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Author Guidelines

Methodological Review of Applied Research is a publication of the Nosmo, Dutch Organization for Methodological Research in the Social Sciences. It is a peer-reviewed open-access journal, aimed at the improvement of applied research in the Social Sciences. Our mission is to improve methods used in applied research. We hope to reach this goal by providing a publication forum for applied research, stimulating discussion about methods used, and providing readers with an assessment of the methodological quality of each publication.

Why publish in this journal?

This magazine has a primary interest in methods, rather than in results. We consider the discussion on research methods in applied settings as wide open and see the need for improvements. You may want to publish in this journal for that reason.

More explicit reasons are for instance,

  • You may want to arouse interest in the methods you have applied. We encourage debate on methods by providing the review results along side your publication. Next to that, we encourage further comments in the form of Research Comments.
  • This journal is interested in publishing your manuscript when you have applied an interesting approach to a research problem, but did not find the results you expected. Of course, it should be argued why the applied methods are interesting, and possible reasons should be discussed why the expected results are not found.
  • You have replicated other applied research. Of course, you should pay attention to possible differences in the execution of the research design, as well as possible differences in the results, but this journal is interested in publishing your research. Many journals ask for new, fresh research; we do not.

Our interest in studies providing falsification or lack of verification is equally strong as in studies that provide stunning results, provided it can be argued that the used methods are sound. According to the Dutch methodologist A.D. de Groot, Popper once said: "We should ring the bells of victory, every time a theory is refuted" (A. D. De Groot, 1961, Methodologie, page 105).

Other reasons you may want to publish in this journal:

  • To share your insights concerning applied research methodology with a public that has a special interest in these issues;
  • To obtain reviews by experts who understand practice circumstances. Feedback is provided by experts in applied research methodology;
  • To discuss new or alternative instruments and methods with other applied researchers;
  • To have a fair chance of publication when research methods are adapted to practical circumstances;
  • To share your findings with other applied researchers and practitioners.


Manuscripts should be prepared as ready-to-publish, right from the beginning. In all other respects, authors should apply the rules laid out in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) of the American Psychological Association (2010). The length of a manuscript may vary from 5 to 20 pages.

See also:

Reference: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Desired structure

1. The title page
a. Title of the paper
b. The author(s) name(s)
c. Institutional affiliation

2. The abstract (150-250 words)
a. Background
b. Methods
c. Results
d. Conclusions

N.B. Please include the abstract twice: both in the manuscript itself and in the submission process.

3. The introduction
a. Theoretical background with references
b. Earlier findings with references
c. Main questions of the current paper

4. Methods
a. Participants
b. Research design
c. Measurement procedures to collect qualitative or quantitative data
d. Analysis methods

5. Results
a. Descriptives
b. Analysis results

6. Discussion
a. Answers found
b. Conclusions
c. Limitations
d. Future research recommendations

7. Reference list

8. Appendices and supplemental files (if you have any)

Tables and/or figures should be included in the text.

Reference: American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington DC: Author.

Special points of attention:

  • The journal has a specific focus on methodological aspects.
  • The selection of quantitative or qualitative methods should depend on the purpose of the research and the nature of the research questions. Studies directed at generalisation to a population, quantitative prediction or the statistical testing of hypotheses, use quantitative methods. Studies of complex phenomena and dynamic processes, that provide interpretation of meaning, or want to explore and provide deep knowledge, may need qualitative methods. A mixed approach may also be applicable.
  • All manuscripts need adequate consideration of relevant methodological, conceptual and theoretical issues. Furthermore, all studies should discuss its value or impact for other researchers or other professionals, or for specific individuals, groups or systems. This may concern increased knowledge, applicability, or receptiveness to research.
  • Each paper should provide argument why the study at hand is interesting.
  • In empirical studies, research goals should be clearly linked to a relevant theoretical context. Selection, research design and analysis methods should be discussed. In the case of quantitative research measurement instruments require ample attention, preferably including reliability and validity data. In the case of qualitative research, the discussion of the research process, the description of subjects, the data used in the study and the interpretational context should be clear.
  • The study must build on what is already known. Relevant research and expert knowledge must be adequately cited.
  • A theoretical background which is used to guide research questions, selection, data collection, and interpretation of results is most desirable in all forms of research.
  • Methodological decisions should be explicit and shortcuts should be avoided. Research decisions should be guided by logic and adaptations to practical circumstances should be explicit. Limitations should be identified and stated, haphazard conclusions or unwarranted generalizations should be avoided.


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
    • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  2. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  3. The text is single-spaced; uses Arial 10-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  4. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  5. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Copyright Notice

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

    1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
    2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
    3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).


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