Education and Treatment of Children (ETC) is devoted to the dissemination of information concerning the development of services for children and youth. A primary criterion for publication is that the material be of direct value to educators, parents, child care providers, or mental health professionals in improving the effectiveness of their services. Therefore, authors are required to compose their manuscripts in a clear, concise style that will be readily understood by the practitioners who are likely to make use of the information.
Materials appropriate for publication include experimental research, research reviews, data-based case studies, procedure or program descriptions, issue-oriented papers, and brief communications and inquiries. Nonexperimental papers should emphasize the manner in which the described procedure, program, or issue relates to the practical concerns of professionals in the field. Experimental studies should demonstrate usefulness of the described procedure, adequacy of the data in showing a functional relationship between the procedures and observed behavior changes, and evidence that measurements taken were reliable. ETC utilizes a broad base of researchers, educators, clinical practitioners, and graduate students in the editorial review process.
Manuscripts that document a clear functional relationship between procedures used and behavior changes observed will be considered for publication in the Studies section of ETC. Replications are welcome, especially when the original study has been published in a source that is unlikely to come to the attention of the practitioners who would use the procedures in their work or when the replication includes some change in the procedures, population, or setting for the study. Original research studies that investigate procedures of use to practitioners are also welcome. Potential usefulness of the procedures, behavior changes of magnitudes that have practical implications, accuracy of the data, and clarity of the presentation for practitioners are the considerations used by our reviewers when judging an experimental study manuscript's suitability for publication in ETC.
Data Based Case Studies
Manuscripts that meet the following criteria will be considered for publication in the Data Based Case Studies section of ETC. The minimum requirements are: (1) a demonstration of direct, quantitative measurement of specific client behaviors repeated over time that guided the clinical and/or educational decision making reported in the study; and (2) a contribution to advancing teaching/training/treatment effectiveness by serving (a) as a source of ideas and hypotheses for further research, (b) as a source of developing teaching/training/treatment techniques, such as a study of a rare phenomenon, (c) as a counterinstance for notions that are considered to be universally applicable, or (d) as persuasive and motivational (see ETC, 22 (2), for references). Replications in real-life situations of procedures developed under rigorous research protocols are welcome, especially when the original study was a highly controlled experiment. Also, data based case studies that highlight efficient and effective means to collect data that guide treatment/teaching will be accepted.
Reviews of the Literature
Reviews should be focused on the implications of the results of studies for practitioners whose clients may benefit from the procedures described by the literature. Reviews need not be comprehensive as long as the literature not included would in no way alter the implications for practice described by the review. The style, format, and organization should be such that practitioners will clearly understand what is being presented. It is important to caution practitioners about the limitations of the implications for practice drawn from the research literature. This may include discussions of legal, ethical, scientific, and logistical limitations and associated issues.
It is important for practitioners and program managers to know what resources will be required to successfully implement programs or procedures that have been useful to others. ETC publishes such program or procedure descriptions when reviewers indicate that the description clearly communicates this information. This typically means that the manuscript includes an introduction that identifies a framework into which the program fits, or a rationale for the program's operation; basic information regarding the geographic area served and the program location, accessibility, funding sources, etc; a clear description of the clients served; the number, types, and training of staff who implement the program; details of the actual operation of the program; documentation of program successes; and discusses any and all aspects of the program that will allow the readers to determine the feasibility and desirability of implementing the program or procedure in their settings.
Papers for the Forum section of ETC will generally be discussions of legal, ethical, and other issues important to persons working with children; discussions and/or descriptions of methods and techniques that provide information directly applicable to the assessment, treatment, and evaluation of services for children; descriptions of guidelines or criteria useful in planning and implementing assessment, treatment, and evaluation programs for children; behavior analyses of situations relevant to the education and treatment of children; theoretical papers that focus on the potential applications of the position taken; or requests for information or materials related to the education and treatment of children. It is difficult to describe a set of specific review criteria that are appropriate for the wide variety of manuscripts that can be considered for the Forum section of ETC. In general, Forum manuscripts will be reviewed to determine if the manuscript provides information that can be directly applied to the education and treatment of children; addresses an issue or problem that affects a large population of children, professionals, or parents; clearly and cogently make its points; considers all of the critical information relevant to the topic; and adds to our knowledge regarding the education and treatment of children.
The goal of a book review is to provide sufficient information for the reader to make an informed decision regarding their interest in obtaining and reading the book. To accomplish that goal, the reviewer must provide identifying information, a description of the book's purpose and content, and evaluative comments regarding the adequacy and completeness of the material covered. In general, a relatively complete review will require two to five double-spaced, typed pages.
General Issues in the Reviewing Process
The publication of data based studies in ETC is intended to provide those involved in the education and treatment of children with useful empirical information. The editorial review process is designed to identify such information in the manuscripts that are submitted for review. The accuracy and clarity of the useful information is shaped by the review process with the result that the investigator's efforts are recognized by the publication of an article that is of interest to many of our readers. The editorial review process articulates what is useful, accurate, and clearly communicated in each manuscript. It also identifies what is not useful, accurate and/or clearly communicated. Finally, the review process determines whether or not a given manuscript is ready to be published, can be revised so that it will be publishable, or cannot be revised so that it will be publishable.
The usefulness of information contained in a manuscript is a judgement made by reviewers who have dealt with similar problems in similar settings. They are asked to determine whether or not the procedures used would be feasible for others to use and whether or not the results produced justify the effort required. Researchers who are familiar with available methodology judge the accuracy of the information presented. They are asked to determine whether or not measurement procedures were used that will give readers confidence that the data reflect the behaviors that occurred. In addition, they indicate whether or not the conditions under which the data were collected in combination with the results obtained are sufficient to assure readers that the procedures employed were responsible for the changes in behaviors that were observed. Reviewers are also asked to comment on the clarity of the presentation and to provide suggestions to the authors that will improve the readability of the manuscript.
Only infrequently does a manuscript fully satisfy all the criteria when it is submitted. More frequently manuscripts are improved by the interactions among reviewers, an associate editor, an editor, and the authors as they pass through the editorial review process. Often the improvement of a manuscript results in it meeting the publication criteria and it is ultimately published. Sometimes manuscripts cannot be or are not improved so that they meet the criteria and they are not published.