Best Paper Guidelines

Alfred Gessow Award for Best Paper at the AHS Annual Forum
Updated:  14 June 2005  

1.         Award Statement
             The Alfred Gessow Award for Best Paper prepared for and presented at the AHS Annual Forum has been established to recognize the author(s) who has prepared and presented the most significant Forum technical paper as judged and selected by his/her peers.  While the quality of the archived paper is paramount in the selection process, the quality of the presentation of the material at the Forum must also be taken into account.  The selected paper is presented at the European Rotorcraft Forum (ERF).
             The award consists of a plaque from the American Helicopter Society and an Honorarium that will pay for travel by one author to the European Rotorcraft Forum.  The Honorarium is provided by the Alfred Gessow Foundation.  Complimentary registration and accommodations for the selected author are provided by the ERF.  The author of each candidate paper (i.e., the paper selected as “best” by each Committee or Special Session) will receive a certificate to that effect, and a letter of commendation will be sent to the person’s supervisor.

2.         Objectives
i.         Encourage AHS members to maintain/improve technical excellence with high quality technical papers at the AHS Annual Forum.
ii.       Recognize the author(s) who make significant technical contributions via their Forum papers and presentations.

3.         Eligibility
            To be eligible, the paper must be in general accordance with the format prescribed by the Guidelines to Authors and received by AHS (or the contractor it specifies) in time for inclusion in the Proceeding of that year’s Annual Forum.  The award is open to all authors who prepare a paper for (and present it in) any Technical or Special[1] Session at the AHS Forum.  In the event of co-authors, the award will be given to the principal author provided that he/she presented the paper.  If a co-author presents the paper, the co-author will be considered for presentation of the paper at the ERF.  However, all co-authors will receive a plaque that recognizes their paper as the “Best Forum Paper.”  The Lichten Paper Award winner is not eligible for consideration. 

4.         Selection Process
            Technical Committees with sessions at the Forum will evaluate and score the papers from their session (or sessions).  The process for evaluation and scoring is at the discretion of the Committee, but should include a subcommittee of the Committee composed of no fewer than three members from that Committee.  It is suggested that the Scoring System described in Section 5 be used in the process.
            The Chair of a Special Session may recommend a candidate for Best Paper, provided it meets the eligibility requirements described above.  Since Special Sessions typically do not have a Committee supporting them and frequently have very few papers which meet the eligibility requirements, the Chair of the Special Session has the latitude to define his/her own selection process.  For candidates from Special Sessions, the AHS Technical Director will assign them to an appropriate Deputy Director. 
            Prior to the Forum, each Technical Committee or Special Session will evaluate all eligible papers in accordance with their Committee’s or Session’s process.  The most highly scored papers (up to three[2]) should be provided to the appropriate Deputy Director prior to the Forum to allow the Deputy Director to attempt to personally observe their presentation.  Based on the quality of the presentations, each committee is free to alter its pre-Forum rank-ordering as it deems appropriate.  As soon as is practical after the conclusion of a Committee’s session(s), but no later than seven days after the end of the Forum, each Committee/Session is to provide its final selection of its Best Paper to its Deputy Director. 
            Each Deputy Director will then select the best paper from his/her Technical Area and forward the candidate to the AHS Technical Director.  When submitting the selection for Best Paper from his/her Technical Area, each Deputy Director must attest to the quality of the presentation of the paper.  Recognizing the potential difficulty for a Deputy Director to attend presentations of all of the most highly-scored papers, that judgment of presentation quality may be based on either the Deputy Director’s personal observation of the presentation or an assessment from the appropriate Committee.  Who makes the assessment of presentation quality is not critical; it is just critical that the assessment be made.  Who makes the assessment should be agreed upon by the Deputy Director and each of his/her Committees prior to the Forum.
            The AHS Technical Director will form a Review Committee which is chaired by himself/herself and includes representatives from industry, government, and academia to make the final selection of “Best Paper of the Forum.”

