In this blog, we will look at how to replicate someone’s methodology in your paper. We will also look at different ways to use a method from another paper in your new paper.

1. Using a standard method from the literature

When you are using a standard method that is well described in literature, the standard practice is to reference the paper rather than repeating the entire procedure. Now the problem is that your methods section will be too short since you have referenced the other paper and you don’t have much to put down in the methods section of your paper.

So what you can do is to provide a brief summary of the procedure in your own words. For example, you can say something like this, “The details of the procedure have been reported previously in”, and reference the previous paper. And then, you can follow it up with a brief summary of the method from the previous paper.

Referencing the original paper and providing a brief summary of the method

The details of the procedure have been reported previously in Elan et al.[1]. In summary, the method uses a specialized apparatus that employs a graduated cylinderfor measuring the volume of the solution accurately.

_ Referencing original work _ Method summary

2. Extending a method from the literature

If you are extending a previous method, then you can do something like this. You can say that, “Some minor modifications were made to the method described in” and reference the previous paper.  And then, you can follow it up with the list of refinements you made to the previous method in order to adapt it to your work.

Referencing the original paper and explaining the list of refinements made to the original method

Some minor modifications were made to the method described in Elan et al.[1]. The refinements include (1) an increase in the drying time to 2 hours; (2) grounding the sample to a fine powder instead of keeping it coarse; and (3) the use of a 1mm sieve instead of 2mm sieve.

 _ Referencing original work _ Refinements made to the method

3. Helpful academic phrases

We have included some academic phrases below that will help you write this section. We have selected a few examples from Ref-n-write’s academic phrasebank.

[1] Some minor modifications were made to the method described in [ref].
[2] Here we consider two refinements of this model which includes ...
[3] The work of [ref] has been modified here to build a more robust method for ...
[4] Existing methods can be simply adapted by extending ...
[5] The method can be manipulated to overcome current limitations ...
[6] This method can be easily adapted to conduct a wide range of ...
[7] The methods are proposed as different refinements of [ref].
[8] These methods could be extended to other types of problems in the area.
[9] This new technique provided yet another modification to the existing system by ..
[10] Adaptation of this technique to this domain requires the consideration of ...

4. Summary

Reusing or repeating methods from previously published papers can be a bit tricky. We have provided some ideas in the blog explaining how to do this effectively. If you have any questions, please drop a comment below, and we will answer as soon as possible. For further reading, please refer to our blog on how to write the materials and methods section of a research paper?  and common research methodology mistakes.

We also recommend you to refer to our other blogs on academic writing tools,  academic writing resources and academic writing phrases, which are relevant to the topic discussed in this blog. 

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