This may be a weird question, but I often wonder why the default way of writing about a given methodology is describing the method as if it "fell out of the blue". Admittedly, not all research work is written like this and perhaps this is not an issue for very experienced researchers/practitioners, but I believe it would be much more insightful if authors wrote the steps that led to the specific decisions when designing a new method. So, instead of describing a new method, the author would write the problem and motivation (this is usually done), and then elaborate on the thought process that led to the final design choices. I don't mean hand-holding on basic stuff, but to describe things like "we wondered if there was a way to solve X. Y is a popular method to achieve Z, a property required when solving X for the reason K. However, Y needs to be tweaked in the following manner so that it also asymptotically satisfies W" or "we tried this way of solving it, but it did not work due the following reasons [insert reasons], so we decided to try this instead". Was a certain property coincidentally satisfied by your decision choice, or did you reverse engineer a method that satisfies that property?
This may seem like a childish idea and most people probably don't have the time or interest in such a writing style (or may even feel insulted by overly detailed descriptions). However, I believe it would be a much more valuable contribution to science because:
- Researchers would learn from each other different ways of thinking about a research problem and the strategies to solve it
- Researchers interested in building on the presented work would know which ideas did not work (preventing them to pursue dead-ends), and if they know better ways of solving a particular sub-problem they could easily improve the method.
What are your thoughts on this?