Autism and online recruiting methods: A comparison of Mechanical Turk and discussion forums




MTurk, Reddit, recruiting, autism


In a study by a team at the intersection of information and communication sciences and disorders, researchers worked to design an interactive, online professional development system for academic librarians to better serve students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In creating this program, it was imperative to have stakeholder input and support; recruiting members of this population, students with ASD, was critical. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and online discussion forums, including Reddit, were used for recruitment for an online survey. While there was some overlap in results, there were also marked differences in responses based on online sampling frame. This paper details the online methods used for recruiting members of this community, and compares and contrasts success rates, challenges, and numbers associated with each method.

Author Biographies

Amelia Anderson, Old Dominion University

Amelia Anderson is an Assistant Professor of Library Science, in the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies at Old Dominion University.

Nancy Everhart, Florida State University

Nancy Everhart is Professor of Library Science at the School of Information at Florida State University.

Juliann Woods, Florida State University

Juliann Woods is Associate Dean for Research in the College of Communication and Information at Florida State University




How to Cite

Anderson, A., Everhart, N., & Woods, J. (2019). Autism and online recruiting methods: A comparison of Mechanical Turk and discussion forums. First Monday, 24(9).