International Journal of Methodology <p><em><strong>International Journal of Methodology</strong></em> (IJM) is an international journal that focuses on discussing methodologies used for research in the academic or industrial disciplines. <em>Int. J. Methodol. </em>provides a platform for interdisciplinary exchange of methodological approaches in research to different fields including new methods and instructional papers that can be used by the research community. The focus of the International Journal of Methodology (<em>Int J Methodol.)</em> is to publish new methodological approaches as well as improvements to existing methodology including research designs, experimental techniques, research characterization, data measurements, data analysis approaches, educational methods, etc. </p> en-US International Journal of Methodology From Clinical Trial to Education: Methodologies, Assumptions, and Directions <p>In the field of education, emphasis on evidence-based practice, randomized controlled trials (RCTs), causal inference, and process evaluation can all find their roots back in clinical trials and medical research. This response paper surveys contemporary literature in psychometrics, process evaluation, and RCTs aiming to evaluate the feasibility and limitations of RCTs as a methodology in education and provide future directions. Based on the systematic literature review, the author argues: (1) A lack of significant positive treatment effect does not indicate that RCTs are not worth the investment. (2) A careful evaluation of the intervention itself, implementation process, and measurement instrument is recommended for RCTs. (3) There is the need to reframe some causal inference assumptions in an education setting. The paper also provides several examples of reframing assumptions and comments on the caveats. In conclusion, the author foresees a promising future for RCTs in education with the appropriate reframing of assumptions, process evaluation and replication, and recognition of the validity of parallel methodologies.</p> Ann Yinqi Zhang Copyright (c) 2022 Ann Yinqi Zhang 2022-03-08 2022-03-08 1 1 2 10 10.21467/ijm.1.1.4668 Rethinking Brain Death: A Physiological, Philosophical and Ethical Approach <p>The term ‘brain death’ is a rather untenable description to be defended ethically. This needs to be sorted out to ‘cortical brain death’, ‘whole brain death’ and WBD should include the brainstem. Organ transplants confound the difference between WBD and ‘biological death’, that is, the complete cessation of body function. It is clearly an ethical issue of taking a life, however, I argue for the greater good, IF it is clearly documented that irreversibility presents itself through multiple criteria (apnea, brainstem function, lack of long onset EEG, etc.). If meeting these criteria, we can have medical, physiological and moral standards and it is ethical to declare brain death, thus allowing organ transplants, and by definition, create biological death by doing so. This is a very consequentialist approach, but it does appease the dualistic ethics by separating the brain, or, more to the point, the concept of the ‘conscience’, and the possibility of defining ‘personhood’ or lack thereof. I believe the 1968 Harvard ‘declaration of death’ doesn’t fit the above criteria and the AMA declaration (formally adopted in 2003) states that: “a determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards”, however, those medical standards were not described. This paper addresses those standards.</p> Curt Anderson Copyright (c) 2022 Curt Anderson 2022-03-08 2022-03-08 1 1 11 17 10.21467/ijm.1.1.4546 Teaching a University Student with Learning Disabilities who Qualifies for Regular English as a Foreign Language Course Placement <p>This study investigated the effects of applying multiple intelligence theory in the tutelage of students with learning disabilities in the field of English as a foreign language (EFL). EFL teachers are urged to incorporate topics that would be of interest to students with learning disabilities, thus encouraging these students to think more deeply and participate more actively in their EFL learning. In this study, the instructor used drawing as a medium to teach English and achieved favorable outcomes. An interview revealed that the participant developed new EFL learning strategies, a stronger EFL learning motivation, improved English-language ability, and even planned to attend future EFL courses. Classroom observation indicated that the participant exhibited greater learning autonomy, enhanced English and drawing ability, decreased anxiety, and an improved student–teacher relationship. Despite its limitations, this study presented a new approach along with the results of that approach to help enhance the EFL learning outcomes of university students with learning disabilities. This novel approach is thus highly recommended for EFL educators of students with learning disabilities to incorporate into their teaching practices.</p> Wan-Jeng Chang Copyright (c) 2022 Wan-Jeng Chang 2022-03-08 2022-03-08 1 1 18 25 10.21467/ijm.1.1.4874 Applying a COVID-19 Sample-pooling Technique to Forensics Identification of Illicit Drugs <p>This paper presents a method for materially speeding up the identification process of suspect illicit drugs by pooling samples that require GC-MS analysis. This method can be applied to samples seized from a single suspect that are similar in appearance and therefore meet the Israeli Dangerous Drug Ordinance requirements for sampling. A complementary test (GC, TLC, or FTIR) conducted separately on each of the sampled units can prove conclusively that all units contain the same drug. This study shows that even with large differences in relative weight of mixes in a pool, each drug is easily identifiable by GC-MS and dominant peaks do not overshadow minority substances. By using this method, a narcotics lab can improve its throughput of expert opinions in narcotics cases, and at the same time save resources, extend instrument life, and be more environment-friendly.</p> Ori Gutman Yiffat Katz Haim Dayan Simcha Shimron Reut Isaschar Emuna Raviv Dana Sonenfeld Copyright (c) 2022 Ori Gutman, Yiffat Katz, Haim Dayan, Simcha Shimron, Reut Isaschar, Emuna Raviv, Dana Sonenfeld 2022-05-17 2022-05-17 1 1 26 43 10.21467/ijm.1.1.4932 Impact of DNA Extraction Methods on Quantitative PCR Telomere Length Assay Precision in Human Saliva Samples <p>Telomere length (TL) has emerged as a promising replicative cellular aging marker that reflects both genetic and non-genetic influences. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) TL measurement has been favored as a cost-effective method that can be easily implemented, especially in population studies with limited quantities of source material. However, several recent reports have revealed inconsistencies in telomere length measurements when applying different DNA extraction methods to the same source material. In this study we tested three DNA extraction methods on saliva samples from 48 participants of the National Growth and Health Study (NGHS) collected with DNA Genotek’s Oragene kit. The chosen extraction kits represent three distinct approaches to genomic DNA extraction from lysed cells and we employed two different operators to carry out all assays on the same samples. We measured DNA yield and quality and calculated the between-operator agreement of qPCR TL measurements (intraclass correlation, ICC). Our analyses showed that while both QIAamp and Agencourt DNAdvance had higher agreement between the 2 operators (ICC=0.937, CI [0.891, 0.965] and ICC=0.95, CI [0.911, 0.972] respectively), compared to PrepIT kit (ICC=0.809, CI [0.678, 0.889]), QIAamp extracted DNA samples were notably degraded. Using generalizability theory, we found that the participant-by-extraction-method interaction explained about 10% of total variation in TL, suggesting that TL differences across methods are somewhat participant-specific. Therefore, our results suggest that the among the three DNA extraction methods tested, Agencourt (magnetic bead purification) is the preferred kit, and we also strongly recommend against combining different extraction methods within a study population.</p> Dana L Smith Calvin Wu Steve Gregorich Guorui Dai Jue Lin Copyright (c) 2022 Dana L Smith, Calvin Wu, Steve Gregorich, Guorui Dai, Jue Lin 2022-12-27 2022-12-27 1 1 44 57 10.21467/ijm.1.1.5784