Judging Process

In consultation with the B2B publishing industry and the NMAF board directors, the following are guidelines for judging the National Magazine Awards: B2B program.

Entries for the writing-focused categories are adjudicated as follows:

 Each category will have a three-person jury evaluating English entries and a three-person jury evaluating French entries.

  • Each jury will evaluate and score all entries in their category.
  • Each jury will consist of at least one editor and one writer, with the third juror either a second editor or writer, or a journalist or other person with topical expertise in that category.
  • Each entry is judged according to three criteria in equal proportions:
    Style and Creativity (1/3 of score), Content (1/3 of score), Impact (1/3 of score)
  • Each individual judge will have 4-5 weeks to review all submissions and then submit numerical scores, based on provided criteria and scoring procedures on each entry.
  • Juries will partake in a conference call if clear nominees or winners don’t emerge from the scores, or at the jury’s request.
    • In order to be considered for nomination, an entry must have a minimum average score of 24 (on a 30-point scale) from all three judges.
    • There will be a maximum of 10 nominations (minimum 3) in each category.
    • Finalists will be proportional by language to the submissions received.
    • The top overall score (from English and French entries) will receive the Gold Medal; the second-highest overall score (from English and French entries) will receive the Silver Medal. All other finalists will receive Honourable Mention.
    • With respect to French- and English-language entries being evaluated by separate juries:
      • Juries in both divisions receive identical criteria and scoring procedures;
      • In the event of a scoring outcome in which the final average scores of the top English and French entries are within 3% of each other, the NMAF Judging Committee may convene a Bilingual Advisory Panel to analyze the results and either uphold the results or award a tie.

Entries for visual categories are adjudicated as follows:

  • Each category will have a three-person jury evaluating all entries.
  • Each jury will have bilingual representation if French entries are received.
  • Depending on the category, panel members may include an illustrator, a photographer, a magazine art director, an editor, or an industry member with relevant expertise.
  • Each individual judge will have 4-5 weeks to review all submissions and then submit numerical scores, based on provided criteria and scoring procedures, on each entry prior to the group discussion.
  • Each entry is judged according to three criteria in equal proportions:
  1. Quality of the visual content (1/3 of score);
  2. Appropriateness of the visual content to the text it accompanies it (1/3 of score);
  3. Functionality: does the treatment make you want to read the article or magazine? (1/3 of score)
  • Each jury will partake in a conference call if clear nominees or winners don’t emerge from the scores, or at the jury’s request.
  • There will be a maximum of 10 finalists (minimum 3) in each category.

Entries for magazine-awarded are adjudicated as follows:

  • Each category will have a three-person jury evaluating all entries.
  • Each jury will have bilingual representation if French entries are received.
  • Depending on the category, panel members may include an editor, a publisher, an art director, and/or an industry member with relevant expertise.
  • Each individual judge will have 4-5 weeks to review all submissions and then submit numerical scores, based on provided criteria and scoring procedures, on each entry prior to the group discussion.
  • Each Editorial Award has its own set of criteria and scoring procedures.
  • Each jury will partake in a conference call if clear nominees or winners don’t emerge from the scores, or at the jury’s request.
  • There will be a maximum of 10 finalists (minimum 3) in each category, except for the categories of Best Publisher and Best Magazine which will have three finalists and one single winner, as well as the B2B Leadership Award, which will be awarded to an individual.

B2B Leadership Award
This award honours an individual whose career contributions to Canadian B2B publishing deserve recognition and celebration. The jury will be formed of industry professionals as well as a NMAF board member. The jury will take into consideration the career achievements of the individual; his/her other contributions to the B2B publishing industry, such as teaching, mentoring, volunteering experience; the quality and relevance of the letters of nomination included in the submission package.

Other Procedures

Supporting our Judges

Judges in all categories receive a “Judging Guide” which is a written explanation of how the judging process works, as well as criteria and scoring procedures. For most awards judges are requested to participate in a conveniently scheduled conference call with other judges on their panel.

Small Categories

For any category that receives fewer than 15 entries, the NMAF reserves the right to limit the number of finalists to 5 and present only a Gold Award (no Silver Award).

Conflict of Interest

A person shall be considered ineligible to judge in a category in which that person is entered as a writer, handling editor or other contributor. A person who appears on the masthead of a magazine entered in a particular category may not serve as a judge for that category. If a person is the subject of an article, has a close association with the writer, is a regular contributor to one of the entering publications, or has any other conflict, that person may still be eligible to judge that category but may be asked to abstain from judging the entry for which a conflict of interest exists.

Category Review

Honouring our commitment to reflect evolving methods of presentation and publication of content, the NMAF will review its categories on an annual basis.

Stakeholders from the industry are asked to provide feedback on the clarity of category description, the relevancy of the current roster of awards and to note any areas of content and creation that are not included.

The bottom 20 per cent of categories, in terms of the number of applicants, will be reviewed annually to ensure their ongoing viability to the Foundation and relevance to the industry.