Policy paper for The Nordic Educational Research Association – NERA
The work of NERA is conducted on 5 main pillars: 1) The NERA Congress, 2) The NERA Network Organization, 3) The NERA Conference, 4) The NERA Journal Nordic Educational Studies, and 5) NERA’s affiliation to other educational research organizations.
Each year NERA organizes a congress. On this annual meeting NERA conducts organizational activities such as
- The NERA’s Annual General Assembly,
The Annual General Assembly is conducted according to the rules stated in the bylaws.
- The Network Conveners’ Meeting.
- The Network Meetings.
- One of the two Annual Editorial Meetings.
The other Annual Editorial Meeting is conducted in august/September each year.
- One of two Annual Board Meetings.
The other board meeting is conducted in August/September each year on the venue for the conference held in March the forthcoming year.
- Other activities.
Simultaneously with the NERA Congress the annual NERA conference takes place.
The main purpose of establishing networks within NERA is to facilitate and foster dialogue, discussion and collaboration between Nordic researchers, educators, and practitioners in the field of education. A network organizes meetings and sessions at NERA’s annual congress and serve as a meeting ground for researchers and other interested people, within the field.
Each NERA Network is expected to have a convener and the members of the network should represent at least three different Nordic countries. The convener is a researcher on Ph.D. level in the field.
The role of the convener varies from network to network, depending on the size and aspirations of the network.
The main responsibilities for all network conveners are:
- To communicate with network members before, during, and between the annual NERA congress.
- To maintain contact with the NERA board through the network coordinator and the organizing committee of the NERA congress.
- To maintain and update the network´s homepage.
- To arrange a network meeting at the annual congress.
- To organize network activities at the NERA congress in close collaboration with the organizing committee of the NERA congress. Also, the conveners are responsible for organizing a blind review of all the abstracts related to the paper sessions, symposia, roundtables, and workshops that are to take place within the network on the annual NERA conference. However, the organizing committee has the administrative authority to place these activities within the overall program.
- To prepare a schedule for the paper sessions in collaboration with the organizing committee of the annual conference.
- The convener appoints the chairs for the sessions on the conference and send out guidelines to them.
- To attend the annual convener meeting and the Annual Delegates Assembly [ADA] at the NERA congress.
- The number of conveners is limited to a maximum of three in each network.
- Conveners get a refund of the NERA membership fee after the annual conference according to the following limitations: If less than 20 abstracts have been submitted to the network one convener will receive a refund. If 20-34 abstracts have been submitted to the network two conveners will receive a refund and if 35 or more abstracts have been submitted three conveners will receive a refund.
The convener is responsible for updating the network’s website, including description of the aims and intentions of the network. The description must have a minimum of 300 words in English. A user manual for working with the network website can be found here.
The convener is obliged to submit an annual report on the activities of the network, including the minutes from the network meeting at the NERA congress. The report form can be downloaded here. The convener sends the report to the network coordinator by 15th of April.
Networks that before deadline have sent in an annual report to the NERA board can apply for support for networks activities. An application should be transmitted by the network convener to the NERA board. An application form for network support can be found here.
- The NERA board will in accordance with available economic means support network activities.
- Support will only be given to network activities, such as activities for Ph.D.-students or symposia in connection with pre- or post-NERA conference and network meetings between conferences. The supported activities should be open to the whole network and encourage collaboration between all members in the network.
- Support may be given for travel and diet costs for invited lecturer/s and coffee /snacks to the network participants.
- Support is not given for travel or diet costs to the network participants. Neither is salary/honorarium to invited lecturer/s an eligible expense.
- Documentation for all expences must be sent to the treasurer of NERA no later than one month after the NERA congress has taken place.
- A short report of the supported activities shall be sent to the network coordinator no later than one month after the NERA Congress has taken place.
- An application for establishing a new network within NERA is to be sent to the NERA president and to the network coordinator not later than August 1st, by the aspiring convener. To hold a position as convener for a NERA network one needs needs to be a researcher on Ph.D. level in the field.
- A network must represent at least three different Nordic countries and it must consist of 25 researchers or more.
- A NERA network must be representing a tradition of thought and/or a field of research in education. A description of research interests within such a tradition and/or field of research should be included in the application in a 500 word abstract in addition to 3-5 key words.
- Rationales should be provided in the application on why the researchers of the new suggested network cannot join already existing networks.
- The aspiring convener is responsible for the application and that the application as well as the future activities of the network is in line with NERA policies.
The Annual General Assembly can upon recommendation from the board decide to close a network:
- If a network lacks a convenor, and its network members do not themselves appoint a new convenor.
