Reference and User Services Association
RUSA’s annual Outstanding Reference Sources awards list is considered the highest industry award or honor for academic reference books or media,. RUSA awards other medals and honors including The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction and Dartmouth Medal for "creation of a reference work of outstanding quality and significance." In addition, the ALA List of Notable Books for Adults has been chosen yearly since 1944.
RUSA Book and Media Awards, often including Pulitzer-winning works, are the academic reference industry equivalent of a Pulitzer, Emmy, or Clio Award. The nomination and awards decisions are made by the American Library Association's (ALA) 'Reference and User Services Association' (RUSA)., "The authority in top reference works in print or on the World Wide Web." Within RUSA the award lists selected by the RUSA Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) Reference Sources Committee.
An annotated list of RUSA's selections of outstanding reference works is published annually in the May issue of American Libraries. The RUSA list, along with extended reviews of the selections, is also published annually the Reference & User Services Quarterly (the official Journal of RUSA) and published on the RUSA web site.
Recent RUSA Book and Media Awards
2014 Awards 
American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document collection. Spencer C Tucker, Editor; ABC-CLIO publisher
The Literature of Propaganda, Thomas Riggs, editor. St. James Press/Gale Cengage publishers
Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories That Shaped Our Culture. Jacqueline Edmondson, Editor. Greenwood, publisher.
Encyclopedia of the U.S. Presidency: A Historical Reference. Nancy Beck Young, editor. Facts on File, publisher
A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations from the Origins to the Present Day. Abdelwahab Meddeb and Benjamin Stora, editors. Princeton University Press, publisher
Frogs of the United States and Canada, C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. author. Johns Hopkins University Press, publisher.
Encyclopedia of the Mind, Harold Pashler, editor. Sage Reference, publisher.
Almanac of American Military History. Spencer C Tucker, editor. ABC-CLIO, publisher.
The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions. Patrick Taylor and Frederick I. Case, editors. University of Illinois Press, publisher.
And though the title did not meet the criteria for our award, the committee wanted to publicly acknowledge Proquest for continuing publication of the Statistical Abstracts of the United States, an invaluable source to all libraries.
2013 Awards 
Biotechnology: In Context, edited by Brenda Wilmoth Lerner & K. Lee Lerner, Gale Cengage
Dictionary of African Biography, edited by Emmanuel K Akyeampong and Henry Louis Gates Jr., Oxford University Press
Encyclopedia of Housing, Second Edition, edited by Andrew T. Carswell, Sage Publications
Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology, edited by Daniel J. Christie, Wiley-Blackwell
Encyclopedia of Trauma: An Interdisciplinary Guide, edited by Charles R. Figley, Sage Publications
Enslaved Women In America: An Encyclopedia, edited by Daina Ramey Berry and Deleso A. Alford, Greenwood
Japanese Philosophy: A Source Book, edited by James W. Heisig, et al., University of Hawaii Press
Literature of War, edited by Thomas Riggs, St. James Press/Gale Cengage
Presidents and Black America: A Documentary History, by Stephen A. Jones and Eric Freedman, Sage/CQ Press
Typography Referenced: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to the Language, History, and Practice of Typography, edited by Allan Haley et al., Rockport Publishers
Women in American Politics: History and Milestones, by Doris Weatherford, Sage/CQ Press
2012 Awards 
The Encyclopedia of Political Science, George T Kurian editor-in-chief, published by CQ Press, (9781933116440)
The Civil War Naval Encyclopedia, edited by Spencer Tucker, published by ABC-CLIO, (9781598843385)
Competing Voices from the Russian Revolution: Fighting Words, edited by Michael Hickey, published by Greenwood, (9780313385230)
