Seminal Contributions to Accounting Literature Award

The next time nominations will be accepted is in the fall of 2021.

Nominations will open fall of 2021 and close January 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time

Previous Winners

Sponsored by the American Accounting Association


The Research Committee will be accepting nominations for the Seminal Contributions to Accounting Literature Award in the fall of 2021.

Award Intent

  • The Seminal Contributions to Accounting Literature Award is intended to recognize works that have stood the test of time and have contributed in a fundamental way to later research. Seminal is defined as "having the character of an originative power, principle or source; containing or contribution to the seed of later development."

Award Selection Criteria

  • Eligible works must have been published at least 15 years prior to the year in which the award is bestowed. For 2022, work would have been published in 2007 or prior.
  • The award is given no more frequently than once every three years and no more than one work is honored in any given year.
  • The next time the award may be presented will be in 2022.
  • Nominations for the next Seminal Contribution to Accounting Literature Award may be made in the fall of 2021.
  • At its meeting in August 2015, the AAA Board of Directors accepted the 2014-15 Research Committee’s proposal to add the following new criterion to the Seminal Contributions to Accounting Literature Award: "Although the award generally recognizes a single publication, two or more related publications (co)authored by the same nominee(s) may be considered for joint nomination if they stem from the same program of study that addresses a well-defined research objective. In this case, each related publication must comply with all other eligibility requirements. Nominations of multiple related publications should explain the single program of study that justifies considering the nominated publications as a whole."

Award Presentation

  • The winner(s) will receive an award at the AAA Annual Meeting.
  • The winner(s) will be announced on the AAA website and in multi-topic mass emails.

Nominations Deadline

  • Nominations are due by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on January 31, 2022.

Instructions for Submitting Nominations

  • Nominations for the Seminal Contribution to Accounting Literature Award may be made by any member of the Association.
  • Further, the Research Committee will consider works worthy of the Award and add them to other nominations considered.
  • Current Research Committee members who are nominated for the award will be asked to either recuse themselves from the committee or remove their nomination from consideration.
  • A nomination letter is required.  Any missing letters will be accepted for two days after the submission deadline. Papers which do not have nominating letters after two days will not be evaluated.
  • Each nomination must be accompanied by a brief supporting statement summarizing the reasons why the nominated work constitutes a seminal contribution in the view of the nominator.
  • All documents submitted in support of your nomination become the property of the American Accounting Association and will not be returned.  Do not submit by mail any irreplaceable documents.
  • Nominations should be sent to the AAA Vice President-Research and Publications, Sarah E. McVay at
  • The Vice President-Research and Publications collects nominations until 11:59 pm on January 31st in years in which they are solicited and involves the Research Committee to screen them.
  • With the counsel of the Research Committee, the Vice President-Research and Publications will recommend a candidate for the Award, when appropriate, to the Board of Directors with the final decision made at the Spring Board of Directors meeting.
  • If other committees receive nominations for the Seminal Contributions to Accounting Literature Award, they are requested to forward them to the Vice President-Research and Publications.
  • The Vice President-Research and Publications and the Research Committee take into consideration that the Award is not given too frequently to avoid diluting its original purpose.
  • Nominations for the award should be submitted to the Vice President–Research and Publications  by 11:59 pm on January 31, 2022.