Professional Development

56 - IMRAD structure: Methods
The Methods section should include only information that was available at the time the plan or protocol of the study was written; all information obtained while the study is under development belongs to the Results section.In the Methods section, you must clearly describe your selection of the observational or experimental participants (patients or laboratory animals, and controls), including eligibility and exclusion criteria and a description of the source population. Your guiding principle is to be clear about how and why the study was done in a particular way. Identify the methods, tools (do not forget to mention the manufacturer's name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow others to reproduce the results. Cite established methods, including statistical methods; provide references and brief descriptions of methods that have been published but are not well known; describe new or substantially modified methods, explain your reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. All drugs and chemicals used must be precisely identified, including generic name(s), dose(s) and route(s) of administration.Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a qualified reader who has access to the original data to verify the reported results. When possible, quantify findings and present them with appropriate error or uncertainty measurement indicators (such as confidence intervals). Avoid relying solely on statistical hypothesis testing, such as the use of P values, which fails to convey important information on the extension of the effect. Define statistical terms, abbreviations and most symbols, and specify the computer software program used.Subheadings may be used if the Methods section is too lengthy.