Does Your Article Need A Methods Or Methodology Sub-Section?

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Timothy F. Slater


Editorial; Astronomy Education; Earth Sciences Education


In the process of writing a discipline-based science education research article for the Journal of Astronomy & Earth Sciences Education, authors are faced with the question of titling each of the article’s subjections. Some editors and authors advocate a METHODS section whereas others advocate for a METHODOLOGY(IES) section.  What do we currently prefer in JAESE?  The answer is an unsatisfying, “it depends.”  The vast majority of papers in the JAESE Journal of Astronomy & Earth Sciences Education use a traditional METHODS section because most—but certainly not all—papers to date describe studies in which the method of inquiry is based on a balance of pragmatism, cost, usefulness, and actionable information.  This is in contrast to a METHODOLOGY section, which takes time to argue for why a particular approach will be most fruitful for the question at hand.  A robust mix of both are vitally important across the broader discipline-based science education researcher community. 


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