How authors did it – a methodological analysis of recent engineering education research papers in the European Journal of Engineering Education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Lauri Malmi

  • Tom Adawi
  • Ronald Curmi
  • Erik de Graaff
  • Gavin Duffy
  • Christian Kautz
  • Päivi Kinnunen
  • Bill Williams

Research units

  • Chalmers University of Technology
  • Malta College of Arts
  • Aalborg University
  • Technological University Dublin
  • Hamburg University of Technology
  • University of Lisbon


We investigated research processes applied in recent publications in the European Journal of Engineering Education (EJEE), exploring how papers link to theoretical work and how research processes have been designed and reported. We analysed all 155 papers published in EJEE in 2009, 2010 and 2013, classifying the papers using a taxonomy of research processes in engineering education research (EER) (Malmi et al. 2012). The majority of the papers presented either empirical work (59%) or were case reports (27%). Our main findings are as follows: (1) EJEE papers build moderately on a wide selection of theoretical work; (2) a great majority of papers have a clear research strategy, but data analysis methods are mostly simple descriptive statistics or simple/undocumented qualitative research methods; and (3) there are significant shortcomings in reporting research questions, methodology and limitations of studies. Our findings are consistent with and extend analyses of EER papers in other publishing venues; they help to build a clearer picture of the research currently published in EJEE and allow us to make recommendations for consideration by the editorial team of the journal. Our employed procedure also provides a framework that can be applied to monitor future global evolution of this and other EER journals.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-189
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Engineering education research, research methods, taxonomy, theory

ID: 6470426