Introduction: Educators and education researchers report that their scholarship is limited by lack of time, funding, mentorship, expertise, and reward. This study aims to evaluate these groups’ perceptions regarding barriers to scholarship and potential strategies for success.
Methods: Core emergency medicine (EM) educators and education researchers completed an online survey consisting of multiple-choice, 10-point Likert scale, and free-response items in 2015. Descriptive statistics were reported. We used qualitative analysis applying a thematic approach to free-response items.
Results: A total of 204 educators and 42 education researchers participated. Education researchers were highly productive: 19/42 reported more than 20 peer-reviewed education scholarship publications on their curricula vitae. In contrast, 68/197 educators reported no education publications within five years. Only a minority, 61/197 had formal research training compared to 25/42 education researchers. Barriers to performing research for both groups were lack of time, competing demands, lack of support, lack of funding, and challenges achieving scientifically rigorous methods and publication. The most common motivators identified were dissemination of knowledge, support of evidence-based practices, and promotion. Respondents advised those who seek greater education research involvement to pursue mentorship, formal research training, collaboration, and rigorous methodological standards.
Conclusion: The most commonly cited barriers were lack of time and competing demands. Stakeholders were motivated by the desire to disseminate knowledge, support evidence-based practices, and achieve promotion. Suggested strategies for success included formal training, mentorship, and collaboration. This information may inform interventions to support educators in their scholarly pursuits and improve the overall quality of education research in EM.