Table of Contents  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 396-397  

Precise description of study methodology is the heart of an article

1 Department of Physiology, M. K. C. G. Medical College, Ganjam, Odisha, India
2 Department of Physiology, Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Date of Web Publication4-Sep-2017

Correspondence Address:
Himel Mondal
Department of Physiology, M. K. C. G. Medical College, Ganjam - 760 004, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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How to cite this article:
Mondal H, Mondal S. Precise description of study methodology is the heart of an article. Med J DY Patil Univ 2017;10:396-7

How to cite this URL:
Mondal H, Mondal S. Precise description of study methodology is the heart of an article. Med J DY Patil Univ [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Dec 5];10:396-7. Available from:


We read an original article contributed by Shankar et al. published in March–April 2017 issue of your journal.[1] We gained knowledge regarding the awareness of reproductive health among adolescent girls studying in a government school. In addition, authors educated all the girls about reproductive health and life skills after the study which earns superiority in terms of social responsibility.

However, we intended to share some of our views regarding the methodology of the study with journal readers and authors.

  • Authors designed the questionnaire in English, then forward translated it into local language and back translated into English. This method is commonly used to adopt an instrument which is not available in local language.[2] Authors forgot to mention that in which language the final questionnaire was distributed during the study. If it was local language, the instrument could be designed in local language to cut short the translation work. If it was in English, the whole process was unnecessary, rather face and content validity of the questionnaire could be checked
  • Authors pretested the questionnaire. However, they did not mention about the participants of the pretesting. A questionnaire should be pretested on the similar participants as that of the study participants. This group of participants should be excluded from the study [3]
  • During sample size calculation, authors used a term “alpha error” which is commonly expressed as “alpha” or “α.” The α of a study denotes the chance of Type I error [Figure 1][4]
    Figure 1: The alpha and beta of a statistical test and its relation to Type I and Type II error in the rejection of null hypothesis

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  • Authors took a convenience sample size of 250. Among them, all students responded to the questionnaire giving a survey response rate of 100%. We were eager to know the method of administration which gave them 100% survey response rate. However, authors forgot to mention how the questionnaire was distributed and how, where, and in how much time students filled up the questionnaire
  • Authors first calculated the minimum sample size as 216. Then, they took convenience sample. Hence, the minimum sample size calculation was not required as they planned to take a convenience sample. Among 250 students, 39 submitted incomplete questionnaire and were excluded from the analysis. Hence, authors had no choice but to analyze 211 responses whereas they calculated minimum sample size as 216. Adding this limitation of the study in discussion could make the article richer
  • In results, authors commented that “nearly two-third (75%) were Hindus and the remaining were non-Hindus.” They could use the proportion as three-fourth (3/4 = 0.75 = 75%). In addition, 25% of the study population was from religions other than the religion of majority of the study population. Authors could give us more precise distribution of participants in different religions.

Authors should write the “materials and methods” section in detail so that readers get a clear view about the work done step by step by authors. In addition, it should be detailed in such a way that another author with the access of data can reproduce the result.[5]

We desire to have authors' correspondence.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Shankar P, Dudeja P, Gadekar T, Mukherji S. Reproductive health awareness among adolescent girls of a government school in an urban slum of Pune city. Med J D Y Patil Univ 2017;10:133-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
Process of Translation and Adaptation of Instruments. Geneva: WHO. Available from: [Last accessed on 2017 Mar 15].  Back to cited text no. 2
Leon AC, Davis LL, Kraemer HC. The role and interpretation of pilot studies in clinical research. J Psychiatr Res 2011;45:626-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
Banerjee A, Chitnis UB, Jadhav SL, Bhawalkar JS, Chaudhury S. Hypothesis testing, Type I and Type II errors. Ind Psychiatry J 2009;18:127-31.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Preparing for Submission. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Available from: [Last accessed on 2017 Mar 16].  Back to cited text no. 5


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