Guideline for Methodology Paper

Updated on 1 January 2022

Research methodology studies mostly include an instrument or questionnaire development and studies using research and development (R &D) design. But they are not limited to any type of methodological research, for example: the application of an existing method in a new context, the adaptation of an existing method, and the development of a new method. A software or application development can also be included in this section. To be published in BNJ, relevance to nursing and nursing research should be emphasized. 

Articles submitted to the Belitung Nursing Journal should not exceed 7000 words  for the main text, including abstract, tables and references. A minimum of 5000 words of the main text of  manuscript will be considered as an original research methodology paper.


Abstract should not be more than 350 words and add key words (3-10 words). The abstract should include the following headings: Background, Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusion. 

Main text

The main text should have no authors' detail. All illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end of the manuscript.


  • Provide the rationale and the context for development of the instrument.
  • Clearly identify and define the concept that was operationalised by the instrument. Situate the concept within the context of a theory. For example, ‘X Questionnaire was designed to measure concept X, which is viewed within the context of XYZ theory.’
  • Present a critical review of existing literature regarding the concept and critically evaluate any existing instruments that measure the concept, explaining how X Questionnaire overcomes limitations in previous instruments.
  • Discuss the international relevance of the instrument.
  • Aim(s). Aim(s) of the study should emphasize development and testing of psychometric properties of the instrument. Write the aim of the study exactly the same in the abstract and text. For example, ‘The purpose of the study was to develop and test the psychometric properties of X Questionnaire.’ 


  • Indicate whether the instrument was developed in phases or stages, such as one phase for item generation, another phase for content validity testing, and yet another phase for testing other psychometric properties, such as internal consistency reliability and construct validity. If more than one phase/stage, present all methods and results for the first phase, followed by all methods and results for the next phase, and so on. If translation of the instrument was required, indicate methods used, such as translation and back translation.
  • Sample/Participants. Indicate the size of the sample for each phase/stage and justify sample size. Indicate how study participants were recruited. The date of data collection must be given in the text and abstract.
  • Describe the instrument, including how items were generated, number of initial items, any subscales, rating scale, and scoring technique.
  • Ethical considerations. Identify any particular ethical issues for this research. Provide a statement of ethics committee approval, or whatever ethical processes applied for this study. Do not name the institution from which ethics committee approval was obtained.


  • Present the results for each phase/stage.
  • Refer to reliability and validity coefficients as ‘estimates.’ Include descriptive data, such as means, standard deviations, and ranges, for instrument total and subscale or factor scores. If factor analysis was used to test construct validity, indicate type of factor analysis and rotation used.


  • Use tentative language when discussing psychometric properties, such as ‘evidence of acceptable reliability and validity’ or ‘estimates of reliability and validity.’ Do not conclude that psychometric properties were ‘established’ or ‘proven.’
  • Use the most recent editions of references cited for judgments of ‘acceptable’ psychometric properties.
  • Discuss the utility of the conceptual model that guided the study and the empirical adequacy of the theoretical concept measured by the instrument.
  • Consider study limitations, including but not confined to sample representativeness and/or sample size and generalisability/external validity of the results.
  • Provide the implication of this study


  • Indicate appropriate use of the instrument on the basis of estimates of psychometric properties, including populations, and settings.


Use APA (American Psychological Association) 6th or 7th Edition with DOI number assigned format for citation and references.


Those reporting the development or testing of scales are encouraged to include a copy of the full scale so it can be published as an appendix. If it is a translated scale, authors should include a copy of the scale together with an English translation.

Authors are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner to use the scale and ensure that the CORRECT COPYRIGHT LINE qualifying the permission to use/translate the Scale is supplied UNDERNEATH the submitted Scale. Authors should be given detailed instruction on how to address the copyright line, e.g. "<<organisation/developer's name>>: reproduced/translated with kind permission of <<organisation/developer's name>>". If authors want to retain copyright of their OWN scale they can mark it as "reproduced with the author's own permission".