- If the network activities or network description do not live up to the general aims of NERA e.g., if the network activity is low; if there are less than 8 abstracts submitted for presentation at the network at two consecutive conferences.
- The NERA board monitors whether a network should be closed or not and put forward a recommendation to the Annual General Assembly.
NERA arranges an annual conference in cooperation with a university or a Higher Education institution in one of the Nordic countries. The conference is only for NERA members which means that attendees need to pay their NERA membership fee before attending the conference. A NERA membership is always individual. At least two years before the conference NERA appoints and makes a formal agreement with one of the universities or a Higher Education institution in one of the Nordic countries. The venue of the conference should be chosen out from a principal of circulating between all the Nordic countries. The cooperating organisation is responsible for establishing an organising committee for the conference.
The organizing committee decides on the theme of the conference and the keynote speakers in cooperation with the NERA board. The organizing committee is responsible for creating a conference program consisting of keynotes, symposia, paper sessions, roundtables, poster sessions, workshops, and other activities. Also, the committee is responsible for sending out conference calls providing the public knowledge of the conference including important dates for different deadlines. The Organizing Committee establish a digital platform for receiving abstracts. The submitted abstracts shall be peer reviewed. The networks are fully responsible for the peer review process and the committee delegates the abstracts to the networks via the conveners. The grouping of paper presentations in paper sessions and symposia is also the conveners’ responsibility. The Organizing Committee is responsible for producing an outline for the abstracts (an abstract book) digitally or in paper. Also, The Organizing Committee coordinates the plans of all networks and symposia into one comprehensive plan for the conference. Further guidelines about hosting a NERA conference can be found here.
The proposal for a symposium and papers for paper sessions should be max. 500 words and provide information in the following areas:
- Title of paper
- Author(s) of proposal
- Research topic/aim
- Theoretical framework
- Methodology/research design
- Expected conclusions/expected outcomes
- Relevance for Nordic Educational research.
A symposium consists of papers focusing on a common theme to demonstrate a range of perspectives or a variety of approaches. A symposium is planned and proposed by a symposium organizer, e.g., by a network convener and has a chair (often the organizer) and a discussant who has read the different papers in advance.
The conference organizers decide how many symposia are feasible at the conference. The conference organizers also decide on the time and place of symposia.
Each symposium has one organizer, who takes care of the planning of the symposium and the coordination with the conference organizers and with the network coordinator (if it is part of a network).
The symposium organizer should solicit proposals and submit them together and is also expected to chair the session and to facilitate discussion. The proposal should include the purpose of and rationale behind the session, a description of each presentation and a statement regarding the intended audience involvement.
The symposium organizer makes an agreement with the organizing committee about the organization of the symposium. The organizing committee informs the organizer of the place and the time of the symposium.
The symposium organizer prepares a detailed plan for the symposium including:
- The title of the symposium,
- The names of the contributors,
- The addresses of the contributors’ institutions,
- An abstract describing the entire symposium,
- Abstracts from the contributors (max. 200 words), and
- The plan for the presentations.
The plan must be submitted to the organizing committee at the organizing University.
Paper sessions consist of a presentation and a discussion of papers about ongoing or completed research projects. The time frame for each paper is 20 – 30 minutes including discussion, and 3-4 different papers will be presented at each parallel session.
All abstracts for paper sessions must be submitted via the digital platform to the organizing committee of the conference before the announced deadline in second call for the conference. Abstracts should be 500 words and the author should select the network that it is meant for.
22.214.171.124 Roundtable Sessions
A roundtable session is a forum for the presentation and discussion of developmental work and research plans. Roundtable sessions are intended for focused discussions in small groups of research in progress, practitioner experiences, educational improvement initiatives and issues in institutional effectiveness and improvement.
The proposal summary should describe the focus and purpose of the session and ways in which participants will be engaged.
Unless other nominations are made, the organizing committee will appoint a researcher to act as organizer and leader of the roundtable session.
126.96.36.199 Poster Sessions
Poster sessions offer a more informal opportunity to present a project visually rather than orally by means of one (or very few) posters.
During poster sessions, conference participants can meet the poster presenters at the poster stations. The poster session is thereby a format maximizing interaction between participants and presenters. This requires that poster sessions are placed in an attractive location frequented by many participants at the conference venue.
Workshops are intended to be interactive and collaborative sessions that aim to provide participants with hands-on learning experiences, practical skills, and in-depth discussions on a specific topic/theme presented by researchers, practitioners, or policymakers.
The workshop proposal should include the purpose and the rationale of the session, a description of the presentation and a statement regarding audience involvement and point out a leader of the workshop.
