The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) is a database of 1.2 million references to journal articles and education-related materials based in the US. ERIC is the larger cousin of the British Education Index and a useful source of educational information with a more US and/or international slant.
ERIC holds permission to display more than 115,000 full-text materials free of charge and encompasses bibliographic records indexed since 1966, including:
- journal articles
- research syntheses
- conference papers
- technical reports
- policy papers, and
- other education-related materials
ERIC can be searched using the same sort of search strategy as would be employed for the British Education Index. Searching ERIC can be done with by a simple or an Advanced search. To perform a simple Search, use the drop-down list to select the appropriate ERIC database record field: Keywords (all fields), Title, Author, Descriptors (from Thesaurus) or ERIC # (accession number). Next enter your search term and click Search. Note that Descriptors are not the same as Keywords. Keywords match words found in a bibliographic record and may or may not fully represent the subject of a document while Descriptors are also known as indexing terms or subject headings. Descriptors help you locate subject-related materials that may not contain the keyword in the indexed record and can help you locate materials of greater relevance to your topic.
The Advanced search option will allow you to limit your search by date or publication-type which can be helpful in limiting your results to a more manageable number. Other search tips are:
- Use the AND, OR, and NOT operators in between each field to create a more complex Boolean search (i.e. boys AND reading)
- Use quotation marks around a phrase to find an exact match (i.e."bilingual education")
- Use the format "Last name, First name" for an exact match (i.e. "Wragg, Ted")
Because ERIC is so large, there are clear benefits to using the ERIC Thesaurus which saves time by helping to identify appropriate terms to retrieve relevant material. Do be aware that descriptors use American terminology (i.e. elementary, junior high school, etc.) Each descriptor term also includes a number of other related terms which can be helpful when trying to define your subject matter.
Sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences and the US Department of Education, ERIC claims to be the 'world's largest digital library of education literature'. Users of ERIC are education researchers, teachers, librarians, administrators, education policymakers, instructors and students in teacher-preparation programs, parents, the media and business communities and the general public.
Information provided by: Barbara Sakarya
Education Resources Information Center
Article Id : 13718
Date Posted: 18/10/2007