Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Education




Robert Sandieson


This thesis addresses the difficulties of on-line information searching as it relates to the topic of autism. A review of existing search strategies is presented and their limitations are discussed. A new method for deriving a set of search-terms for comprehensive searching, Pearl Harvesting, was tested here to determine the necessary search terms (i.e., synonym ring) for ERIC and PsycINFO databases. Once discovered and validated, a synonym ring can be copied and pasted directly into the search box of the database, providing a simple, thorough and time saving way of conducting on-line research in the field. This easily used method is applicable for use by professionals across disciplines. Specific characteristics of the ERIC and PsycINFO databases are discussed and conclusions are presented in relation to Pearl Harvesting.