As a chair, you are asked to be present in your session room at least 10 minutes before the session starts to make sure all equipment are in the room and to help the presenters to upload their presentations or connect their own computers etc. The role of the chair is to introduce the presenters, keep the time schedule for each presenter and organize the discussion. It is important that the presentations are properly scheduled and that every participant keeps their time allotment. If a presentation is cancelled, the chair may either use the time for a general discussion or extend the remaining presentations. For more information about chairing sessions see
The timetable for the sessions will be set by the organizing committee. Unfortunately, there are no possibilities for individual presenters to change the time and session appointed for the presenters in the program.
Each parallel session includes 3 to 4 paper presentations. In sessions with 4 papers, the time for each presentation is 20 minutes including discussion. In sessions with 3 papers, the time for each paper is 25 minutes including discussion. To make sure that the participants/audience can attend the presentations of papers they have planned to follow, the chair of the session is asked to follow the order of presentations as displayed in the program. The presenters are asked to stick to the given time-schedule.
NERA is the registered owner of the journal of Nordic Studies of Education. The journal has since 2020 been published in cooperation with the Norwegian publishing company Cappelen Damm Akademisk. Nordic Studies in Education is an open-access scholarly journal that publishes peer-reviewed articles in the Scandinavian languages and in English. The journal is published with an annual payment from NERA and financial aid from Nordic Board for Periodicals in the Humanities and the Social Sciences.
NERA appoints an editor who is responsible of the content of the journal and organizes the double-blinded peer review process. The editorial team consists of the members of the NERA board. However, the editor decides and has the full editorial responsibility of the journal.
The editor reports about the progress and the development of the journal on the board’s two annual meeting in the autumn and in the spring. Also, in December each year the president, the vice president of NERA and the editor of the journal have an annual status meeting with representatives from Cappelen Damm Akademisk.
In the autumn the editor of the Nordic Studies in Education and the NERA board conduct an Annual Education Discussion which is open to all members and other interested.
NERA is affiliated with other educational associations in Europe and in the US. These affiliations make it possible to collaborate with academics with the area of educational research outside the Nordic region. The link to these educational associations varies.
5.1 NERA affiliation to AERA
Nera is affiliated with the American Educational Research Association, AERA. The main link being that NERA gets a symposium at the AERA Annual Delegates Assembly.
Networks that have sent in their annual network report to the NERA board, can submit a proposal for this symposium.
The procedure of submitting a proposal to the NERA board for a symposium at AERA is the following:
- Networks must send in a proposal for arranging a symposium at AERA by the latest of May 15th. AERA’s application format for symposium should be used. A symposium consists of papers focusing on a common theme to demonstrate a range of perspectives or a variety of approaches. There should be participation from a minimum of 3 Nordic countries in the proposal.
- The NERA board will draw lot among the applicants and announce the result before June 16th.
- The selected network prepares the final application for the symposium and sends it to the president of NERA no later than September 1st. The normal AERA review procedure does not apply to this symposium because the quality assurance has been done by the networks.
- The network shall forward a short report on the AERA presentation to the NERA Board not later than one month after the AERA congress.
5.2 NERA affiliation to EERA
NERA is a member of the European Educational Research Association (EERA), which is responsible for the annual European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) as well as the associated European Educational Research Journal (EERJ). EERA does considerable efforts in collaboration with other European academic societies especially ISE and EASSH to strengthening the understanding the importance of education in the European Commission and similar bodies about the importance of educational studies, as well as the social sciences and humanities in general. This is important work to impact decisions in relation to research funding and other policy priorities. Furthermore, EERA is a member of the World Educational Research Association [WERA]. As a NERA member, one is also an EERA member and get reduction to registration fees for ECER congresses as well as access to the EERJ journal and European research network.
5.3 NERA affiliation to SERA
NERA is affiliated to the Scottish Educational Research Association. Four years ago, NERA and SERA agreed on offering two complementary seats for participants from the collaborating organization on their annual conferences. The purpose was to get to know each other procedures and programs better to develop the collaboration between the two organizations. In 2022 an agreement was made about NERA getting a symposium at the SERA Annual Conference and vice versa. The agreement will come into operation from 2023 where NERA for the first time reserves a symposium session for SERA on its annual conference in Sweden, Malmö.
5.4 NERA affiliation to ESAI
NERA is affiliated to the Educational Studies Association of Ireland. Since 2022 NERA and ESAI agreed on offering two complementary seats for participants from the collaborating organization on their annual conferences. The purpose is to get to know of each other procedures and program better for further collaboration.
21. September 2023