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RE510 - History and Foundations of Literacy Instruction: ERIC Tips

ERIC Tips

The ERIC database gives access to thousands of journal articles and documents on education. It is one of the oldest and most comprehensive databases available anywhere. ERIC displays abstracts with a complete bibliographic citation for each article or document.

Accessing ERIC:

  • In the Education guide, click on the "Finding Articles" tab.
  • Then click on "ERIC."

Searching ERIC:

When entering search term(s), always indicate the type of search you are doing; the program defaults to keyword. However, keyword searching in a database as large as ERIC can yield many irrelevant items. Using more than one term helps to limit your search.You can limit your search by using AND between terms, or expand your search by putting OR between your terms.

IMPORTANT: If you use OR, put the OR terms in the same box and type the OR in between. For example:

Line 1:         inclusion OR mainstreaming

Line 2:         AND special education

If you need help choosing a search term, click on the “Thesaurus” button at the top of the page. The Thesaurus will give you appropriate terms to use when doing a SU Descriptor search.

Once you have run a search, you can limit the number of retrieved items or limit your search by setting a date range, using the "Publication Date" boxes on the left hand side.

Distinguishing between ERIC Documents and ERIC Journals:

Each ERIC citation displays a number. All ERIC numbers begin with either the letters ED or EJ.

ED numbers indicate an ERIC document. Documents include books, transcripts, conference papers, government publications, dissertations and theses. If the document was published in 1993 or later, you may be able to access the Full-Text of the Document by clicking the Full text from ERIC link. Once opened, you can either print or download the document. Cautionary note: if your document is large (i.e. a dissertation) it will take a LONG TIME to open and print it. If the document is not online you must request it through Interlibrary Loan or go to another school to obtain it on microfilm.

EJ numbers indicate a journal article. ERIC links to SOME full-text articles. Click on the linked article title, and look for a link to "Full-text" in the full record. If there is no link to full text, you may be able to get the journal from the library. To check if the library owns the journal, click on the "Article Linker" link, which will search our electronic journals and allow you to perform one-click searching of the library catalog. You may also ask at the Reference Desk for help in figuring out whether the journal can be found full-text online in a different database. If the library does not own the periodical you need, you can request a copy of the article using Interlibrary Loan.