Lebrun (2007) does not provide a body part metaphor for the methodology or materials and methods part of the scientific paper. But Katz (2006) likens the methodology section to a recipe, since it includes the ingredients (materials) and the step-by-step procedure for cooking (method).
Day (1998) says that the main purpose of the materials and methods section is "to describe (and if necessary defend) the experimental design and then provide enough detail so that a competent worker can repeat the experiments."
He also cautions writers that this section be carefully written since "the cornerstone of the scientific method requires that your results, to be of scientific merit, must be reproducible; and, for the results to be adjudged reproducible, you must provide the basis for repetition of the experiments by others.... [Or] the potential for reproducing the same or similar results must exist, or your paper does not represent good science" (Day, 1998).
Katz (2006) says more or less the same thing: "[the] core of a scientific article is the guarantee: 'If you follow my recipe, then you will get my results.'" He adds that the critical principle for this section is: "Every observation that you record in the Results section of your paper must be the product of reproducible procedures that are completely detailed in the Materials and Methods section."
I culled several tips on writing the methodology part for my students:
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