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Database Tutorials

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


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 750,000 full-text documents
  • An education-specific thesaurus containing over 11,700 terms
  • Coverage dating back to 1966

Navigate to the ERIC Database

Wolfgram Memorial Library HomepageA to Z Database ListERIC

Keyword Searching in ERIC

Advanced Search

Navigate to the ERIC database, enter your keywords and conduct your search. Follow the steps below:

  1. Enter your search terms / keywords. (To search for a phrase, put the words into quotation marks).
  2. The Search Modes and Expanders section provides options that broaden your search results. Use these sparingly -- as you broaden your search the number of results might become overwhelming, or be too vague. *Best utilized in the beginning stages of research, for example, when trying to decide on a research topic and you want to know what resources/items/materials are available.
  3. Limit your search results:
    • Full Text: Check this box to limit results to include only materials available in Full Text. Helpful when doing last-minute research and you don't have time to wait for interlibrary loan requests. This limiter may drastically reduce the number search results.
    • Scholarly (peer-reviewed) Journals: Check this box to ensure your search results only include items from scholarly journals. This eliminates the popular magazines and newspapers.
    • Document or Journal: Select Document (ED) for documents such as government documents, dissertations, books, research reports, and annotated bibliographies. Select Journal (EJ) for journals.  
    • Education Level: Use this filter to select a specific education level to narrow your search, such as Higher Education, Kindergarten, and more.
    • Intended Audience: Use this filter to select your audience, such as students, parents, policy makers, and more.  
  4. Click Search.

Advanced Search of ERIC database

Results List

You have options to refine your search from within your results list:

  1. Use the Refine Results section to drill down further into the search results. 
    • View your current search selections Boolean/Phrase.
    • Limit your current search results by selecting Full TextScholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals, and/or IES Funded. You can also choose the date range to further narrow your results. 
    • Use the additional facets to filter search results by Source Types, SubjectPublication, Language, and/or Geography
  2. Download Full Text PDF.
  3. Open the article info & get the pdf by clicking FULL TEXT FROM ERIC.

ERIC Keyword search results page

The Results List

On the Results List you may also see the following links underneath the article title:

  1. Search the Widener University Catalog: click here to view the Library Catalog (WebPac) holdings.
  2. ILLiad Wolfgram: Click here to request the article using InterLibrary Loan.
  3. HTML Full Text: Click here for the full text of the article in HTML format.
  4. PDF Full Text: Click here for the full article as a pdf, available for downloading/printing.
  5. Linked Full Text: This link means 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.
  7. Image of additional links found in results list such as searching the catalog, requesting through InterLibrary Loan, and viewing the full-text

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.

The Full Record contains the bibliographic information for the article the pdf link, and additional information listed below:

  • PDF Full Text: The link to the full text of the article.
  • Biographical Info: The author(s) of the article are linked, meaning when clicked on, you can see all other works written by the author(s). The Source section has the linked journal title (once clicked, you can see more articles written in the journal), the volume/issue number, and page numbers. This is helpful when creating a citation.
  • Descriptors: These are the 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.
  • Education Level: This section allows the reader to know the education level that is focused on in the article.

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.

ERIC article detailed Record


Use the Tools navigation to share, print and cite the article. 

  1. Use the Tools section for quick access to print, email, save, and share the article. 
  2. Click Cite to open the citation manager. Scroll through the citation style options (APA, MLA, Chicago, ectc.) and copy the citation for use. Be sure to Review the citation for errors. This citation will not be perfect and names, dates, punctuation and style will need to be checked.  
  3. Always use the permalink in your citation or for use when sharing the article. This link is permanent and will always link directly to this article. Never use the URL in the browser search, this link will break. 

Citation tool that displays the different citation styles