Review Criteria

Proposals for contributions are welcome from all fields of educational research. The criteria used in reviewing each proposal will be as follows:  

  • The proposal should be directly related to a topic of interest for educational research; 
  • it should involve systematic enquiry of an empirical or analytic nature and should make reference to a theoretical framework;
  • the background, method, results and implications should be set out clearly in a manner which is accessible to an international audience;
  • it should take account of the European and/or international context; 
  • it should help a European dialogue to develop by reference, for example, to current European policies or intellectual and educational traditions; and
  • Symposium submissions and roundtables need to include 3 different countries/national perspectives.

Before submitting please consider the following questions, as neglecting these issues might lead to the rejection of your submission. Quotations taken from reviewer-comments on rejected proposals from previous years will help you understand how reviewers evaluate your proposals.

How to Avoid Rejection

Did you provide enough information on all fields to allow the reviewers to judge the proposals?

Some abstract are very brief and fail to provided information on all fields included in the review form. As a consequence it can be difficult for reviewers to judge adequately the merits of the proposal.

“This paper proposal is much too short - it remains unclear with regards to content, method, and theoretical approach.”    

Does your proposal present a clear research question? Does it identify a theoretical framework, methodology and conclusions?

Be as precise as possible and present your abstract as a coherent entity in which inconsistencies between research question, methodology and outcomes are avoided. It is essential that you link your methodology with the research question, and link your outcomes with the theoretical framework, research questions and methodology.  

 “The abstract doesn't meet the requirements. The author is neither presenting the research questions, expected outcomes nor the methodology of her research.”

 “An outline of the theoretical framework and the research questions should be provided, the findings of the study and their interpretation should be connected with the theoretical framework.” 

  “It is unclear in the proposal what the focus is given the very general over-view of time and subject matter. There is insufficient evidence here of methodology, sources and research question”       

Did you define a clear focus for your presentation and did you link it to your chosen networks?

Avoid being too general in your description. The reviewers need to understand the focus of your presentation in order to evaluate it and to judge whether it fits into the focus of the network.  

This proposal is very general, not precise enough to understand the interest of the research. It is too general to raise sufficient interest in the context of our Network.”

“Focus and argument are not contemporary: there is much written on the broad topic already so any contemporary paper needs to do something new.”

   “It is unclear in the proposal what the focus is given the very general over-view of time and subject matter. There is insufficient evidence here of methodology, sources and research question”  

Is your language clear and understandable?

Bear in mind that weak language and spelling mistakes may prevent reviewers from understanding your basic ideas. If necessary ask a native speaker for help.  

 “The number of English language mistakes in the text is so large that sometimes it becomes difficult to understand what the author wants to say. Please ask a native speaker for help."

Is your submission presenting research?

Is there sufficient data to be presented? An ECER presentation needs to formulate a research problem or questions and to provide a scientific line of argumentation. Sometimes submitters hand in presentations dealing with research projects in the early stages. Please bear in mind that you should already have some data that can be presented at ECER.  

  “This is a promising study; but it is not sufficiently advanced yet to be presented at a congress: data collection and analysis is not yet well defined; and the questions asked have to be more precise.”  

Did you highlight the European focus/dimension of your submission?

One of the key guidelines for submission to ECER is that proposals should be based on more than one European country / system. Proposals should either include some comparative element or show implications of your research for other countries.  

“The proposal is too country-specific and does not have much of an explicit European or global dimension.”  

“This proposal addresses issues concerning national questions, but a reference to consequences for the topic within a European context should also be addressed.”