Best Article Award Procedure

ISDRS “Best Sustainable Development Article Award 2022”

Click here to go back to the main Best Article Award 2022 page. 

Basic concept and its benefits

The basic idea is to elect annually the best article on sustainable development by a membership vote, and making the journal articles selected by the jury for the final vote available via hyperlinks or on the homepage (if open access or the publisher has granted free access for members). This will also be an attractive activity in the run-up to an ISDRS conference. Although past experience has been disappointing regarding the publisher’s response, private discussions and increasing significance of the award over time could change that.

Making the five to ten articles selected by the jury available for the time of the voting process is a service to our members which other societies do not offer. We will try to convince the publishers to make at least the winning publication(s) permanent open access. As participation in the nomination and selection process is for members only, it is another incentive to join or stay connected to the ISDRS.

Another benefit of a broader approach will be that it makes it easier to convince different publishers to put up booths at ISDRS Conferences, which would enrich the conferences and generate some additional income for us. This is irrespective of our close relation to the journals SD, BSE, BSD, CREM journals. The award is not limited to these ‘home’-journals.


As a society activity, the procedure is:

  1. ISDRS will ask all members (followers and full members) to nominate 1 article each, published in the previous year, according to specified criteria published in advance. The nomination should be accompanied by a pdf copy. Members can nominate their own work, but this will be noted in the selection procedure;
  2. All articles suggested will be considered under the condition that they can be accessed by the ISDRS Awards Jury as pdf for free (nominated authors can be asked to provide a pdf copy);
  3. ISDRS informs the scholars whose articles have been nominated, on what the competition is about (some may hear for the first time about ISDRS that way) with a very appealing message;
  4. Depending on the number of responses there are three ways to proceed: we have a ‘procedure a’ for receiving 1-40 suggestions and a ‘procedure b’ for 41-80 suggestions and a ‘procedure c’ for 80+ suggestions;
  5. In case of large numbers, the Awards Jury chair can remove articles that are clearly not aligned with Criterion 3 (see below) or are published in predatory journals, and/or mobilise additional board members to support the Jury.
  6. Pre-selection step 1 (depending on number of received suggestions (see point 4):
  1. the Award Jury reviews the suggested articles briefly and nominates a shortlist of 7 papers: each Jury member reviews a batch of a quarter of the suggested articles, assessing these on a 1-10 points scale. Each article is assessed by 3 Jury members;
  2. the Award Jury reviews the suggested articles briefly and nominates a shortlist of 8 papers: each Jury member reviews a batch of a quarter of the suggested articles, assessing these on a 1-10 points scale. Each article is assessed by 2 Jury members;
  3. the Award Jury reviews the suggested articles briefly and nominates a shortlist of 10 papers: each Jury member reviews a batch of 1/8th of the suggested articles, assessing these on a 1-10 points scale. Each article is assessed by at least 1 Jury member.
  1. Pre-selection Step 2:

The nominations are selected based on the score of the Award Jury assessment (as described in -6-).

  • 1. The nominated articles will be made available on a special website page of the ISDRS homepage, allowing for registration, submission and voting;
  • 2. An online voting, by all members (as open as possible, so also via our followers and LinkedIn group members - up to 3000 professionals) will determine the winner: each member will be able to select the best article to her opinion, resulting in a ranking of papers. We have to assure that people can only vote once;
  • 3. ISDRS will invite the top three to come to the conference (reduced fee to be paid, no further subsidies).
  • 4. ISDRS will announce the 1st to 3rd price winners during the conference (“The Best SD Research Articles of 2022”), presenting their certificates, announcing them to be highlighted in the “hall of fame” on our website etc.); maybe with a small video of the ceremony, accessible on the homepage, via LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube, messages on our website and in the newsletter, plus a comment on Research Gate linked to the article (1 to 3): “This article has been awarded as the ISDRS “Best Sustainable Development Article Award 2022”. See example here
  • 5. ISDRS will invite the winner (one in case of multiple authors) for a keynote in the following year. There the price will be handed over in a ceremony which also includes presenting the winners of the current year (see – 10 -) and announcing the award starting date (usually it should be November or December) for the next round. The price will not be money, but a symbolic award, a certificate to hang on your office wall and mention in your CV. This would attract – if successful – some very high-level speakers to our conferences.
  • 6. ISDRS will contact the publisher and/or Editor-in-Chief, and suggest making the winning papers freely available and offer to mention “chosen as The Best SD Research Article of 20XX by ISDRS”, with a link to the YouTube and the ISDRS homepage documentation, and similarly for the second and third price.


