The Statistical Software Award

The Best Statistical Software Award recognizes individuals for developing statistical software that makes a significant research contribution.

2020 Winner
Software quanteda

Kenneth Benoit, Kohei Watanabe, Haiyan Wang, Paul Nulty, Adam Obeng, Stefan Müller, and Akitaka Matsuo


The Statistical Software Award Committee is pleased to announce quanteda by Kenneth Benoit, Kohei Watanabe, Haiyan Wang, Paul Nulty, Adam Obeng, Stefan Müller, and Akitaka Matsuo as the winner of the 2020 Society for Political Methodology Statistical Software Award. quanteda provides a comprehensive workflow for processing and analyzing textual data in R that integrates existing text packages and tools under a single umbrella. quanteda supports the entire text-as-data workflow, enabling researchers to manage large datasets and perform a wide array of analysis and visualization tasks. Its extraordinary documentation not only makes it accessible for researchers from a variety of backgrounds, it also facilitates the further creation of packages and utilities, and supports its usage in teaching and training. An emphasis on efficiency and parallelization mean that quanteda will be maintainable over time, while it also continues to be under active and continuous development with plans to integrate with emerging deep learning methods and packages. quanteda's innovation, accessible documentation, and functionality are testaments to the collaborative efforts of both junior and senior scholars that can serve as a model for future software development.

Selection committee

Nick Beauchamp (Northeastern), Graeme Blair (UCLA), Clayton Webb (Kansas), and Sarah Bouchat (Northwestern, Chair)

Past Recipients

Year Developers Software
Graeme Blair (UCLA)
Jasper Cooper (Princeton)
Alexander Coppock (Yale)
Macartan Humphreys (Columbia and WZB Berlin)
Clara Bicalho (WZB Berlin)
Neal Fultz (Comake)
Lily Medina (WZB Berlin)
Aaron Rudkin (UCLA)
Luke Sonnet (UCLA)
Molly Roberts (UC San Diego)
Brandon Stewart (Princeton)
Dustin Tingley (Harvard) 
stm: An R package for
Structural Topic Models
Matias D. Cattaneo (Michigan)
Sebastian Calonico (University of Miami)
Max H. Farrell (Chicago)
Michael Jansson (Berkeley)
Xinwei Ma (Michigan)
Rocio Titiunik (Michigan)
Gonzalo Vazquez-Bare (Michigan)
RD Software Packages
Jirka Lewandowski (Berlin Social Science Center, WZB)
Sven Regel (Berlin Social Science Center, WZB)
Nicolas Merz (Berlin Social Science Center, WZB)
Pola Lehmann (Berlin Social Science Center, WZB)
Manifesto Project
Dustin Tingley (Harvard)
Teppei Yamamoto (MIT)
Kentaro Hirose (Princeton)
Luke Keele (Penn State)
Kosuke Imai (Princeton)
mediation: R Package for
Causal Mediation Analysis
James Honaker (Harvard)
Gary King (Harvard)
Matt Blackwell (University of Rochester)
Amelia II
Andrew Martin (Washington University, St. Louis)
Kevin Quinn (UC Berkeley)
Jonghee Park (Seoul National University) 
Walter Mebane (Michigan)
Jasjeet Sekhon (UC Berkeley)
Norman Nie (Stanford)
Dale Bent (Athabasca University)
Hadlai Hull (SPSS Inc.)
SPSS (Statistical Package
for the Social Sciences)
Jeffrey Dubin (Pacific Economics Group)
Doug Rivers (Stanford)
Keith Poole (UC San Diego)
Howard Rosenthal (NYU)

Past Selection Committees

Year Committee
2019 Sarah Bouchat (Northwestern), Dustin Tingley (Harvard), and Adam Glynn (Emory, Chair)
2018 Jeffrey Arnold (University of Washington), Sarah Bouchat (Northwestern), Adam Glynn (Emory, Chair)
2017 Arthur Spirling (NYU, Chair), Justin Esarey (Rice) and Jamie Monogan (Georgia)
2016 Mike Ward (Duke), Matt Blackwell (Harvard), Alexander Tahk (Wisconsin)