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SPCE 630: Finding Articles in the Field of Applied Behavior Analysis

Use this guide for tips on getting started doing research in Applied Behavior Analysis.

"Search Inside" feature

The OneSearch record describing a journal includes an option to "Search inside."  Use it to enter keywords and easily search through articles in that particular journal for those keywords.  You can search by topic or by article title or by author, etc.  It will provide direct links to the articles' full-text.  Very useful!

Searching for single-subject studies?

Single-Subject StudiesIf you're interested in searching widely, fairly comprehensively for single-subject studies done on Applied Behavior Analysis topics, there are a few steps you'll need to take.  It's not a simple thing, but it's do-able.  (See illustration below for an example.)

First, open up the Advanced Search window in OneSearch.  (We're choosing OneSearch because it searches several relevant article databases and journal subscriptions at the same time.)

Second, copy and paste this long string of terms into one of the search boxes, and choose "Abstract" in the drop-down menu.  (These are terms describing different sorts of single-case studies, and they're the sort of words that should show up in an abstract of an article reporting on a such a study.)

screenshot showing the word "Abstract" in a drop-down menu"reversal design" OR "withdrawal design" OR "ABAB design" OR "A-B-A-B design"  OR "ABC design" OR "A-B-C design" OR "ABA design" OR "A-B-A design" OR "multiple baseline" OR "alternating treatments design" OR "multi-element design" OR "multielement design" OR "changing criterion design" OR "single case design" OR "single subject design" OR "single case series"

Third, copy and paste this long list of ABA journal titles into another search box.  Then choose "Publication Title" in the drop-down menu and "Contains: All words anywhere."  (Including these journals means that the emphasis will be on ABA techniques and methods.)

screenshot showing the phrase "Publication Title" in a drop-down menu“Behavior Analysis Digest” OR “Journal of Behavior Analysis in Health, Sports, Fitness and Medicine” OR “Autism Research and Treatment” OR “Behavior Analysis in Practice” OR “International Journal of Behavioral Consultation & Therapy” OR “Analysis of Verbal Behavior” OR “Behavior Analyst Today” OR “Journal of Behavioral Education” OR “Behavioral Interventions” OR “Journal of Developmental & Physical Disabilities” OR “Behavior Analyst” OR “Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders” OR “Behavior Modification” OR “Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities” OR “Research in Developmental Disabilities” OR “Journal of Behavior Therapy & Experimental Psychiatry” OR “Journal of Behavioral Medicine” OR “Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis” OR “Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders” OR “Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior” OR “Journal of Special Education” OR “Journal of Intellectual Disability Research”

Fourth, type in some keywords in another search box regarding what you're interested in researching.

Hit SEARCH and see what kind of results you get!

Here's an example:

screenshot of a OneSearch Advanced Search form with terms typed in as outlined above

Note that the long list of terms in the top two boxes gets cut off in the screenshot - - but they're all there!


Other Search Ideas

Not finding all that much?  A good way to broaden your search is to think of other synonyms or related terms for your topic.  For example, if I want to find single-subject studies related to improving the nutrition of an individual with autism, I should use more search terms than just "nutrition."  I should think of other related terms, too, and put OR in between them.  (Shown here:)

screenshot of OneSearch advanced search screen with synonyms of "food OR eating OR meals" next to the word "nutrition

Did you find a lot?  Want to limit your search to the top journals in applied behavior analysis?  Instead of using that super-long list of publications in the third step above, use this shorter list.  (Obviously, you will find fewer results.):

“Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis” OR “Journal of Behavioral Education” OR “Behavior Analysis in Practice” OR “Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior” OR “Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities”