Note: Off-campus access to some online sources is restricted to current UCF students, faculty, and staff via Proxy connection
ERIC is a national information system supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Library of Education, and the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. It was established to index, abstract, and disseminate research in education, including journal articles and reviews, books, dissertations, and unpublished material such as conference papers, curriculum guides, and research reports. Its coverage begins with documents published in 1966.
In January 2004, the Department of Education will begin to implement a reengineering plan for ERIC. The new ERIC mission continues the core function of providing a centralized bibliographic database of journal articles and other published and unpublished education materials. It enhances the database by adding free full text and electronic links to commercial sources and by making it easy to use and up to date.
ERIC clearinghouses, including AskERIC, will close at the end of December 2003. No new materials will be added to the ERIC database until late 2004.
Originally, ERIC was comprised of two distinct printed indexes, which continue to be published:
ERIC is now available as a searchable online database, available both through proprietary databases and Internet search engines.
Both proprietary versions as provided by UCF provide links to full-text articles and documents. Both versions allow for searching by various fields, such as author, title, descriptor, identifier, or ED number, and provide for various ways of limiting the scope of the search, such as by date and/or language. Both versions have an online thesaurus to identify ERIC descriptors and identifiers.
There also are several free Internet sites. None of these sites offers the full text of documents listed in the ERIC database; however, these sites do have links that allow you to order a document.
All entries in the ERIC databases and indexes are assigned up to 15 descriptors to describe their subject content. A descriptor is another word for subject heading. The Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors lists the terms and phrases that are used to index the articles and documents that comprise the ERIC database. Using the appropriate descriptor greatly increases search relevance by eliminating out-of-context references. Entries usually provide the date that the descriptor was introduced, a short definition, a list of obsolete descriptors, and an array of broader, narrower, and related descriptors. The Thesaurus is available in both print and online versions:
Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors
Online version (via EBSCOhost)
Online version (via Cambridge Scientific Abstracts)
Online version (via U.S. Department of Education <http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/Home.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=Thesaurus&_nfls=false>)
Online version (via Larry Rudner/SearchERIC.org <http://searcheric.org/scripts/ewiz/amain5.asp>)
Index L 11 .R43 (Thesauri stand on 2d Floor, near Reference Desk)
Here's a sample Thesaurus entry for the descriptor "Competency Based Education":
|Descriptor→||Competency Based Education|
|MAR. 1980||←Date term added to Thesaurus|
|Times term used in indexing→||Postings: 6,8655||GC: 330||←Descriptor Group code|
|Scope Note defines term→||SN||Educational system that emphasizes the specification, learning, and demonstration of those competencies (knowledge, skills, behaviors) that are of central importance to a given task, activity, or career|
|Used for (don't use)→||UF||Consequence Based Education|
|Criterion Referenced Education|
|Output Oriented Education|
|Performance Based Education (1974 1980)||←Former descriptor (dates used)|
|Proficiency Based Education|
|Narrower term→||NT||Competency Based Teacher Education|
|Related terms→||RT||Academic Standards|
|Back to Basics|
|Minimum Competency Testing|
|Outcome Based Education|
|Performance Based Assessment|
The chart below lists the standard ERIC document types with their corresponding document type codes. Use these codes in conjunction with a search in one of the ERIC proprietary databases to limit the results to particular document types:
|030||CREATIVE WORKS (Literature, Drama, Fine Arts)|
|050||--General (use more specific code, if possible)|
|051||--Instructional Materials (for Learner)|
|052||--Teaching Guides (for Teacher)|
Use (for Administrative and Support Staff,
and for Teachers, Parents, Clergy, Researchers,
Counselors, etc., in Non-Classroom Situations)
|070||INFORMATION ANALYSES (State-of-the-Art
Summaries, Literature Reviews)
|071||ERIC Information Analysis Products|
|073||ERIC Digests (Selected) in Full Text|
|074||Non-ERIC Digests (Selected) in Full Text|
|102||--Machine-Readable Data Files (MRDFs)|
|110||STATISTICAL DATA (Numerical, Quantitative, etc.)|
|120||VIEWPOINTS (opinion Papers, Position Papers, Essays, etc.)|
|130||--General (use more specific code, if possible)|
|140||--General (use more specific code, if possible)|
|141||--Descriptive (i.e., Project Descriptions)|
|150||SPEECHES, CONFERENCE PAPERS|
|160||TESTS, EVALUATION INSTRUMENTS|
Each record included in ERIC since 1975 is assigned at least one descriptor, which refers to the educational level of the group discussed. Listed below are the current mandatory educational level descriptors. Use these Educational Level Descriptors in conjunction with a search in one of the ERIC proprietary databases to limit the results to a particular grade or instructional level:
|MANDATORY "EDUCATIONAL LEVEL" DESCRIPTORS
(Procedure Implemented February 1975)
The ERIC Microfiche Collection provides a full-text version of most of the documents (that is, those items with ED numbers) cited in the ERIC database. The ERIC microfiche are filed numerically by the six digit ED number assigned to each document and shelved in cabinets on the third floor. Microfiche readers/printers are available. Note that not all items in the ERIC system are included in the microfiche. For example, books cited in ERIC usually are not available in the microfiche collection. However, the UCF Libraries may have purchased the book and a copy may be available. Always check the UCF Library Catalog to determine availability.
Since 1996, many ERIC documents in the Microfiche Collection are now available full-text in one of the ERIC proprietary databases.
If you have questions or need additional assistance, Ask a Librarian, call the Reference Department at (407) 823-2562, or e-mail the Department at email@example.com. The library liaison for Education is Terrie Sypolt, Associate Librarian, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated:July 19, 2010