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ERIC Tutorial

Using the ERIC database on the EBSCOhost platform

On This Page

Here you can learn how to get the most out of the ERIC database resources:
1. Enter an advanced search, 2. Read and evaluate your results, 3. Refine your search with limits and filters, and 4. Access the full text


Search and Refine with Limits

This shows a search using two of the advanced search techniques available in many databases:

  • the Boolean operators "and" and "or"; and
  • searching for controlled vocabulary terms in the "SU Descriptors" field.

Another technique that could have been used is the use of quotation marks around "block scheduling" and "high school" to specify that each pair of words appear as a phrase.

eric advanced search entry

  • In your first review of search results you can begin to evaluate your search strategy as well as the sources you have found. 
  • Notice that you have the author, title and publication information that you will need for citations throughout your research.
  • The title, journal, and subjects all give you an idea about the content of each item as well ideas for other search terms you may want to try. Clicking on a title will also show the abstract or summary of the article.
  • If you do not have enough useful articles at first, then you may need to try different search terms, a different database, or consult with a librarian or professor. You might also explore how to shape or revise your research question.

      In many cases your professor will require you to use recent

     or current sources, and will sometimes give you a guideline

     such as five or ten years. In ERIC you can easily limit the

     publication date range on a slide bar on the left side on the

     search results.

.    The easiest way to focus on articles in the research

     journals is to limit your search to "Academic Journals." 

     Most of these journals use the peer review process, but

     you must still judge each article for yourself on the quality

     and substance of the reported research.

You may be tempted to use the "Peer Reviewed" limit offered by the database. Why not?

  • Peer review is not a precise term and is not reliably applied by the database.
  • The "Academic Journals" limit will serve you as well or better for what you really need.
  • The peer review label is usually shorthand to encourage you to explore and engage with the accepted research and scholarly publications in your field. The label is not a substitute for learning what good research or a good research publication in your field looks like.

Get the Full Text

Whenever the results list or full record offers PDF full text you have immediate access to the material. You may download, save or print the file for your own use and study.

If the PDF is not immediately available from EBSCOhost but is available in Penfield Library holdings, you will see the link for "Full Text Finder." Clicking on the link will give you one of 3 results:

  1. Immediate view of the item in the database that has the full text
  2. A list of databases that have the item. Clicking on one of them will bring you the item.
  3. A link to a database that probably has the item, but you will need to search again for the article when you get to the database.

When the ERIC results list or full record offers full text from ERIC, you will be able to download the material directly from the database producer.

If an item is not available in Penfield Library, the results list and full record will offer Interlibrary Loan (ILL). When you follow that link you will be prompted to login to our ILLiad system using your Laker NetID, prompted to confirm your profile information (when you first use ILLiad), and offered a completed ILL request form awaiting your submit or cancel command. See the material on ILL on the right for more information.

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