Research Papers

Research papers can take two major forms:

  1. reports of empirical investigations; or
  2. reports that are not based on empirical research including:
    • a theoretical discussion;
    • a position paper;
    • a report of scholarly enquiry in progress;
    • a literature review, a meta-study;
    • an account of a new initiative;
    • a reflective critique of practice; or
    • any mixture of these or other recognised scholarly forms.

All papers for publication in the conference proceedings should contain the following:

  • a statement of the problem/issue and a discussion of its significance;
  • a critical analysis of the research literature as it relates to the topic of the paper; and
  • conclusions and implications for mathematics education derived from the study.

All authors must follow the information provided in the Submission Template and Author Guidelines detailed on the Submission page. Papers should not exceed the set length. In addition, papers must be readable and free of grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors.

All papers must respect MERGA’s ethical guidelines/policy relating to research work and empirical reports must include ethics statement as part of the Acknowledgements section. At the time of submission, you will be required to confirm that the research reported in your submission upholds the expectations for the ethical conduct of research by MERGA members and ethical standards for MERGA publications. Finally, submission includes upload of Publication Agreement, signed by all co-authors of the contribution. At the time of submission, you will be required to confirm that you have obtained, and will provide, permissions to re-print any third-party material included in the submitted document.

i. Empirical Investigations

When empirical investigations are reported (such as in an experimental intervention, confirmatory study, or action research, etc.), the paper should also include
  • a statement of rationale for methodologies used in collecting and analysing data;
  • a critical discussion of data findings in the light of the research literature; and
  • in the literature review, prior work in the area should be acknowledged and an explanation of how the work reported in the paper builds on that earlier work should be included.

ii. Theoretical or Position Papers

When the work is a theoretical discussion, a position paper, a report of scholarly inquiry in progress, a review of literature, a theoretical study, a meta-study, an account of a new initiative, a reflective critique of practice or any mixture of these or other recognised scholarly forms, the material presented must be discussed critically, and alternative points of view relating to themes presented should be appropriately argued.


Only research papers that are substantially different from work that has been published previously will be considered for publication in the conference proceedings and/or presentation at the conference.

Reviewing of Research Papers

The main purpose of the peer review process is to contribute to the growth and development of quality practice in mathematics education research. Research papers will be blind reviewed by a panel of peers approved by the conference committee. Reviewers are asked to assist authors by providing helpful feedback on improvements that would make the paper suitable for publication in the proceedings. Accordingly, it will not be assumed that papers selected to be published in the proceedings will be as polished as articles in scholarly journals. Reviewers will be asked to assess papers being reviewed against the accepted norms for scholarly works presented at MERGA conferences, as set out above.

Each conference proceedings’ Editorial Team will exercise discretion over the reviewing process.

Reviewers’ comments will be returned to the authors. Authors whose papers are not accepted for publication will be invited by the editorial panel to present their paper at the conference as a Short Communication. These authors will be invited to provide a one-page abstract to be published in the proceedings. Editorial team has the right to reject papers if they do not address mathematics education issue or are in other ways not suitable for MERGA audience.

Presentation of Research Papers

Research papers are presented by author(s) only. A maximum of 25 minutes may be used for presenting the paper, and 10–15 minutes is used for audience questions and open discussion.


Example of Advice to the Reviewers and Criteria

Please note that this information may vary from year to year.

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.

Pairs of reviewers are recommended to collaborate to provide a final recommendation. The options for recommendation, to help guide the Conference Committee, are shown below.

Excellent Standard:

ACCEPTED as a paper to be published in the proceedings and presented at this conference. Maybe some minor editing required, as per comments/feedback against the criteria.

Good Standard:

ACCEPTED as a paper to be published in the proceedings, with some minor revision needed prior to publication (subject to Proceedings Editors discretion).

Presentation Only:


Academic Quality

Comment on the overall academic quality against the criteria (listed): e.g. focus & significance, literature, theoretical perspective (where appropriate), methodology, findings, discussion.

  • Has the purpose of the manuscript been made clear?
  • Is the significance of the problem that frames the research made clear via reference to scholarly work or through connection to educational policy settings?
  • Does the literature review/theoretical framework inform the reader of the current state of the field aligned with the identified research problem?
  • Is the methodological approach and selected data collection appropriately described, justified and applied?
  • Are claims from the research supported by evidence? Are the findings trustworthy? Are the conclusions/claims justified?
  • Does the manuscript contribute to new knowledge? If so, what new knowledge? If not, what value is added to the field by the manuscript?

Formatting, Structure & General Editing Comments

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 are of a high standard).

Any Other Recommendations

Include suggestions for the author/s about their presentation during the conference; or related to extending the paper into a journal article.