The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible, edited by Michael D. Coogan, published by Oxford University Press, (9780195377378)
Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites, by Donald B. Kraybill, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, (9780801896576)
The Polish American Encyclopedia, edited by James S. Pula, published by McFarland & Company, Inc., (9780786433087)
Green’s Dictionary of Slang, by Jonathan Green, published by Oxford University Press, (9780550104403)
Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine, edited by Lyle J. Micheli, published by Sage Publications, (9781412961158)
The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, Michael Ryan, general editor, published by Wiley-Blackwell, (9781405183123)
The Homer Encyclopedia, edited by Margalit Finkelberg, published by Wiley-Blackwell, (9781405177689)
The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, edited by Joan D. Marter, published by Oxford University Press, (9780195335798)
2011 Awards 
The Oxford Companion to the Book. Michael F. Suarez, S.J. and H.R. Woudhuysen, eds. 2 vols. Oxford, 2010. (9780198606536)
Encyclopedia of Identity. Ronald L. Jackson II, ed. 2 vols. Sage, 2010. (9781412951531)
Encyclopedia of Geography. Barney Warf, ed. 6 vols. Sage, 2010. (9781412956970)
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. Michael Gagarin, ed. 7 vols. Oxford, 2010. (9780195170726)
The Encyclopedia of Religion in America. Charles H. Lippy and Peter W. Williams, eds. 4 vols. CQ Press, 2010. (9780872895805)
Off Broadway Musicals, 1910 – 2007: Casts, Credits, Songs, Critical Reception and Performance Data of More Than 1,800 Shows. Dan Dietz, ed. 1 vol. McFarland. 2010. (9780786433995)
Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Joanne B. Eicher, ed. 10 vols. Oxford, 2010. (9780195377330) Berg Fashion Library. Oxford, 2010.
Chronology of the Evolution-Creationism Controversy. Randy Moore, ed., et al. 1 vol. Greenwood. 2009. (9780313362873)
The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace. Nigel Young, ed. 4. vols. Oxford. 2010. (9780195334685)
21st Century Economics A Reference Handbook. Rhona C. Free, ed. 2 vols. Sage. 2010. (9781412961424)
Encyclopedia of Political Theory. Mark Bevir, ed. 3 vols. Sage. 2010. (9781412958653)
Encyclopedia of Group Processes & Intergroup Relations. John M. Levine and Michael A. Hogg, eds. 2 vols. Sage. 2010. (9781412942089)
2010 Awards 
Archaeology in America: An Encyclopedia (Greenwood Press), Francis P. McManamon
Encyclopedia of African American History: 1896 to the Present (Oxford University Press), Paul Finkelman
Encyclopedia of Modern China (Charles Scribner’s Sons), David Pong
The Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars (ABC-CLIO), Spencer Tucker
Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy (Gale Cengage), J. Baird Callicott and Robert Frodeman
Encyclopedia of Human Rights (Oxford), David Forsythe
Social Explorer, an online reference resource located at http://www.socialexplorer.com
Broadway Plays and Musicals: Descriptions and Essential Facts (McFarland & Company Publishers), Thomas S. Hischak
American Countercultures (Sharp), Gina Misiroglu
Encyclopedia of Gender and Society (Sage), Jodi O’Brien
Encyclopedia of Marine Science (Facts on File), Nichols C. Reid and Robert G. Williams
2009 Awards 
Dartmouth Medal: Greenwood Publishing, Pop Culture Universe. Honorable mention: Gershon David Hundert, The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe.
Books and Beyond: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of New American Reading. Kenneth Womack, ed. 4 vols. Greenwood, 2008. (9780313337383). Encyclopedia of Taoism. Fabrizio Pregadio, ed. 2 vols. Routledge, 2008. (9780700712007).
Encyclopedia of the First Amendment. John R. Vile, David L. Hudson Jr. and David Schultz, eds. 2 vols. CQ Press, 2009. (9780872893115).
Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales. Donald Haase, ed. 3 vols. Greenwood, 2008. (9780313334412).
Encyclopedia of Education Law. Charles J. Russo, ed. 2 vols. Sage, 2008. (9781412940795).
Climate Change: In Context. Brenda Wilmoth Lerner and K. Lee Lerner, eds. 2 vols. Gale Cengage, 2008. (9781414436142).
