Cover since 2010
The searchable website of the journal Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities (ETADD - formerly ETDD) was created to facilitate quick, efficient knowledge access to educational issues in the field of Developmental Disabilities. Although larger Internet search engines such as ERIC and Medline are extremely comprehensive, searching through these systems can sometimes be confusing and laborious. One area of confusion that can arise with the larger databases is terminology. That is, there are so many terms that refer to persons with developmental disabilities that if the right term(s) is not searched, relevant studies may not be found.
For example, over 60 variations of terms referring to persons with developmental disabilities were found in the major searchable databases (Sandieson, 1998). Another problem with the larger databases is that not all articles in a particular journal may be accessible. We discovered in the process of developing the ETADD database that many of the early articles in ETADD could not be located in ERIC.
Perhaps because of reasons such as above, it is becoming common to see dedicated search engines on specific topics on the Internet. The ETADD searchable website is the first we know of that is dedicated to a complete journal. The ETADD searchable website was developed to specifically retrieve articles in the journal ETADD from its inception (as ETDD in 1966) to the present. The issue of terminology confusion in searching is not an issue because the database contains only articles directly related to the field of developmental disabilities. Because it targets all articles in the journal since its inception, any article can be located. The searching capabilities for this journal may be limited when compared to the larger databases, but the quantity and quality of articles in the journal make the search results valuable as a starting point when investigating a new topic area, or as a cross check against searches in larger databases.
Cover prior to 2010
The ETADD database was constructed by using a thematic analysis of each article. Keyword codes were used to designate the different themes represented. Keywords were organized into four major categories: (1) support personnel, (2) topic, (3) target disability, and (4) age.
- Support personnel.
We found that articles in the journal pertained not only to persons with developmental disabilities, but also to those people directly involved in their lives, e.g., families, teachers, peers, and administrators. Where articles directly mentioned such support persons, a code was given to the particular type of personnel.
The largest category was "topics." This included major topics such as assessment, communication, employment, inclusion, instruction, self-determination, and social. Within each of these topics there were frequently subtopics. For example, under inclusion there are subtopics such as consultations, placement, and friendships.
- Target Disability.
Numerous articles also mentioned specific populations within the field of developmental disabilities, such as mild, moderate, severe, multiple, and autism. Target disability was then used as a major category when explicitly mentioned.
Finally, age was often mentioned, covering the complete lifespan from infancy to elderly. Different time periods were noted and corresponding keyword codes assigned.
Searching for articles in the ETADD database is easily done by going to one or more of the four categories, scrolling through its drop-down box until a choice is made, and then clicking the search button. It is possible to search multiple major categories.
For example, if you were interested in autism and communication then you would go to the "topics" drop-down box and find "communication", then go to the "target population" box and scroll down to "autism" and then search. The search results would yield all articles published according to the search criteria, and include the article title, author name, and bibliographic details (year, volume, page numbers).
Another feature of searching is that on the search page you can type an author name and find all articles written by that author. Furthermore, you can type in a word at the title box and find all articles that used that word in their title.
The present ETADD search engine is easy to use and produces a quick reference to many topics directly related to educational issues in the field of developmental disabilities. We hope you will try the site and appreciate the quality of articles that have been submitted by dedicated researchers to the journal.
- Sandieson, R. (1998). A survey on terminology that refers to people with mental retardation/developmental disabilities. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 33, 290-295.
- Robert Sandieson, London, Ontario, Canada; past Canadian representative to the Board of Directors of the CEC Division on Developmental Disabilities
- Val Sharpe, Baltimore, Maryland; past president of the CEC Division on Developmental Disabilities
Try the ETADD Searchable Website!