The Call for Submissions for STARS 2020 is now open.

Submission Process

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.

Click here to Submit

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.

Deadline – Submissions close 03 February 2020.

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

The Students Transitions Achievement Retention & Success (STARS) Conference Organising Committee invites submissions for its 6th Conference to be held in Brisbane, Australia from 6 – 8 July 2020.
There are four submission types:

  • Refereed Papers
  • Good Practice Reports
  • Emerging Initiatives
  • Poster Presentations

Please note, the length and format requirements for Emerging Initiatives have changed for 2020.

For refereed papers, STARS does not request or accept abstracts. Full submissions that meet the guidelines for refereed papers 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 03 February 2020.

All submissions should explicitly relate to one or more of the Conference topics listed below. Papers, Reports and Emerging Initiatives will constitute the majority of the Conference program and will be scheduled in a 30-minute timeslot (with a 10-minute change over time). Posters will be displayed throughout the Conference and a specific Poster session will be scheduled during an extended networking break to allow time for discussion with presenters.

High quality Refereed Paper submissions and Emerging Initiatives or Good Practice Reports that present compelling and innovative practice will be considered for inclusion in the Conference Issue of Student Success by the Journal’s Editors.

All accepted papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings.

At least one author of an accepted submission must be registered for the Conference by 1 May 2020 and present at the Conference for the submission to be included in the Conference proceedings.

STARS provides an opportunity 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. In addition to the following STARS topic areas, submissions are encouraged to focus on advancing Indigenous education, the application of learning analytics and big data, and students as partners :

  • 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 – 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 as a refereed paper. Refereed papers may not exceed ten (10) pages including title, author details, abstract, body and references. Paper presentations should not exceed 20 minutes and should allow at least 10 minutes for discussion with the audience. Please use the submission template when writing your refereed paper.

Good Practice Reports – should describe national or institutional-wide projects, 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 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 20 minutes and should allow at least 10 minutes for discussion with the audience.

Emerging Initiatives (new requirements for 2020) 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 15 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.

Postersare 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 (A0 reduced to A4) will be required by 30 May 2020 for inclusion in the Conference Proceedings.

Quality Requirements

All submissions will be initially reviewed by the Conference Program Panel and are expected to comply with the following requirements.

  • Align with one or more of the Conference 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 submission format guidelines.

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 STARS will comply with the HERDC definition of research (p.6 https://docs.education.gov.au/node/39431). 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.
  • Complies with APA referencing system.

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.
  • Complies with APA referencing system.
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 APA referencing style. A simplified guide is available at http://www.citewrite.qut.edu.au/ 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 above 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 – not more than 10 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 (new requirements for 2020) – not more than 2 pages in total including a brief reference list.
    • Posters – not more than 1 page in total including references.

Click here to download the Written Submission Template, and the Written Submission Format Requirements.


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 2020.

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.

Please bring your printed A0 size poster with you to the Conference. The Conference Organising Committee can assist you with hanging your poster once you have registered.

Important Dates
  • 3 February 2020 : Submission Deadline.
  • from 13 April 2020 : Notifications to authors.
  • 1 May 2020 : At least one Author must be registered to attend.
  • 30 May 2020 : Electronic version of accepted posters (A0 reduced to A4) required.