Gale Encyclopedia of Diets: A Guide to Health and Nutrition. Jacqueline L. Longe, ed. Gale Cengage, 2008. (9781414429915).
New Encyclopedia of Orchids: 1500 Species in Cultivation. Isobyl la Croix. Timber Press, 2008. (9780881928761).
Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social and Military History. Spencer C. Tucker, ed. 4 vols. ABC-CLIO, 2008. (9781851098415).
African American National Biography. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Evelyn Brooks-Higginbotham, eds. 8 vols. Oxford University Press, 2008. (9780195160192).
Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History. Bonnie G. Smith, ed. 4 vols. Oxford University Press, 2008. (9780195148909).
2008 Awards 
APA dictionary of psychology. ed. by Gary R. VandenBos. American Psychological Association, 2007. 1591473802.
Encyclopaedia Judaica. ed. by Staff, Macmillan Reference U. S. A. 22 vols. Rev. ed. Gale, 2006. 0028659287.
Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. ed. by George Ritzer. 11 vols. Blackwell, 2007. 1405124334.
Encyclopedia of Body Adornment. by Margo Demello. Greenwood, 2007. 313336954.
Encyclopedia of Race & Racism. ed. by John Hartwell Moore. 4 vols. Gale, 2008. 9780028660202.
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History. ed by John B. Hattendorf. 4 vols. Oxford, 2007. 9780195130751.
Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film. ed. by Barry Keith Grant. 4 vols. Gale, 2006. 0028657912.
Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre. ed. by Samuel L. Leiter. 2 vols. Greenwood, 2007. 03133529x.
Brave New Words: the oxford dictionary of science fiction. ed. by Jeff Prucher. Oxford, 2007. 0195305671.
Postwar America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural and Economic History. by James Ciment. 4 vols. ME Sharpe, 2007. 079568067x.
Oxford companion to world exploration. ed. by David Buisseret. 2 vols. Oxford, 2007. 019514922X.
2007 Awards 
Colonial America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History. ed. James Ciment. M. E. Sharpe, 2005. 0765680653.
Crusades: An Encyclopedia. 4 vols. ed. Alan V. Murray. ABC-Clio, 2006. 1576078620. $385
Encyclopedia of Swearing: The Social History of Oaths, Profanity, Foul Language, and Ethnic Slurs in the English-Speaking World. Geoffrey Hughes. M. E. Sharpe, 2006. 0765612311.
Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War: A Political, Social, and Military History. eds. Gregory Fremont-Barnes and Richard Ryerson. ABC-Clio, 2006. 1851094083.
Encyclopedia of the Developing World. 3 vols. ed. Thomas M. Leonard. Routledge, 2005. 1579583881.
Encyclopedia of US Labor and Working Class History. 3 vols. ed. Eric Arnesen. Routledge, 2006. 0415968267.
Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism Since 1450. 3 vols. ed. Thomas Benjamin. MacMillian, 2007. 0028658434.
Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America. 3 vols. ed. Rosemary Skinner Keller. Indiana, 2006.
Historical Statistics of the United States: Earliest Times to the Present. 5 vols. eds. Susan B. Carter, Scott Sigmund Gartner, Michael R. Haines, et al. Cambridge, 2006. 0521817919.
Insects: Their Natural History and Diversity. Stephen A. Marshall. Firefly, 2006. 1552979008.
Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature. 5 vols. ed. David Scott Kastan. Oxford, 2006. 0195169212.
Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature. 4 vols. ed. Jack Zipes. Oxford, 2006. 01951146561.
Qu'ran: An Encyclopedia. ed. Oliver Leaman. Routledge, 2005. 0415326397.
Right, Wrong, and Risky: A Dictionary of Today's American English Usage. Norton, 2005. 0393061191.
For RUSA awards prior to 2007 please see * RUSA Book and Media Awards
- RUSA website
- Reference & User Services Assn. (RUSA)/Awards/Book & Media Awards/Outstanding Reference Sources
- American Library Association