Although the issues related to poor quality of medical research are well known, the research community fails to properly address them. In this paper, Van Calster and colleagues suggest that most problems stem from an underlying paradox: although methodology is undeniably the backbone of high-quality and responsible research, science consistently undervalues methodology. The focus remains more on the destination (research claims and metrics) than on the journey and research should serve society more than the reputation of those involved. While the authors notice that many initiatives are being established to improve components of the research cycle, these initiatives are too disjointed. The overall system is monolithic and slow to adapt. The authors assert that top-down action is needed from journals, universities, funders and governments to break the cycle and put methodology first. These actions should involve the widespread adoption of registered reports, balanced research funding between innovative, incremental and methodological research projects, full recognition and demystification of peer review, improved methodological review of reports, adherence to reporting guidelines, and investment in methodological education and research.