The Call for Submissions for the STARS 2021 Conference and the Conference Issue of the Student Success Journal is now open.

The submission deadline has been extended to 6 April 2021.

Submission Process

To submit an article (Emerging Initiative, Good Practice Report or Poster) for presentation at the 2021 STARS Conference, please complete the two-step process below.

  1. Complete the Call for Submissions form via the button below.
  2. Use the link at the end of the Call for Submissions form to upload your paper. Please save your submission as a PDF before uploading. Please save your file using the first five words of the title of your submission as your file name. The system will automatically add your name to the file.

Complete the Call for Submissions Form

If you make a mistake in your upload, you can resubmit the PDF file here. Please use the same naming system and we will keep the most recent upload.

To submit a research paper for the Conference Issue of the Student Success Journal, please follow the Student Success Journal guidelines. Please indicate in the submission process that the article is for the STARS 2021 Conference Issue.

Submissions for both the STARS 2021 Conference and Student Success Journal Conference Issue close 26 March 2021 6 April 2021 – DEADLINE EXTENDED

Other Important Dates can be found at the bottom of this page.

Submission Links

Call for Submissions

Preliminary Program

Submission Types

Quality Requirements

Review Criteria

Written Submission Format Requirements

Poster Submission Guidelines

Call for Submissions STARS 2021 Conference and Student Success Journal – STARS Conference Issue

The Students Transitions Achievement Retention & Success (STARS) Conference invites submissions for its 6th Conference to be held online and near you from 5-9 July 2021.

There are three submission types:

  • Good Practice Reports
  • Emerging Initiatives
  • Poster Presentations

In addition, the Student Success Journal invites submissions of fully refereed papers to be published in the Conference Issue of the Journal

Student Success is an international, open access, peer-reviewed, scholarly publication exploring the experiences of students in tertiary education, wholly supported by STARS. The Journal is included in several indexing databases including Scopus and Web of Science. Both STARS and the Student Success Journal are services for higher education run by the sector and are strictly not-for-profit.

Previously Student Success published a STARS Conference special issue with a small selection of the most highly regarded refereed papers and submissions from the Conference. In 2021, refereed papers will be submitted directly to the Journal to be considered for publication in the Conference Issue. Please indicate in the submission process that the article is for the 2021 STARS Conference.

All submissions to STARS and Student Success must meet the guidelines and are required by the submission deadline. Please read the submission guidelines carefully to ensure your submission meets the quality and type-specific length requirements.

An A5 version of accepted posters will be required for inclusion in the Conference proceedings. Instructions for posters appear below.

The submission deadline is extended to 6 April 2021.

All submissions to the STARS Conference and the Journal should explicitly relate to one or more of the STARS Conference topics listed below. Emerging Initiatives and Good Practice Reports will constitute the majority of the Conference program and presentations will be scheduled in 20-minute timeslots (with 5-minute intervals between presentations). A library of posters will be viewable asynchronously along with scheduled opportunities to speak synchronously with the poster authors in a dedicated poster session.

At least one author of an accepted STARS Conference submission must be registered for the Conference by 30 May 2021.

The STARS Conference and the Student Success Journal provide opportunities to disseminate and discuss current research, good practice, and emerging initiatives that are aimed at enhancing students’ tertiary learning experiences. Discussion on a wide variety of subjects is encouraged.

  • Students – who are they, what are their needs, what works for different cohorts, strategies for broader social inclusion and increasing participation in tertiary education, participation of first nation peoples.
  • Transitions – pathways to tertiary education, transitions into tertiary education (the first-year experience), transitions during tertiary education (work integrated learning), and transitions from tertiary education including graduate employability, and capstone experiences.
  • Achievement – strategies promoting student achievement including curricular and co-curricular reform, employability, gamification and simulation enhanced learning.
  • Retention – program, discipline, whole of institution, inter-institutional and sector collaborations designed to improve student retention, threshold skills and concepts.
  • Success – student engagement, technology enhanced learning, understanding students’ expectations and realities, psychological wellbeing, application of learning analytics.
Submission Types


Refereed Papers for STARS 2021 Conference Issue of the Student Success Journal 

Refereed papers submitted for consideration for the Conference Issue of the Student Success Journal need to meet the definition of research and as such should have a strong empirical or theoretical foundation and present new knowledge or findings, or report on the application of existing knowledge to a new domain. Full papers are required at the time of submission. Refereed papers will be double-blind peer reviewed. You should ensure that your submission is of the highest standard to increase the likelihood of acceptance. Refereed papers may not exceed twelve (12) pages including title, author details, abstract, body and references. Please indicate in the submission process that the article is for the 2021 STARS Conference.

