Educator's Reference Complete

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Author: Ruth Helwig
Central Michigan Univeristy

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Educator's Reference Complete

  1. 1. Educator’s Reference Complete: How does it compare to ERIC and Education Abstracts? By Ruth Helwig, Systems Librarian, Central Michigan University Michigan Academy of Science Arts and Letters Annual Conference 2009 Wayne State University
  2. 2. Abstract The purpose of this paper is to compare Educator’s Reference Complete with two competing education databases, ERIC and Education Abstracts, both accessed through the OCLC Firstsearch interface. This paper will identify overlapping titles and unique coverage, compare and contrast the results of selected search strategies and examine the percentage of full text availability in the search results. It will examine database features and assess whether database features serve to improve the user’s experience.
  3. 3. Hypothesis I began this study with the hypothesis that Educator’s Reference Complete would prove to be a valuable resource for our patrons by: • Leading researchers to additional peer-reviewed scholarly research. • Complementing our current databases. • Comparing favorably with ERIC in its breadth and depth of coverage.
  4. 4. Data Collection • From vendor websites: ▫ Total number of journals covered* ▫ Journal title lists ▫ Additional content being covered • From databases ▫ Search results
  5. 5. Challenges to Data Gathering • The set up of information on all of the databases are very different. • Vendors represent title changes differently, in some instances not identifying them as such. • ISBN numbers not consistently included. • Not all data elements are available from all of the vendors. (i.e. peer-reviewed content) • Data elements are presented differently from vendor to vendor. (i.e. representation of full- text.)
  6. 6. Data Gathering Decisions • If a title appeared to be a duplicate listing (not a title change) but this could not be definitively established, the title was counted as a unique title. • If a title represented a title change it was counted as a unique title. • If it appeared to be a duplicate listing based on all of the data present, the title was counted once.
  7. 7. Coverage Total Number of Journals Covered October 2008 Educator’s ERIC Education Reference Abstracts Complete 1,152 2,111 751
  8. 8. Additional Content Covered Educator’s ERIC Education Reference Abstracts Complete •Over 200 reports •ERIC documents •Book reviews •Gale electronic • Books •“English- handbooks and • Research language books encyclopedias on syntheses relating to education • WWC education • Conference published in 1995 papers or later. . .” •Technical reports •Policy papers •REL
  9. 9. Journal Title Comparison - Educator’s Reference Complete ERC, ERC ERIC, ERC & ERC & Only EdAbs ERIC EdAbs Total 488 302 334 28 1152 Percent of Educator’s Reference Complete Titles 42.4% 26.2% 29% 2.4% 100%
  10. 10. Journal Title Comparison - ERIC ERC, ERIC ERIC, ERIC & ERIC & Only EdAbs ERC EdAbs Total 1198 302 334 277 2,111 Percent of ERIC Titles 57% 14% 16% 13% 100%
  11. 11. Journal Title Comparison - Education Abstracts Titles ERC, Ed Abs ERIC, Ed Abs EdAbs & Only EdAbs & ERC ERIC Total 144 302 28 277 751 Percent of Ed Abs Titles 19% 40% 4% 37% 100%
  12. 12. Unique Title Coverage Compared to total number of journals in the database Educator’s ERIC Education Reference Abstracts Complete Total 1152 2111 751 Unique 488 1205 145 Percent 42.4% 57% 19%
  13. 13. Journal Titles Available in All Three Databases Compared to total number of journals in the database Educator’s ERIC Education Reference Abstracts Complete Total 1152 2111 751 Overlap 302 302 302 Percent 26.2% 14% 40%
  14. 14. Ongoing Coverage Educator’s ERIC Education Reference Abstracts Complete 1,117 866 491 Total Number of Titles 1,152 2,111 751 97% 41% 65%
  15. 15. Other Comparators • Full- text • Peer- reviewed • Common search features • Journals indexed
  16. 16. Common Limits/Refinements • Language • Owned by your library • Peer-reviewed • Document type – varies by databases
  17. 17. Coverage and Currency Educator's ERIC Education Reference Abstracts Complete Coverage 1965 - Present 1966 - Indexing 1983 – Present present Abstracts 1994 - Present Update Schedule Updated daily Updated Updated weekly monthly
  18. 18. Database Strengths - ERIC • Breadth of content • Access to grey literature • Expert Search Option • Able to find other owning libraries • ERIC thesaurus • ERIC documents • WWC • REL • Relationship to the Department of Education • Reserved search operators
  19. 19. Database Strengths – Ed Abs • Depth of coverage ▫ Every age ▫ Every article at least one column in length ▫ Series, supplements, reviews • Expert Search Option • Able to find other owning libraries
  20. 20. Database Strengths - ERC • Indexes reports, book reviews, books, case studies • Cross-searchable with Gale education titles • Some unique searching & limiting options: ▫ Range operators Word Count ▫ Unique fields With images ▫ Exclamation mark Lexile Reading Level & Score • Offers a dictionary • Publication search
  21. 21. Subject Strengths Educator's ERIC Education Reference Abstracts Complete •Athletics and •Technology •Vocational education Physical Education •Administration •Adult learning •Early childhood •Prayer in schools •Religious education •Certification •Classroom methodology •Literacy •Practical applications in the classroom
  22. 22. Search Parameters • Several searches performed – 3 reported • All limited to journals/articles ▫ Total results higher in Educator’s Reference Complete for broader searches not limited to peer- reviewed • All limited to peer-reviewed • All limited by date range ▫ First 2 limited to 200 – 2009 ▫ Third limited to 2008 – 2009 to reduce results set
  23. 23. Search - bullying and discipline Search #1 ERIC Educator’s Education Reference Abstracts Complete Total 9 20 8 Unique 8 18 6
  24. 24. Search - “service Learning” & “high school” & curriculum Search #2 Educator’s ERIC Education Reference Abstracts Complete Total 25 * 25 24 Unique 8 16 16
  25. 25. Search - mathematics & “elementary school” & “problem solving” Search #3 Educator’s ERIC Education Reference Abstracts Complete Total 6 51 4 Unique 2 28 0
  26. 26. Conclusions Educator’s Reference Complete contains some unique content, unique search features and continues to add new titles. It is updated the most frequently, contains a high volume of full- text and is easily accessible through MeL. Although it is not as unique as I had originally anticipated, it is a valuable addition to the suite of education databases and one that I would recommend to researches looking for education content.
  27. 27. Contact Information Ruth Helwig Park Library 305 Central Michigan University Mt. Pleasant MI 48859 989-774-2404 helwi1rm@cmich.edu

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