Research Databases: ERIC Learn how to effectively search the ERIC database to identify relevant articles and other documents for educational research.
Why Choose ERIC?
Coverage back to 1966
Largest number of journals indexed (2600 vs 700)
Includes non-journal sources: conference papers, curricular guides, etc.
Excellent thesaurus of subject headings for precise searching
Search limits customized to education: audience, grade level, etc.
Only most important journals are indexed cover-to-cover, others have selective indexing
Covers only research journals, not education magazines
No full text journal articles (but links to them with OLinks)
Here is how ERIC compares to other databases in the field of education:
Searching ERIC: Starting the Search
You can access the ERIC database from the Research Databases listing by Name or Subject (Education), or follow the URL below:
Often the best strategy is to break your search into subtopics and search each separately.
ERIC will look for each topic in its thesaurus to help you find the ‘right’ subject heading…
ERIC: Thesaurus Searching
If your search matches an ERIC subject heading exactly, you’ll be taken to that term in the thesaurus.
If your search is a close match, you’ll be directed to the proper subject heading, for example: Student Aid – Use Student Financial Aid
If no subject heading matches exactly, you’ll be giving the following choices:
Get suggested terms from the thesaurus (find the most common subject headings associated with your keyword)
Search as a key word or phrase (search for your keyword in the titles and abstracts)
Browse nearby subject headings alphabetically (see if there is a similarly spelled subject heading)
ERIC: Thesaurus (cont.)
When you find a term in the thesaurus, you can choose how to search for items with that subject:
Search finds all items assigned to this subject (Clicking on the term itself is the same as Search)
Focus finds only items where this is the MAJOR subject focus
Expand and Expand/Focus will be explained on the next slide
View Thesaurus allows you to see this term in relation to other related subject headings (see next slide)
Or, you can search for any article with this phrase in the title or abstract (search as a keyword or phrase)
ERIC: View the Thesaurus (cont.)
Definition of term, date it was first used in ERIC.
Broader (less specific) terms
YOUR SEARCH TERM
Narrower (more specific terms). Expand and Expand/ Focus searches your term plus these.
Other related terms you may be interested in.
Use checkboxes on right to select terms to combine.
ERIC: Combining Searches
After you’ve searched for the first part of your topic, type the next part of the topic in the search box on the results screen.
When all parts of your topic have been searched separately, click on ‘Search History’ to combine them.
First use OR to combine related subtopic searches: e.g. Academic Persistence OR Student Attrition
Then use AND to find items that discuss all of your subtopics together.
ERIC: Limiting Results
To narrow your search results, common limits are displayed at the top of the results screen:
Use ‘All Limit Options’ to see more complete options, including by Year, Grade Level, and Publication Type.
Using the Most Frequent… lists, you can limit it to just the most frequent subjects, authors, or publications for your search.
ERIC: Results List
The results list will give a brief citation. Click on a title for the full record, including an abstract (summary) and all subject headings.
(Note: Citations from journals have the journal title in italics. Citations from ERIC documents lack a journal title.)
ERIC: Results, Full Record Click on an author’s name to see more by the same author. Subject headings with an ‘*’ are MAJOR subjects (found with Focus) Click on subject heading to see other items with the same subject.
ERIC: Locating an Item
Use the button in the Results List or Full Record to see your options for finding the item in print or electronically.
For journals, this may link you to electronic full text or tell you if the journal is subscribed to by the University of Toledo libraries.
For books, Find It! will look up the item in the OhioLINK Catalog.
For other ERIC Documents, you may be connected to a scanned full-text (1991-) or to instructions for retrieving the document from microfiche (-1991).
More information on Find It! (a.k.a OLinks) is available here .
To store records in a list so that you can print, e-mail, or save them to a disk, you can mark records by:
Clicking on the icon in the Results List
Clicking on the icon on a Full Record
Clicking on ‘Store All on Page’ in the Results List (to see more results per page, use ‘All Limit Options’)
Click the Stored Records button at the top of the page to see all export options.
ERIC: Exporting (cont.)
From the Stored Records page, you can review your list (and remove items if necessary).
Export options include:
Downloading (saving) to your computer
As well as viewing, pocketing to a PDA, or exporting to bibliographic management software.
All export options include a Search History so you can reproduce your search later
None of the export formats include linked full text! Only the citation, abstract, and other full record information will be sent.
ERIC: Other Options for Access
The ERIC Database is available in many search formats. The OhioLINK/OSearch version discussed here has several advanced options.
Other versions include
ERIC from EBSCOhost, which can be searched simultaneously with other EBSCO databases such as Education Research Complete. http://0-search.ebscohost.com.carlson.utoledo.edu/login.asp?profile=web&defaultdb=eric
ERIC from the U.S. Dept. of Education http://eric.ed.gov/