Characteristics of Videos Used to Promote Technology Projects, on the Kickstarter Crowdfunding Platform

Issue: November 2019


Outstanding Article of 2019

Recipient: Jason Chew Kit Tham
Title: Interactivity in an Age of Immersive Media: Seven Dimensions for Wearable Technology, Internet of Things, and Technical Communication
Issue: February 2018


Outstanding Article of 2018

Recipient: Carolyn Boiarsky
Title: Effects of Communicating with Emails and Texts in Risk Communication: Information Poor, Writer-Based, A-Synchronous
Issue: August 2017

Distinguished Article of 2018

Recipients: Ann Shivers-McNair and Clarissa San Diego
Title: Localizing Communities, Goals, Communication, and Inclusion: A Collaborative Approach
Issue: May 2017


Outstanding Article of 2017

Recipient: Charles Kostelnick
Title: The Re-Emergence of Emotional Appeals in Interactive Data Visualization
Issue: May 2016

Distinguished Articles of 2017

Recipient: Rebecca Walton, Robin E. Mays, and Mark Haselkorn
Title: Enacting Humanitarian Culture: How Technical Communication Facilitates Successful Humanitarian Work
Issue: May 2016

Recipient: Carlos Evia and Michael Priestley
Title: Structured Authoring without XML: Evaluating Lightweight DITA for Technical Communication
Issue: February 2016


Outstanding Article of 2016

Recipient: Petra Ten Hove and Hans Van Der Meij
Title: Like It or Not: What Characterizes YouTube’s More Popular Instructional Videos?
Issue: February 2015


Outstanding Article of 2015

Recipient: Leo R. Lentz, Henk L.W. Pander Maat, and Ted J.M. Sanders
Title: Towards Evidence-Based Writing Decisions: The Knowledge Base Comprehensible Text
Issue: February 2014

Distinguished Article of 2015

Recipient: Saul Carliner, Adnan Qayyum, and Juan Carlos Sanchez-Lozano
Title: What Measures of Productivity and Effectiveness Do Technical Communication Managers Track and Report?
Issue: May 2014


Outstanding Article of 2014

Recipient: Lisa Meloncon and Sally Henschel
Title: Current State of U.S. Undergraduate Degree Programs in Technical and Professional Communication
Issue: February 2013

Distinguished Article of 2014

Recipient: Hans van der Meij and Jan van der Meij
Title: Eight Guidelines for the Design of Instructional Videos for Software Training
Issue: August 2013


Outstanding Article of 2013

Recipient: Lisa Meloncon and Sally Henschel
Title: Current State of U.S. Undergraduate Degree Programs in Technical and Professional Communication
Issue: February 2013

Distinguished Article of 2013

Recipient: Hans van der Meij and Jan van der Meij
Title: Eight Guidelines for the Design of Instructional Videos for Software Training
Issue: August 2013


Outstanding Article of 2012

Recipient: Hanna Jochmann-Mannak, Leo Lentz, Theo Huibers, and Ted Sanders
Title: Three Types of Children’s Informational Web Sites: An Inventory of Design Conventions
Issue: November 2012

Distinguished Articles of 2012

Recipient: Saul Carliner
Title: Using Business Models to Describe Technical Communication Groups
Issue: May 2012

Recipient: Jason Swarts
Title: New Modes of Help: Best Practices for Instructional Video
Issue: August 2012


Outstanding Article of 2011

Recipient: Henk Pander Maat and Leo Lentz
Title: Using Sorting Data to Evaluate Text Structure: An Evidence-based Proposal for Restructuring Patient Information Leaflets
Issue: August 2011

Distinguished Article of 2011

Recipient: Luc Desnoyers
Title: Toward a Taxonomy of Visuals in Science Communication
Issue: May 2011


Outstanding Article of 2010

Recipient: Tatiana Batova
Title: Writing for the Participants of International Clinical Trials: Law, Ethics, and Culture
Issue: August 2010

Distinguished Articles of 2010

Recipient: Nicole St. Germain-McDaniel
Title: Technical Communication in the Health Fields: Executive Order 13166 and its Impact on Translation and Localization
Issue: August 2010

Recipients: Lisa Meloncon, Erin Haynes, Megan Varelmann, and Lisa Groh
Title: Building a Playground: General Guidelines for Creating Educational Web Sites for Children
Issue: November 2010


Outstanding Article of 2009

Recipient: Han Yu
TitlePutting China’s Technical Communication into Historical Context: A Look at the Chinese Culinary Instruction Genre
Issue: May 2009

Distinguished Article of 2009

Recipient: Nicole St. Germain-Madison
TitleLocalizing Medical Information for U.S. Spanish-Speakers: The CDC Campaign to Increase Public Awareness About HPV
Issue: August 2009


Outstanding Article of 2008

Recipient: Roger Munger
TitleGreen Printing: A Guide to Environmentally Responsible Printing
Issue: February 2008

Distinguished Articles of 2008

Recipient: Tiffany Craft Portewig
TitleThe Role of Rhetorical Invention for Visuals: A Qualitative Study of Technical ommunicators in the Workplace
Issue: November 2008

Recipients: Marieke Welle Donker-Kuijer, Menno De Jong, and Leo Lentz
TitleHeuristic WebSite Evaluation: Exploring the Effects of Guidelines on Experts’ Detection of Usability Problems
Issue: November 2008

Recipient: Lynne Cooke
TitleHow Do Users Search Web Home Pages? An Eye-Tracking Study of Multiple Navigation Menus
Issue: May 2008