Quantitative research is one of the many research methods used to help educators advance their understanding of questions in medical education. However, little research has been done on how to succeed in publishing in this area.
We conducted a scoping review to identify key recommendations and reporting guidelines for quantitative educational research and scholarship.
Medline, ERIC, and Google Scholar were searched for English-language articles published between 2006 and January 2016 using the search terms, “research design,” “quantitative,” “quantitative methods,” and “medical education.” A hand search was completed for additional references during the full-text review. Titles/abstracts were reviewed by two authors (BT, PC) and included if they focused on quantitative research in medical education and outlined reporting guidelines, or provided recommendations on conducting quantitative research. One hundred articles were reviewed in parallel with the first 30 used for calibration and the subsequent 70 to calculate Cohen’s kappa coefficient. Two reviewers (BT, PC) conducted a full text review and extracted recommendations and reporting guidelines. A simple thematic analysis summarized the extracted recommendations.
Sixty-one articles were reviewed in full, and 157 recommendations were extracted. The thematic analysis identified 86 items, 14 categories, and 3 themes. Fourteen quality evaluation tools and reporting guidelines were found.
This paper provides guidance for junior researchers in the form of key quality markers and reporting guidelines. We hope that quantitative researchers in medical education will be informed by the results and that further work will be done to refine the list of recommendations.