Authors of refereed papers who wish to present during the Conference should submit a separate version of their paper as an Emerging Initiative via the Conference submission link. Please refer to Student Success submission guidelines before writing your refereed paper.

Good Practice Reports – STARS Conference

Good Practice Reports should describe national or institutional-wide projects (or projects of a similar scale) and their outcomes and impact. They are not required to meet the definition of research but should be scholarly in approach. Where such work is in-progress or is specific to a particular subject or degree program, or is limited to a department or school, the appropriate submission type is a more likely to be an Emerging Initiative. Good Practice Reports should describe the project or initiative, and its rationale, the project deliverables and/or outcomes and their impact in terms of STARS topics. Critically, Good Practice Reports should highlight how the outcomes/deliverables could be applied more broadly or used in other contexts.

Good Practice Reports should be between 8-10 pages and may not exceed ten (10) pages in total including introductory material (project and project team details and project overview), body and references.

Report presentations should not exceed 10 minutes and should allow at least 10 minutes for discussion with the audience.

Emerging Initiatives – STARS Conference

Emerging Initiatives focus on practical initiatives and innovations. Submissions should explain what is being done/proposed, how this work is innovative or what particular problem or issue is addressed and importantly how or why this initiative builds on or extends existing good practice or knowledge. Submissions should include a rationale that explains why the initiative exists or what it hopes to achieve, and the approach or method that will be used. Importantly presenters of emerging initiatives should solicit feedback and encourage discussion from the audience about the initiative.

Emerging Initiatives submissions should be submitted as a presentation proposal of 1-2 pages and may not exceed 2 pages and must comply with the presentation proposal submission guidelines.

The presentation proposal should include the paper title, author details, proposal and, questions or issues for audience discussion. Submissions should also include 4-5 key relevant references (included in the 2-page limit). Presenters should plan for at least 10 minutes of audience participation or discussion about the initiative based on the questions or issues for discussion within the presentation proposal.

The Conference Organising Committee reserves the right to combine submissions on similar topics into moderated discussions.

Posters – STARS Conference

Posters are presented in the form of an A0 printed poster. Posters are most appropriate for providing a visual presentation of complex ideas or summaries of large programs that lend themselves to collegial and informal discussion.

The initial submission is a poster proposal which should not be more than one A4 page in length and complies with the poster proposal submission guidelines. Poster proposals should be submitted by the submission deadline. An electronic version of accepted posters will be required by 7 June 2021 for inclusion in the Conference Program and Proceedings.

Quality Requirements

All submissions for the Conference and Journal will be initially reviewed by the Conference Team and Journal Editors and are expected to meet the following requirements.

  • Align with one or more of the STARS and Student Success Journal topics
  • Refer to previous relevant published works.
  • Be of a high professional standard.
  • Be proof-read and publication ready.
  • Meet the guidelines of the relevant submission type.
  • Comply with the relevant submission format guidelines.
  • Comply with latest APA referencing system (7th Edition).

Submissions that do not meet these quality requirements will be returned to authors for correction before being accepted for consideration. Please see below for details of the formatting and length requirements.

Review Criteria

For Refereed Papers

In addition to the quality requirements, refereed papers accepted for the Student Success Journal will comply with the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment – Higher education research data collection (HERDC) definition and criteria for research (p.56 https://docs.education.gov.au/node/55084).

Each accepted refereed paper will be:

  • a substantial scholarly activity, as evidenced by discussion of the relevant literature, an awareness of the history and antecedents of work described, and be provided in a format which allows a reader to trace sources of the work through citations;
  • original (that is, more than merely a compilation of existing works);
  • a contribution to knowledge, and;
  • in a form that enables dissemination of knowledge.

In addition to these criteria and the quality requirements refereed papers will be assessed for inclusion using the following criteria:

  • Contribution to existing body of knowledge and scholarship.
  • Suitability of methodology or approach.
  • Synthesis of relevant theoretical or empirical literature.
  • Currency of material and research supported by related and compelling evidence.
  • Originality of argument, ideas, or content.
  • Development of argument.
  • Organisation and structure.
  • Clarity of style and expression.

For Good Practice Reports

In addition to the quality requirements, Good Practice Reports will be assessed for inclusion using the following criteria:

  • References to existing good practice or the literature on which project is based.
  • Description of the project, including the rationale for the project and its aim and objectives.
  • Description of the project’s deliverables and/or outcomes highlighting how these can be taken-up or applied more broadly or used in other contexts.
  • Description of the project’s impact or potential impact in terms of the STARS topics.
  • Currency of material.
  • Originality and practicality of the practice being reported.
  • Organisation and structure.
  • Clarity of style and expression.

For Emerging Initiatives

In addition to the quality requirements, Emerging Initiatives will be assessed for inclusion using the following criteria:

  • Evidence of understanding of existing good practice and relevant scholarly literature.
  • The quality of the description of what is being done or proposed and how the emerging initiative builds on or extends current practice or knowledge.
  • A clear rationale for why the initiative is being explored or undertaken and the approach or method that is being/will be used.
  • Currency of material.
  • Level of impact (or expected impact).
  • Originality and practicality of initiative.
  • Organisation and structure of the proposal.
  • Clarity of style and expression in the proposal.
  • Inclusion of key questions or issues that will be posed to encourage audience participation.

For Posters

In addition to the quality requirements, poster proposals will be assessed for inclusion using the following criteria:

  • Currency of material.
  • Description of impact (or expected impact).
  • Originality and practicality of the work presented.
  • Organisation and structure.
  • Clarity of style and expression.
Written Submission Format Requirements
  • Font – Times New Roman, 12pt unless specified.
  • Page format – A4 portrait, all margins 2.54cm, all fully-justified.
  • Paper title – 14pt, bold, centred, sentence case, followed by 18pt spacing.
  • Author details – 12pt, centred, title case, given name, surname, faculty or school or department & institution, followed by 18pt spacing. If more than one author from same institution / department please provide these details only once.
  • Abstract – 12pt, italics, fully justified, indented 1cm from left and right margins, followed by 18pt spacing. Word limit is 150 words.
  • Section headings ‐ 12pt, bold, sentence case, left aligned, no numbering. 12pt space before and after heading.
    • 1st level subheading – 12pt, italics, sentence case, left aligned. 12pt space before and after heading. Do not number subheadings.
    • 2nd level of subheading ‐ 12pt, sentence case, left aligned. 12pt space before and after heading. Do not number subheadings.
  • Body Text and size – 12pt, single‐spaced, fully justified. 12pt spacing after each paragraph.
  • References and citations – 12pt – Please use the latest version of APA referencing style. A simplified guide is available at https://www.citewrite.qut.edu.au/cite/qutcite.html#apa / Please
    • List references under a Section Heading “References”
    • Use ‘hanging’ indents
    • Provide long quotes (approximately 30 words or more) – as 12pt, indented 1cm from left and right margins, fully justified.
  • Tables and figures – Captions in 12pt, bold, sentence case, Table text centered below and Figures text centered below
  • Footer – 10pt, left aligned, same footer on all pages containing the following details: Paper title, submission type e.g. refereed paper, nuts and bolts, poster.
  • Footnotes – 10pt, left aligned, should only be used for points of clarification not for references or citations. If used they should appear at the bottom of the page on which the relevant item appears, not at the end of the text preceding the references
  • Page numbers –10pt, bottom of page, right aligned
  • Length (please note different requirements for each submission type)
    • Refereed Papers – only to be submitted to Student Success – not more than 12 pages in total including references.
    • Good Practice Reports –not more than 10 pages in total including references (as a guide 8-10 pages will be required to adequately meet the criteria)
    • Emerging Initiatives – not more than 2 pages in total including a brief reference list.
    • Posters – not more than 1 page in total including references.

Downloadable guidelines


Poster Submission Guidelines

The purpose of a poster is to present information in a concise and visual manner. Posters provide a talking point and an opportunity for collegial engagement for members of the STARS Conference.

Poster proposals should be submitted using the style described for body text in the submission template, and can be up to one page in length. Proposals that are not in this format cannot be accepted for the STARS Conference in 2021.

The Conference Organising Committee is asking for all posters to be in this consistent format because this will enable us to include the posters in the Conference Proceedings.

Important Dates
  • 6 April 2021 – Submission Deadline extended.
  • from 3 May 2021 – Notifications start being sent to authors.
  • 28 May 2021: At least one Author must be registered to attend.
  • 7 June 2021: Electronic version of accepted posters required.