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GMS Z Med Ausbild. 2015 Aug 17;32(3):Doc30. doi: 10.3205/zma000972. eCollection 2015.

Is German Medical Education Research on the rise? An analysis of publications from the years 2004 to 2013.

Author information

University of Koblenz-Landau, Faculty 5: Educational Sciences, Campus Landau, Department 1: Empirical Pedagogical Research, Landau, Germany.
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Faculty of Medicine, Office of the Dean, Munich, Germany.
Clinic of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Institute for Medical Education, Munich, Germany.
Heidelberg University, Faculty of Medicine, Office of the Dean, Heidelberg, Germany.
Heidelberg University, Internal Medicine II, Heidelberg, Germany ; Heidelberg University, Centre of Competence for Medical Testing Baden-Württemberg - KomP Med, Heidelberg, Germany.


in English, German


The point of departure for the present work is the observation that, in comparison with Anglo-American countries or the Netherlands, Germany was responsible for only a marginal number of international publications in the field of medical education research before 2004. Recent years, however, have seen an increase in the importance of medical education research in Germany. The objective of this article is to evaluate the extent to which this trend can be substantiated by increased German publishing activity since the year 2004 in international, English-language journals in the subject area of "medical education research".


In the framework of a literature and content analysis, German-author articles from the years 2004 to 2013 in six international, English-language medical education research journals were evaluated. In order to obtain an overview of German research activity in this area, all project and original works with German first and last authors were identified and subjected to a more in-depth content analysis.


In total, 10,055 articles were examined. The evaluation shows that between the years 2004 and 2013 179 articles (of which 145 are project or original works) by German authors were published in the journals examined. Fluctuations over the course of time were evidenced. The project and original works are primarily cross-sectional studies (27.8%) and randomised control studies (25.6%) on the subject of "teaching and learning methods" (43.6%).


In comparison with the years 2004-2008, a significant rise can be seen in the number of publications by German education researchers in international journals since the year 2009.


content analysis; international publication; literature analysis; medical education research

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