Best Article Award Announcement

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Best Article Award Announcement

Journal of Higher Education Research & Development

Higher Education Research and Development’s Best Article Award is awarded annually to the best article from the previous calendar year. The first Award was announced at the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) Conference in Auckland, July 2019. This award is sponsored by the journal’s publisher Taylor & Francis and comes with a prize of $1000.  Taylor & Francis kindly make the best article freely accessible. The articles shortlisted for the Award will also be freely accessible for three months. 

The best article is determined based on the journal’s six review criteria:

  • The paper provides an important critical and/or analytical insight that contributes something new to the field of higher education studies
  • The issue/problem is well situated in an appropriate literature
  • The paper demonstrates methodological soundness
  • The conclusion is well supported and persuasively argued
  • The paper is succinct and coherent
  • Overall, the paper reads well and will engage an international higher education audience. 


2018 Best Article 

Following a rigorous selection process, the 2018 Best Article Award was awarded to the article written by Sarah O'Shea & Janine Delahunty:  Getting through the day and still having a smile on my face! How do students define success in the university learning environment?, Higher Education Research & Development, 37:5, 1062-1075, 

O’Shea and Delahunty’s article explored two critical questions regarding student success: what it is and how to enable it. Drawing on Amartya Sen’s concept of ‘capabilities’, the authors developed a nuanced and richly understanding of how first-in-family students understand and experience success as an embodied and emotional phenomenon. Their analysis has implications for curriculum design, pedagogy and policy. They show how important it is for educators to continually question our own assumptions around student ‘success’, and in the process, become more cognizant ‘of the varied and embodied nature of this concept for diverse learners’.


Language: en-US

Publisher: tandf

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Shortlisted articles

Five articles in total were shortlisted for the inaugural Best Paper Award. All five papers were judged to provide significant critical and/or analytical insights to the field of higher education, and were characterised by thorough literature reviews, sound methodology, persuasive, succinct, and coherent arguments, and were moreover, highly engaging and relevant to an international audience. Hence, the judges had a particularly difficult task in deciding on the winner.


The four other short-listed articles were

Hans Agné & Ulf Mörkenstam (2018). Should first-year doctoral students be supervised collectively or individually? Effects on thesis completion and time to completion, Higher Education Research & Development, 37:4, 669-682, DOI: 

Ella R. Kahu & Karen Nelson (2018). Student engagement in the educational interface: understanding the mechanisms of student success, Higher Education Research & Development, 37:1, 58-71, DOI: 

Tamara G. Robins, Rachel M. Roberts & Aspa Sarris (2018). The role of student burnout in predicting future burnout: exploring the transition from university to the workplace, Higher Education Research & Development, 37:1, 115-130, DOI:

Helen Sword, Evija Trofimova & Madeleine Ballard (2018). Frustrated academic writers, Higher Education Research & Development, 37:4, 852-867, DOI: