Early Bird Research Paper Submission and Review Process

The Early Bird research paper review process is a form of mentoring, principally for new researchers. However, anyone is eligible to make use of it. Past conferences have experienced a higher acceptance rate for papers which have gone through the Early Bird review process.

Early Bird research papers must meet the requirements as set out for MERGA research papers and must be received by the Early Bird due date (i.e. the closing date that is about six weeks earlier than the Main Round).

All authors must follow the information provided in the Submission Template and Author Guidelines (and provide a completed Publication Agreement when requested) detailed on the Submission page.

Early Bird papers should be uploaded as per the instructions on the conference website after which they are circulated to one of the MERGA review panels for formative academic peer review. Feedback from peer review is also provided online.

There are two possible outcomes of the reviewing process:

  1. The reviewers may require relatively minor revisions. In such cases papers should be corrected according to the peer review feedback and resubmitted to the Main Round of reviewing, together with the a signed Publication Agreement. These resubmissions will be evaluated by the Editorial Team who make the final decision whether the paper is accepted for publication as well as presentation at the conference.
  2. A paper may be rejected in its current form. In this case, authors have the opportunity to rewrite the paper (major revision) in light of the feedback provided by the reviewers, and resubmit it to the Main Round. It will then be circulated for peer review with all the other papers submitted at that time.

Authors are notified of the outcome of the Early Bird Research Paper review process as soon as possible (usually within a month, and in time for resubmission). Emails are sent to authors to indicate (1) minor revision required; or (2) major revision required; with a link to the feedback.


Example of the MERGA Early Bird Review Information for Reviewers

MERGA acknowledges many forms of scholarly inquiry and welcomes the presentation and publication of conference papers to achieve the following goals:

  • bring our community together to share ideas and progress across different lines of research enquiry within the field of mathematics education
  • bring the community together to discuss and debate contentious areas in the field—local, national and international
  • bring forward new ideas and hold them up for critique by our community, that is, are there contributions to new knowledge (even if a small incremental step)
  • help induct new researchers into the community and assist them in appropriating the standards for publication
  • provide opportunity for the development of research collaborations
  • provide an opportunity for researchers to learn to write their ideas down in a limited number of pages.

Reviews should be prepared by pairs of reviewers collaborating to provide a recommendation. The recommendation to the Editorial Committee is that a paper be:

  • ACCEPTED for publication and presentation SUBJECT TO MINOR REVISIONS
  • MAJOR REVISIONS REQUIRED (i.e., revise and resubmit)

Authors should be given explicit feedback, ideally by responding to the criteria below, and annotating the original manuscript/paper in MS Word Track Changes, and/or completing the "Reviewers' Required Changes Feedback Form" for 'Major Revisions Required'. Revised papers judged “Accepted Subject to Minor Revisions" will be considered for suitability for publication and presentation by the Editorial team.

Revised papers judged “Major Revisions Required” will be circulated for further peer review, along with other papers in the Main Round.


Example of the Early Bird Feedback Form and Criteria

Style of Manuscript

This paper is a:

  • report of completed research
  • report of a pilot study or on-going research
  • literature review
  • position paper
  • report of participatory research
  • other: ………………………………


  • ACCEPTED for publication and presentation SUBJECT TO MINOR REVISIONS

Feedback to Authors

Please provide feedback to the author(s) using the following criteria.

  1. What is the purpose of the manuscript? Has this been made clear?
  2. What is the significance of the problem that frames the research? Is this made clear via reference to scholarly work or through connection to educational policy settings?
  3. Does the literature review/theoretical framework inform the reader of the current state of the field aligned with the identified research problem?
  4. Is the methodological approach and selected data collection appropriately described, justified and applied?
  5. Are claims from the research supported by evidence? Are the findings trustworthy?
  6. Does the manuscript contribute to new knowledge? If so, what new knowledge? If not what value is added to the field by the manuscript?
  7. Is the manuscript coherent and consistent with the technical requirements of a MERGA conference paper (correct template and use of APA7 style, spelling and grammar is of a high standard)?
  8. List any recommendations for the author/s to include in the presentation during the conference.
  9. Other feedback for authors?