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Database Tutorials

This LibGuide contains step by step instructions for majority of research databases available in the Wolfgram collection.

ERIC | EBSCO

About this Database

ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) is an authoritative database of indexed and full-text educational literature and resources. In addition, it provides an education-specific thesaurus that includes controlled vocabulary to help users find what they need.
 
This guide will focus on how to effectively and efficiently search the ERIC database for educational research.

Content Includes:

  • More than 1.6 million records
  • Links to more than 631,000 full-text documents
  • An education-specific thesaurus containing over 11,700 terms

Navigate to the ERIC Database

LibGuides Home PageA to Z Database ListERIC

Note that the ERIC database covers the years 1966 through the present. If you are looking for information from before 1966, the ERIC database is NOT the place to look! Try the SUGGEST A DATABASE instead.

Keyword Searching in ERIC

Navigate to the ERIC database, enter your keywords and conduct your search.

The example below uses the keywords Higher Education

Keyword search, as described above

From the advanced search page, you do have additional search options available to you, such as:

  • Use the Full Text limit to see only articles that you have immediate access to
  • Use the Date Published slider to see articles from a certain year (i.e. 2007) or a range of years (i.e. 2003-2013)
  • Use the Publication Type limit to see only particular types of articles (Reports-Research/Technical are the most useful options)

The keyword search for higher education (without any additional limiters selected) should yield approximately 407,509 results

ERIC database search results page

These results can be narrowed by adding another keyword (for example: Service Learning) and searching again.

  • The Keyword search for Higher Education AND Service Learning should yield approximately 3,140 results.
You have options to refine your search from within your results list:
  • Use the Full Text limit to see only articles that you can print out
  • Use the Date Published slider to see articles from a certain year (i.e. 2007) or a range of years (i.e. 2003-2013)
  • Use the Publication Type limit to see only particular types of articles (Reports-Research/Technical are the most useful options)
  • Use the Source Type limit to view results from particular types of sources (i.e. Academic Journals, ERIC Documents, Magazines, etc.)
  • The Subject limiter can be used to limits search results within specific subjects areas.

results page, depicting the refine results options described above.

The Results List

The Results List provides the basic bibliographic information for each article including:
  • Author’s Name
  • Article Title
  • Journal Title, Volume/Issue Number, Page Numbers
  • Publication Date
  • ERIC Accession Number (EDxxxxxx or EJxxxxxx)

Article bibiliographic information, as described above

There are two types of articles in the ERIC database, ERIC Documents and ERIC Journals Articles.  You can tell the difference by looking at the Accession Number.  ED = ERIC Document and EJ = ERIC Journal Article.

On the Results List you will also see links under each citation.  The links you should be aware of are:

  1. Widener University Catalog (WebPAC) This links to WebPAC so you can check to see if Widener owns the journal you are interested in.
  2. InterLibrary Loan (Illiad Wolfgram) This links to the Widener Interlibrary Loan system, so that you can order items that Widener does not own.
  3. HTML Full Text: The full article is available for downloading/printing in HTML format.
  4. PDF Full Text: The full article is available for downloading/printing in PDF format.
  5. Linked Full Text The full article is available for downloading/printing from one of the other online databases.
  6. Full Text Finder Click here to see if the full text for this article is available from another Widener database.

additional links found in results list, as described above

* More information regarding finding the Full Text of an item below.

The Detailed Record

If you click on the title of the article you are interested in you will be taken to the Full Record for the item.

Select article #5 from the Results list, “Implementing and Sustaining Higher Education Service-Learning Initiatives: Revisiting Young et al.'s Organizational Tactics.”

The Full Record contains the bibliographic information for the article as well as additional information such as:

  • Descriptors: Broad terms from the ERIC thesaurus describing the item's content. Major headings are preceded by an asterisk (*) in the ERIC record. Each are hyperlinked and will bring you to results which fit the particular descriptor.
  • Abstract: A brief summary of the item's content.
  • Helpful Tools: Quick links to print, share via email or copy/paste the permalink, get the citation and more.

Notice the keywords from your search are bold throughout the abstract, use of these keywords in the article is what made the article show up in the results list.

article's detailed record page, as described below

ERIC Thesaurus of Descriptors

ERIC has a “controlled vocabulary” of education-related terms called Descriptors that are maintained in the ERIC Thesaurus. Descriptors are used to organize database materials by subject. Using Descriptors in your search can help you locate materials of greater relevance to your topic.

NOTE: 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 an article or document. Descriptors, also known as indexing terms or subject headings, help you locate subject-related materials that may not contain the keyword in the indexed record.

Searching ERIC Thesaurus

  1. From the top of the navigation bar within the ERIC database, seletermct Thesaurus
  2. In the Browsing: ERIC -- Thesaurus box, enter your keywords (e.g. higher education) and then click the Browse button
  3. The resulting list of descriptors includes those that best match your keywords, select the first term, Higher Education

Steps taken while using ERICs thesaurus browseing option, as described above

You will now see more detailed information about the ERIC Descriptor "Higher Education"

  • Scope Note: How ERIC defines “Higher Education” [For Example: All education beyond the secondary level leading to a formal degree (Note: Also appears in the list of mandatory educational level Descriptors)]
  • Broader Terms: Descriptors that are less specific then what you typed in [For Example: Postsecondary Education]
  • Narrower Terms: Descriptors that are more specific then what you typed in [For Example: Undergraduate Study]
  • Related Terms: Descriptors that are conceptually linked to what you typed in [For Example: Academic Advising]
  • Used For: What other terms “Higher Education” is used in place of [For Example: Advanced Education]
  • When you Explode a term, you create a search query that “explodes” the subject heading. The headings are exploded to retrieve all references indexed to that term as well as all references indexed to any narrower subject terms.
  • If a plus sign (+) appears next to a narrower or related term, there are narrower terms below it.

Finding the Full Text

Many articles are available in Full Text format from the ERIC database.

full text from ERIC link as described above

If you see any of the following listed under the citation for your article, click on one of them to get the full text:

PDF Full Text
The full article is available for downloading/printing in PDF format.

html full text
The full article is available for downloading/printing in HTML format.

linked full text
The full article is available for downloading/printing from one of the other online databases.

If you do not see a PDF, HTML, or Linked Full Text option, look for  Full Text Finder

Full Text Finder is a way to find out if the article you are interested in is available in full text in one of the library’s other databases.

  1. Select the Full Text Finder link from within the citation for the article you want
  2. If the article you want is available from another database in our collection, you will see it listed here. The example below shows that the article is available through the ProQuest Central Database, click to view the Full Text article.
  3. When you click on the ProQuest Central Link from Full Text Finder another browser window will open up and the full text of the journal article in ProQuest Central will be displayed. Click on the PDF link to view the article.