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Paul Fortier Prize

Overview | Recipients | Protocol

The Paul Fortier Prize is an award of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO), named for Paul Fortier (1939-2005), late University Distinguished Professor of French at the University of Manitoba, Canada. The award honors his long, active career in Humanities Computing and particularly remembers his kind encouragement and support for fledgling scholars in the field. Dr. Fortier was an active member all three ADHO constituent organizations, serving on various occasions as a Committee member of the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing (ALLC), Executive Committee member and Vice President of the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH), and officer of the Society for Digital Humanities / Société pour l’étude des médias interactifs (SDH/SEMI). He was the 2004 recipient of SDH/SEMI’s Award for Outstanding Achievement, Computing in the Arts and Humanities. The Prize is given for the best paper by an emerging scholar/early stage researcher at each annual conference. Candidate papers are identified by a Fortier Awards Panel appointed by the ADHO Standing Committee on Awards and reviewed by experienced conference participants based on conference presentation. The winner is announced at the conclusion of the conference. 


An author may be considered an «emerging scholar» for purposes of this award if, for example:

  • they have not yet earned a PhD, or having earned it within the last five years;
  • they are positioned in an entry-level academic appointment at a university or junior position in an organization involved with Digital Humanities; and/or
  • they are new to Digital Humanities from another discipline or career.

Current students are eligible for consideration if their paper is substantially their own work rather than co-authored by an established scholar. Multi-authored papers are acceptable if all authors are qualified emerging scholars and share the award. Recipients of ADHO Bursary Awards (current and past) are eligible for consideration, but other qualified authors are equally eligible. Only previous Fortier Prize winners are formally excluded. Although poster sessions are important for the success of the conference and poster presenters may be given Bursary Awards, the Fortier Prize is for paper sessions only. An excellent poster session needs to become an excellent paper for publication.


The award is decided by a Fortier Award Panel appointed by the ADHO Standing Committee on Awards (SCA). The panel is chaired by a member of the SCA, and normally includes the other members of the SCA and the editor of each ADHO publication or their designated representative. Decisions of the Fortier Award Panel are final. Prior to the conference, the Award Panel makes a preliminary review of all papers accepted by the conference Program Committee, based on information from the abstract submission. The panel then verifies eligibility and evaluates suitability to compile a preliminary slate of 3-6 papers. During pre-conference executive meetings and events, a panel of reviewers is recruited from officers of ADHO and its constituent organizations, editorial board members of ADHO publications, program committee members, program session chairs, and other experienced participants attending the conference. Through the course of the conference, one or more reviewers unobtrusively attend and observe each candidate presentation and make recommendations to the Award Panel. Factors to consider include:

  • research excellence
  • imaginative and/or innovative use of technology in support of scholarship
  • development or extension of research methodology
  • contribution to the digital humanities, in general or in some specific field of arts and humanities research

Final selection is made by the Award Panel (including determination of which ADHO publication will publish the winning paper) and announced at the Concluding Plenary session. The publication commitment of the prize is handled through the editorial procedures of the designated ADHO publication; disbursement of the cash award is arranged through the ADHO Treasurer.


The recipient will receive a cash award of 500 GBP (five hundred GB pounds), or a round number of about the same value in the currency in which the prize is to be awarded. The winning paper will be featured in one of the ADHO publications, as recommended by the Award Panel. This includes assistance of the editor and staff to prepare the paper for publication, as needed. Note: papers that are constrained from publication in an ADHO journal (by grant stipulations, copyright issues, prior commitment, university policy, etc.) are not eligible for consideration.