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    ERIC Search Wizard User Guide


    The ERIC Search Wizard helps users identify subject terms that match the topic and construct searches using ERIC thesaurus descriptors.  It is an online version of the printed thesaurus of descriptors used by indexers to assign subject headings to education articles and documents. 

     To Begin:

             Go to the UCF Libraries home page:

             Click on <Articles & Databases> and then select <Education> from the Discipline list.

             Click on <ERIC Thesaurus in the ERIC Search Wizard> OR click on the letter "E" in the Titles list and scroll down and click on:


             Type the search word or phrase in the Look up a new term box then click on the Look Up button 


    • The right window on the screen lists the descriptors retrieved for your topic.  The word/s you type is at the top of the screen.  (In this example, it is "discipline.")

    • Scope notes help users to know what indexers meant by the term when they used it to describe a concept. 

    • Narrower terms and related terms are listed as in the example above.  Frequently broader terms are listed also.  (Example:  secondary schools.  Narrower term: high schools)

    • Select the term/s that best fit your topic and then look up any additional concepts.



    •  Write down the descriptors you choose in a search strategy.  Remember AND links terms so that all of the terms listed must
      be included in the results.  OR expands the search so that results include any one of the terms or more.  NOT includes the first term, but excludes the second.  Examples:  discipline AND (high schools OR secondary schools) includes either high schools or secondary schools combined with discipline.  Example:  Secondary schools NOT Junior high schools excludes results that deal with junior high schools.

    • If nothing matches, type a different term in the look-up box.  If that fails, either come to the Reference desk and request assistance or contact Ask a Librarian.

        Setup your search strategy.  Using the example above a suggested search strategy might be:

    Concept 1


    Concept 2


    Concept 3



    High schools


    Secondary schools


    Student rights


              Now you are ready to search for articles in the ERIC database. 

              Go to the Database titles, A-Z list on the UCF Library homepage.

             Select ERIC via Ebscohost and execute your search for items using the search strategy you formed using the ERIC Search Wizard.


    Last update:03 June 2009
    Maintained by Terrie Sypolt