Best Article Award Criteria:

  1. The article has been published (including online early view versions) in the preceding year in a scientific peer-reviewed journal, accepted by commonly used scientific literature databases (like ISI, Scopus, etc.);
  1. The articles should be in English[1];
  2. The content of the article addresses a sustainable development topic with an inter-disciplinary or transdisciplinary perspective;
  3. The article makes a well-defined contribution to academic debates and shows awareness of the complex nature of sustainable development;
  4. The article offers or at least provides hints for possible solutions to sustainability problems;
  5. The article enables positive societal impacts, bridging between science and society.

These criteria are endorsed and can be further developed by the ISDRS Executive Committee.


The ISDRS Best Article Award, Jury of 2022:

The ISDRS Board appoints an Award Jury consisting of at least 8 members, of which at least 4 are ISDRS Board Members, and the others are full ISDRS members. In case of high numbers of articles nominated, other ISDRS Board members can be asked to assist the Jury, and be part of the Jury too.

Members of the Awards Jury as well as Board Members are invited to make suggestions themselves, but are explicitly excluded from suggesting their own publications or nominating themselves.

Current members of the ISDRS Best Article Award - 2022 (members of the board in bold)

Jake Keyel
Marlen Arnold
Wale Olayide
Armindo dos Santos de Sousa Teodósio -
Roberta Salomone
Subarna Sivapalan
Everson Dahwa
Pauline Deutz
Giuseppe MANGANO
Stella Emery Santana
Sevil Acar
Andrea Rocchi
Olga Cam
Saurabh Biswas
Shobhana Madhavan
Sandra Reinstädtler
Cecila Haskins
Letícia Muchangos


The Executive Board sends an open invitation to full members for the Award Jury membership. If this results in too many candidates the ISDSR Executive Board selects candidates, aiming for diversity in the membership and offering those who are not selected a place the next year.

Time schedule (due to delays, the new time schedule is bracketed)

December 2022 - 15/2/2023      Nomination period 15/2/2023 - 15/3/2023               

Selection of shortlist by the Award Jury 31/3/2023                                  

Publication of shortlist, invitation to vote on best article1/4/2023 - 24/4/2023          (15/5/23) Voting period for members and followers 24/4/2023 - 10/5/2023       (15/4/23 - 19/6/23)        

Analysis of the vote, identification of No. 1 to 3 articles 10/5/2023 - 25/5/2023  (19/6/23 - 30/6/23)

Inviting the winners to participate at the conference or supply a video, inviting the 1st price winner to prepare for a keynote in next year's conference


Call: The Executive Board initiates and oversees the process. The assistant prepares the communication and the handling of the suggested articles. The Award Jury will be responsible for the assessment and the selection.Selection criteria: The criteria should be published with the call. They are approved by the Executive Committee.Selection process: The same criteria should guide the selection process for the short list (multiple nominations may indicate a good article, but this is not the voting stage yet). Regional and gender balance are no selection criteria, but the call should encourage submissions by such authors. If the numbers are far higher than 80, the selecting of the short list may easily become a task too heavy for the Award Jury to shoulder; in that case the whole of the Board should be parachuted in to save the day. 

Possible complements

Using the journal(s) to announce the winner and for publishing her/his bio could be an attractive way of drawing the attention of the journal’s community to ISDRS and vice versa.

[1] For the time being we do not have the capacity to assess articles on diverse languages (which might be one option for the future).