The committee is chaired by Shelley MacDermid, professor and director of the Center for Families at Purdue University. Using a variety of criteria, the committee chair invites reviewers to serve. For example, reviewers are selected to represent a variety of scientific fields and institutions. International representation is desirable. Each year, nominees and winners from the prior year are invited to serve on the committee. Volunteers are invited to join the committee via work-family networks and listservs. Both junior and advanced scholars are invited to serve, but most members are senior scholars with long publication records. Membership on the committee rotates on a staggered cycle of approximately three years.
More than 75 journals are typically reviewed for the Kanter competition. The selection of journals is guided using four sources: an empirical study by Bob Drago identifying where most of the work-family literature appears, the journals most frequently appearing in the citation database developed by the Sloan Work-Family Researchers’ Network, and an informal survey of leading researchers about the journals they regularly read. Members of the review panel are also surveyed each year about journals they recommend adding to the list.
The Kanter award is given to the authors of the best work-family research article published during a calendar year. No external nominations are accepted for the award. Instead, every article published in a large number of peer-reviewed scientific journals is scrutinized. The articles must be based on data and innovative (i.e., not summaries of existing research). Both qualitative and quantitative analyses are eligible.
Each reviewer is responsible for examining all articles published during the calendar year in three to five scientific journals. Each journal is examined by at least two reviewers who nominate the articles they felt were written by deserving candidates for the Kanter award. Reviewers also are encouraged to nominate articles that they knew about through other sources.
Each of the nominated articles is sent to three or four reviewers who score it according to several standard criteria. Total scores are used to select the Kanter Top 20; the top five article authors become finalists for the award.
In the final round, all reviewers score each article. After the winners are chosen, reviewers are asked to recommend revisions to the award process for the following year.