Vuoden Tiedekynä 2013 academic writing award

On 3 February, Kone Foundation presented the fourth Vuoden Tiedekynä award to the author of an academic article that demonstrated exemplary use of the Finnish language.
Photo: Marjukka Irni

This time, the competition included academic journals and collections of articles in the humanities. 25 000 Euros was presented to Laura Wahlfors for her article Couranten hidastettu juoksu. Roland Barthes ja musiikki kirjoittajan inspiraationa. The subject of Wahlfors’ article occupies the middle ground between research into literature and music.

Jyrki Nummi, who selected the winner, described Laura Wahlfors’ winning article as follows: Even though the article is like an essay and written in a light and intimate style, it is founded on a confident mastery of the subject, and has the solid structure of an academic paper.

According to Kalle Korhonen, Head of Scientific Affairs at Kone Foundation, there continues to be a richness of styles in academic articles in the humanities. Humanities researchers have not adopted a standardised format for academic articles in which the structure is predetermined and the same phrases are repeated from one article to the next. On the contrary, an article that takes the form of an essay written in a conversational style can make a significant contribution to scientific debate in that field.

Candidates applied to enter the competition, and nominees for the award were selected by a preliminary panel of judges, which included Antti Kuparinen, expert in publication of academic articles in the humanities, in addition to Kalle Korhonen. Some of the periodicals read by the preliminary panel had brought commendable new perspectives to the academic periodical format: such periodicals can contain different types of articles and artistic content. Niin & Näin, a philosphical magazine, and Idäntutkimus, a journal that deals with Russia and Eastern Europe, were most successful in this and they demonstrate a new enthusiasm for the production of an academic periodical.