Methodological standards in single-case experimental design: Raising the bar. Academic Article uri icon


  • Single-case experimental designs (SCEDs), or small-n experimental research, are frequently implemented to assess approaches to improving outcomes for people with disabilities, particularly those with low-incidence disabilities, such as some developmental disabilities. SCED has become increasingly accepted as a research design. As this literature base is needed to determine what interventions are evidence-based practices, the acceptance of SCED has resulted in increased critiques with regard to methodological quality. Recent trends include recommendations from a number of expert scholars and institutions. The purpose of this article is to summarize the recent history of methodological quality considerations, synthesize the recommendations found in the SCED literature, and provide recommendations to researchers designing SCEDs with regard to essential and aspirational standards for methodological quality. Conclusions include imploring SCED to increase the quality of their experiments, with particular consideration regarding the applied nature of SCED research to be published in Research in Developmental Disabilities and beyond.

published proceedings

  • Res Dev Disabil

altmetric score

  • 10

author list (cited authors)

  • Ganz, J. B., & Ayres, K. M.

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Ganz, Jennifer B||Ayres, Kevin M

publication date

  • January 2018