Innovation Reports: Successes and Limitations for Promoting Innovation in Medical Education

Jimmy B. Beck*, Mary Beth Devilbiss, Jan D. Carline, Corrie E. McDaniel, Steven J. Durning

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In 2013, Academic Medicine introduced a new article type, Innovation Reports, with the intent to promote innovation by providing a forum for publishing promising new ideas at an early stage of development. In this article, the authors examine Innovation Reports as a means for promoting innovation within the medical education community. The authors undertook a 2-part analysis. In July 2018, they examined submission data, Altmetric scores, and citations for the first 5 years of the feature. To explore authors' perceptions of the impact of publishing an Innovation Report, in October 2018, they conducted a web-based survey of corresponding authors. Between October 2013 and May 2018, 920 manuscripts were submitted under the Innovation Report category, of which 335 were sent for review and 151 were published (16% overall acceptance rate). The mean citation rate for the published Innovation Reports was 4.3 (range 0-47). The mean Altmetric Attention Score was 14.3 (range 0-441). An Altmetric score of 14 places an article in the top 20% of articles published in Academic Medicine. The 151 published Innovation Reports had 148 unique corresponding authors, of whom 85 (57%) responded to the survey. Almost all respondents (n = 82; 96%) reported that publishing an Innovation Report promoted their individual career growth. For many corresponding authors, the publication of early ideas in an Innovation Report appeared to be an end point rather than a springboard for further development and innovation, as only 14 (16%) reported publication of a subsequent related study. Reflecting on the successes and limitations of Innovation Reports over the first 5 years, the authors suggest that soliciting input from more stakeholders and being explicit about the goals of this article type would help inform how Innovation Reports should evolve in the future so they can better launch creative thought and spur innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1647-1651
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


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