Welcome! This is a resource page designed to help the students in the Applied Behavior Analysis program navigate the library and find helpful resources recommended by the program faculty. If you don't find what you're looking for, please don't hesitate to contact me. Look for the link in my profile box to send an email or schedule a research consultation. I frequently meet with students to help them strategize and find articles for their assignments.   -Kathy Herrlich, Sciences Librarian and liaison to the Applied Behavior Analysis program

Tackling a new topic?

Try looking for a review article first.  Review articles attempt to summarize the state of research on a scientific topic.  While lengthy, and not generally including the very latest research, review articles are a great way to start to get a handle on a topic. 

Most databases (including PsycInfo, Medline) will allow you to limit your search to include only review articles or literature reviews. In the ERIC database, you can do this by adding the phrase Literature Reviews to a separate line in the search, then selecting "DE Descriptors" from the drop down menu. 

Don't overlook the literature cited at the end of a review - the bibliography contains a wealth of information about the key discoveries and main researchers in the field.

Suggested databases for doing your own review of the literature (i.e., an in-depth search for original articles across a large body of literature) are listed in the Database section under Resources, below.

Not sure where to start?  See lists of core databases, and recommended journals and books, under Resources

Library Tips for Online Students

PDF of the script is available. Video includes closed captioning.


25 Essential skills & strategies for the professional behavior analyst  Ebook, 3 simultaneous users (Bailey and Burch 2005)   

A behavior analytic view of child development --print only, Annex (Schlinger 1995)

Behavior analysis of child development  Ebook, unlimited users (Bijou and Baer 1995)

Behavioral foundations of effective autism treatment --print only (Mayville and Mulick 2010) 

Behavioral intervention for young children with autism  --print only (Maurice, Green and Luce 1996)

Effective practices for children with autism educational and behavioral support interventions that work. Ebook (Luiselli 2008)

Ethics for behavior analysts : a practical guide to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board guidelines for responsible conduct  Ebook and print copy (Bailey and Burch 2005)

Learning and behavior -- print only, Stacks (James E. Mazur 1986)

Science and human behavior (B. F. Skinner [1953] --print only, Stacks)

Teaching children with autism: strategies for initiating positive interactions and improving learning opportunities -- print only (Koegel and Koegel 1995)

Verbal behavior  --print only, Stacks and Annex (B. F. Skinner 1957)

ERIC, PsycInfo and Medline are three core databases, covering education, psychology, and medical literature, respectively. ScienceDirect is a smaller collection of scholarly journals in full text from the scientific publisher Elsevier.

Want to go one step further? Try these to broaden your scope even more

Graff, R. B., & Green, G. (2004). Two methods for teaching simple visual discriminations to learners with severe disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 25(3), 295-307. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2003.08.002

Graff, R. B., Libby, M. E., & Green, G. (1998, November). The Effects Of Reinforcer Choice On Rates Of Challenging Behavior And Free Operant Responding In Individuals With Severe Disabiities. Behavioral Interventions, 13(4), 249-268.

Bancroft, S. L., Weiss, J. S., Libby, M. E., & Ahearn, W. H. (2011, September). A Comparison of Procedural Variations in Teaching Behavior Chains: Manual Guidance, Trainer Completion, and No Completion of Untrained Steps. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44(3), 559-569. doi:10.1901/jaba.2011.44-559

Finn, H. E., Miguel, C. F., & Ahearn, W. H. (2012). The Emergence of Untrained Mands and Tacts in Children with Autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 45(2), 265-280. doi:10.1901/jaba.2012.45-265

Macdonald, J. M., Ahearn, W. H., Parry-Cruwys, D., Bancroft, S., & Dube, W. V. Persistence during Extinction: Examining the Effects of Continuous and Intermittent Reinforcement on Problem Behavior: Persistence during Extinction. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 46(1), 333-338.

Pence, S. T., Roscoe, E. M., Bourret, J. C., & Ahearn, W. H. (2009, June). Relative Contributions of Three Descriptive Methods: Implications for Behavioral Assessment. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42(2), 425-446. doi:10.1901/jaba.2009.42-425

Roscoe, E. M., Phillips, K. M., Kelly, M. A., Farber, R., & Dube, W. V. (2015, December). A statewide survey assessing practitioners' use and perceived utility of functional assessment: Functional Assessment Survey [Electronic version]. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 48(4), 830-844.

Steinhilber, J., & Johnson, C. (2007, December). The Effects of Brief and Extended Stimulus Availability on Preference [Electronic version]. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 40(4), 4-40. doi:10.1901/jaba.2007.767-772

Dudley, L. L., Johnson, C., & Barnes, S. R. (2002, January). Decreasing rumination using a starchy food satiation procedure. Behavioral Interventions, 17(1), 21-29.

Moher, C. A., Gould, D. D., Hegg, E., & Mahoney, A. M. (2008, February). Non-generalized and generalized conditioned reinforcers: establishment and validation [Electronic version]. Behavioral Interventions, 23(1), 13-38.

Selznick Gurdin, L., Huber, S. A., & Cochran, C. R. (2005, February). A critical analysis of data-based studies examining behavioral interventions with children and adolescents with brain injuries [Electronic version]. Behavioral Interventions, 20(1), 3-16.

