Your Methods Section contextualizes the results of your study, giving editors, reviewers and readers alike the information they need to understand and interpret your work. Your methods are key to establishing the credibility of your study, along with your data and the results themselves. A complete methods section should provide enough detail for a skilled researcher to replicate your process exactly.

Methods are the masters of masters - Charles Maurice de Tallyrand

Five tips for a strong Methods Section

Read our easy tips for writing a Methods Section that helps readers understand your study and ensures the reproducibility of your research.

Remember your methods section serves two purposes

Helping readers understand your study and helping other researchers to replicate it

Constantly provide enough information for full replication

Even if a particular journal doesn’t require it, detailed methods are key to rigorous, transparent Open Science. Be thorough, even when you don’t have to be.

Imagine yourself replicating the study years in the future

What information would you need to reproduce your own work? Don’t forget to capture any adjustments!

Consider a visual aid

Flow-charts, decision-trees, and checklists and make your methods more clear, and help readers interpret the study quickly and and easily.

Adhere to ethical standards and reporting guidelines

Though ethics will be discussed in another part of the paper, it’s vital that your methodology meets all applicable standards and guidelines for your discipline.

What’s next? Stay tuned for our next issue, all about preparing statistics.

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