Overview: The New Round of the Unz Historical Research Competition

The First Prize entry of the previous round of the competition was captured by a vastly enhanced Wikipedia entry for Encounter, a very prominent British publication of the post-war era, whose description was expanded from being merely a stub to now representing one of the most detailed and comprehensive entries for any periodical found in Wikipedia.

Our system contains many dozens of other major periodicals, some of which were once among the most prominent and influential in America. Unfortunately, most of these are now nearly as forgotten as Encounter had been, and their entries in Wikipedia are just as scanty.  Once researchers become aware of the origins, significance, and history of a major publication of the past, they are far more likely to explore the thousands of major articles contained in its archives.

Therefore, we have launched a new round of the Unz Historical Research Competition, this time restricted to enhancements of the Wikipedia entries for any periodicals found within the system. The new First Prize will be $5,000, and there will be two Runner-Up awards of $1,000 each. All work must be completed by January 31, 2013 and the winners will be announced within thirty days of that date.

Entries will be judged on the quality and comprehensiveness of the Wikipedia material added, with the current entry for Encounter providing a fine example of an outstanding effort. Obviously, the creation of a new entry or the expansion of a minimal or stub entry will be ranked much more highly than merely the augmentation of an already detailed periodical description.

In order to properly ascribe the Wikipedia work performed to the appropriate individual, a contestant should notify us once he begins work on a particular Wikipedia entry, and make sure to include the Wikipedia Editor name used, so his work may be identified.  Contestants who have not previously registered may provide this information in their registration process.

Although multiple contestants may work on the same Wikipedia entry, contestants who are the first to select and enhance a given periodical entry will obviously possess a great advantage in their ability to add large amounts of new and important material.

(We very much hope that if multiple contestants do decide to focus on a single periodical, they would enhance that Wikipedia entry in a cooperative manner and not seek to maliciously interfere with or delete each other’s substantial work, nor any previously existing material which was reasonably worthwhile. The Wikipedia system provides a complete record of all editing changes, and we will review these in awarding our prizes.)

The system contains the partial or complete archives of over 160 print and web publications, any of which may be eligible for this competition. We are also providing a partial list of some thirty of the most prominent defunct ones, including links to any existing Wikipedia entries, most of which would be excellent candidates for this competition.


Overview: The Unz Historical Research Competition will be awarding prizes for the most significant and interesting new discussion or analysis of some historical issue based on the source material contained within its website. Participants may be students, academics, independent scholars, or any other interested individuals.  Participants must register, and then submit their entries via email on or before August 31, 2012.  A panel of prominent American academics and intellectuals will select the winning entries, with the awards being announced by September 30, 2012.  Submissions will be evaluated based on the importance of the discussion or analysis, the degree to which it reveals surprising or interesting aspects of history, the extent to which it changes our understanding of the past, and the likelihood that it may open new lines of additional investigation.

  • First Prize – $10,000
  • Second Prize – $3,000
  • Two Runner-Up Awards – $1,000 each
Summary of Specific Rules and Procedures
  1. All participants must register for the Unz Historical Research Competition.
  2. Participation is open to anyone over the age of 18 (or over the age of 15 with prior consent of parent or legal guardian)  anywhere in the world (except where prohibited by American or foreign law).
  3. All entries must be submitted by email on or before August 31, 2012.
  4. All historical discussions or analyses entered in this competition must be based primarily upon published content source materials found in the archives.
  5. Historical topics may include political history, literary history, personal history, intellectual history, ideological history, publishing history, science history, or any other reasonable academic subject based upon the published source materials of the archives.
  6. All submitted entries must contain a brief, informal descriptive summary of the historical matter in question, between 200 and 1000 words in length.  This summary should contain citations in reasonable form referencing particular documents. In addition, entries may include optional supporting analysis or material, with or without references, of any desired length.
  7. All submitted entries must be deemed sufficiently accurate and important that they are accepted for publication on the Wikipedia website, including reference-links to the published source documents at upon which the discussion is based.  Entries removed by the Wikipedia editors within fourteen days of their submission are ineligible for this competition.  All submitted entries must include the location and text of the material added to the Wikipedia website as part of this competition.  Historical discussions which are deemed sufficiently important to warrant creation of entirely new Wikipedia pages will be given extra consideration in this competition.
  8. Research materials developed for this competition may also be used for any other academic or non-academic purpose, and may freely be published elsewhere.  However, under participation rules, will have the right to publish all submitted entries or excerpts thereof on this competition website.
  9. In order to participate, you must first read and agree to the Official Rules of the Competition provided on the Registration page.