Moore, K. M., Cividini-Motta, C., Clark, K. M., & Ahearn, W. H. (2015, April). Sensory Integration as a Treatment for Automatically Maintained Stereotypy: Sensory integration [Electronic version]. Behavioral Interventions, 30(2), 95-111.

Pelletier, K., Mcnamara, B., Braga-Kenyon, P., & Ahearn, W. H. (2010, November). Effect of Video Self-Monitoring on Procedural Integrity [Electronic version]. Behavioral Interventions, 25(4), 261-274.

McKay, J. A., Weiss, J. S., Dickson, C. A., & Ahearn, W. H. (2014, September 4). Comparison of Prompting Hierarchies on the Acquisition of Leisure and Vocational Skills [Electronic version]. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 7(2), 91-102. doi:10.1007/s40617-014-0022-3

Task Analysis for Accessing an Article by Its Name

How can I access an article by its name?  

Let's use this article as an example. 


Beaulieu, Lauren, and Jaime L. Povinelli. "Improving solitary play with a typically developing preschooler." Behavioral Interventions 33, no. 2 (April 2018): 212-218. 


Some articles can be found quickly and easily; others cannot. It may take some patience. Prefer to watch a video? See this tutorial: Finding an Article from a Citation.


Step by step guide


Option 1.

  1. Copy and paste the article title, Improving solitary play with a typically developing preschooler, into the Scholar OneSearch search box (big search box on the library's main page).
  2. If an exact title match is found, it will be the first item in the results list. Click on the article title and look for the bolded, blue links. These are the options for full text. Choose the link with the range of dates that best matches the year of the article publication-- in this case, 2018.  (NOTE: "Available from 1996" means the library has a subscription that includes issues from 1996 to the current year.) The PDF for the article should appear. 
  3. If an exact match is not found or the link doesn't go to the full text, try Option 2.

Option 2.

  1. Go to the ejournal finder. From the library homepage, look for Journals and E-Journals, below Scholar OneSearch, to search for your journal, magazine or newspaper. It contains all the journals to which the Northeastern University Library subscribes.
  2. Enter the source (journal) title for example, Behavioral Interventions, into the search box.
  3. If an exact match is found, it will be the first item in the Ejournal results list. Click on the Online Access link and look for the bolded, blue links. These are the options for full text. 
  4. Choose the bolded, blue link with the range of dates that best matches the year of the article publication. (E.g., "Available from 1996" means the library has a subscription that includes 1996 up to the current year.)
  5. If the title doesn't appear in the search results, it means that it is not a journal in the Northeastern University Libraries' subscriptions. Your next option is Interlibrary Loan.

Option 3.

  1. Go to Interlibrary Loan (also can be found on the right-hand side of the Library home page).
  2. Create an ILLIAD account. In your ILLIAD account, click on Make New Request-- ARTICLE.
  3. Enter all the information you have available to you about the article-- Article Title, Author, Journal Name (source title), etc.
  4. Submit your request and wait a day or two. You will receive either the PDF or a message with an update on the status of your request.
  5. Ask a Librarian if you have questions about how to find an article or make an ILLIAD request.

Peer Review

What is Peer Review?

Peer review is a form of quality control for scholarly information.

Peer review is a process by which a scholar's peers (other scholars in the same field) read, evaluate, and decide whether a new article is ready for publication. The article could be accepted, rejected, or returned for rewriting and revision. Most articles in scholarly journals (except for the editorials, commentary, letters and other short sections) have been through the peer review process. So they have passed a test for quality before they reach the reader.

Why is Peer Review important?

Peer Review is a way to ensure quality of writing and research. Without a Peer Review process, readers would have to spend a lot more time evaluating every part of an article to determine its quality. They would have to spend hours reading poorly written articles to get to the good ones. Peer review saves time for scholars and students so that they can focus on learning about the results of a research study. 

Learn more about Peer Review from the videos below! 

Accessibility Note: Closed captioning is included in these videos. The same information can be viewed via videos or slides. 

How do I find peer-reviewed articles?  [Slide version (opens in new window)]    Is this article peer-reviewed?  [Slide version  (opens in new window)]

APA Writing Style Guidelines

Students in the ABA program will be expected to cite their sources in APA style. Follow your instructor's guidelines.

APA style is a standardized way of 1) creating reference lists (bibliographies) and 2) formatting and writing of manuscripts (the issues associated with headings, spacing, font, tables and figures, clarity of writing, avoiding bias, and more).

The official APA style guidelines exist in a book entitled Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (aka the "APA Style Guide"). The APA Style Blogis the official companion to the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition. For citing tricky formats, the APA Style Blog can be a great help. It has a conversational tone and helps to demystify citing of odd and unusual items. 

Need an introduction to APA Style? See the APA Style Workshop website (Purdue University Online Writing Lab) for a clear and concise introduction. It covers: what is APA style, why use APA, general rules for APA style for manuscripts, what to avoid, basic rules for reference lists and in-text citations.

For specific APA Style examples, see Reference List: Electronic Sources (also from Purdue OWL). Use the left navigation on that page to find examples of citing books, articles, and other materials.

To see the big picture, view an entire sample paper in APA Style.

Always follow the guidelines of your instructor if they differ from the examples shown in the websites above.

Preparing for the BACB Exam

For information about the BACB exam, visit the BACB website:


Students may find the following resources helpful when studying for the BACB exam:

BDS modules 

Pass The Big Exam.com

Finding an Article from a Citation