British Education Index (BEI) is a database of bibliographic references and subject descriptions of articles published in almost 400 English-language periodicals and conference papers about all aspects and fields of education and training from preschool to adult and higher education.
If you need to discover who has written what on any topic within education, to supplement what you have found in the TTRB, BEI is a key tool. By searching it you will get thorough knowledge of both the academic research journal literature and the more practical practitioner oriented material in the professional literature.
Searching the BEI database:
There are two routes to access the BEI database – one subscription based where you will need to ask your own academic library if they have a subscription, and the other (limited to the most recent references only) which is freely available on the web at http://www.bei.ac.uk.
Whichever version of the database you search, you need to structure your search to be both as thorough as you need and to be as focussed as possible. What this means in practice, is that you need to analyse your topic into its underlying constituent concepts and to search for each of those using several alternative search terms - eg if you are interested in parents' involvement in mathematics education, you would type mathematics or arithmetic or algebra or … (and you would add more similar terms if you were really interested in being thorough) and then click on the Search button.
You would then create a second set of references about parents by typing eg parents or mothers or fathers or home background or …. (again you might enlarge this part of the search by adding eg family or parental or maternal etc – it depends on your need).
To focus your search on just the small area that you are interested in, you will then combine the sets that you have obtained with your starting searches using the logic of “and” so that you get references that are both about “maths” and also about “parents”.
BEI uses a thesaurus of subject headings to index each article and these subject headings are reliable indicators of what the article is about. So it is very worthwhile improving the focus of your search by searching with those subject headings/thesaurus terms.
journal articles, literature searching
Article Id : 12048
Date Posted: 1/3/2006