5.         Scoring System
 At each evaluation level, the scoring system outlined below should be used for ranking the candidate papers. 
                   Element                                          Rating               Weighting                   Max
1.  Originality/creativity                                     0 to 5                      6                           30
2.  Technical Content                                        0 to 5                      6                           30
3.  Relevance of Contribution                            0 to 5                      4                           20
4.  Organization and Clarity                               0 to 5                      4                           20
                                                                                                            Total             100
Each “Rating” should be an integer.  Reviewers should use the following table to assist them in assigning numerical ratings.  Note that the scale is only intended to be linear between 1 and 5, not between 0 and 1.  Any Element that could not be graded higher than a “C” should be rated zero.
Adjectives and Guidance Corresponding to Numerical Ratings
Excellent, Outstanding, Nearly Perfect, World Class, Breakthrough  (an “A+”)
Superior, Very Impressive; not a “5”, but certainly better than a “3”  (an “A”)
Very Good, Particularly Noteworthy, Very Promising  (a “B+”)
Good; not a “3”, but definitely better than a “1”  (a “B” )
Adequate, Potentially Promising  (a “C+”)
Marginal, Poor, None, Non-existent, Not qualified  (a “C” or less)
For scoring within a Technical Committee, any paper which has an element rated “zero” should be disqualified.  (However, if the abstract was good enough to be selected, the chances of an element being rated zero should be quite small.)  For scoring by the Deputy Directors and subsequently by the Technical Director’s Review Committee, all of the papers are expected to be quite good, or they would not have advanced so far in the competition (i.e., no zeros would be expected).  Therefore, the scale is designed to have an adequate number of scores available to make distinctions between the best of the best.

6.         Schedule for Selection Process
            The detailed steps in the selection process are listed below:
Not later than the final date for submittal of papers to the Proceedings’ web site
Tech Committee Chair in consultation with Session Chair(s)
Establish selection process for their Committee
Not later than 7 calendar days before the start of the Annual Forum
Tech Committee or Special Session Chair
Provide the top three (depending on the number of sessions[3]) rated written paper(s) to Committee’s Deputy Director
At Tech Council Meeting during Forum
AHS Technical Director
Announce membership of Tech Director’s Review Committee
During the Annual Forum
Each Deputy Director
To the extent practical, observe presentation of best-ranked written papers from each of their Technical Committees
Not later than 7 calendar days after the end of the Annual Forum
Each Technical Committee Chair in conjunction with their Session Chair(s)
Provide their overall best paper to their respective Deputy Director
Not later than 7 calendar days after receipt of best paper candidate
Each Deputy Director
Select best paper from their technical area, including an endorsement of the quality of the presentation, and submit decision to AHS Technical Director.
Within 7 calendar days of receipt of Deputy Director decision
AHS Headquarters staff
Distribute selected Best Tech Area papers to Tech Director’s Review Committee
Not later than 14 calendar days of receipt of best paper candidates
Tech Director’s Review Committee
Complete reviewing and scoring of papers and make recommendation of “Best Paper of the Forum” to Tech Director and AHS Headquarters.
As soon as possible after “Best Paper” selection is announced
AHS Headquarters
Arrange for presentation of “Best Paper of the Forum” at ERF
Within 45 calendar days of the end of the Forum
AHS Headquarters
Recognize “Best Paper of the Forum” with plaques, certificates, etc.
Responsibilities may be delegated as appropriate or necessary as long as there is at least an email or similar document to confirm the delegation.
7.         Award
The AHS International will provide the Alfred Gessow Honorarium to cover the travel expenses of the selected author who will be invited to present his/her paper at the European Rotorcraft Forum.  This will include travel from a point within the United States to the site of the ERF.  The winner and his/her co-author(s) will also receive plaques recognizing their selection.  Submittal of the Best Paper for publication in the Journal of the American Helicopter Society is strongly encouraged.

[1] Presenters at Special Sessions generally just present; they are not always required to prepare and submit a paper for inclusion in the Proceedings.  However, if they do submit a paper prepared in accordance with the guidelines for papers in Technical Sessions and do so by the deadline, they are eligible.
[2] The number of selected written papers by a given Technical Committee or Special Session depends on the number of qualifying papers being presented at the Forum. It is expected an average of one selected written paper per seven papers (one session). No more than three recommendations should be submitted by a single Technical Committee.
[3] It is expected an average of one selected written paper per session at the Forum. Typically, a session contains seven papers.