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Spring Regular Hours
Mon - Thu 7:30 am - 1:00 am
Friday 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm - 1:00 am

Research Assistance Hours...



     ERIC is an electronic database that enables you to locate citations (author, title, journal, date of publication) and abstracts (summaries) to journal articles and documents on your topic. Citations to journal articles--designated EJ--indicate the name of the journal as well as the year of publication, volume, and issue number. Citations to ERIC documents -- designated ED-- indicate the ED number you use to find the document. Be sure to read the descriptors and the abstract to determine whether or not you want to view the actual journal article or ERIC document.


    • List all ideas and concepts that describe your search topic.
    • Narrow your topic.  Remember your goal is to get a manageable number of useful records.
    • Think of as many search terms describing your topic as you can.


    • Go to the UCF Libraries homepage at
    • Click on <Articles and Databases> and click on <Education>  in the Discipline list OR click on <E> on the alphabetical "Titles"  menu.
    • Click on the database name

    • Note that the database selection page contains links for several versions of ERIC.  Use the interface with which you are most comfortable.
    • Select <ERIC> from the EBSCOhost menu.


    • Select one of the search screens from the tabbed tool bar for conducting the search.


      •  Basic Search – opens the Keyword Search screen. Enter a keyword, phrase or combined word search in the “Find” box and click on <SEARCH>.
      • Advanced Search –offers multiple text boxes, Boolean search (AND, OR, NOT) capabilities and searchable fields that allow you to develop a well focused search.
      • Thesaurus uses subject keyword searching, search history and limiters to help one focus a search.  Click <Thesaurus> from the subtoolbar button.  Enter search terms in the “Browse for” field, select limiters and field codes, then click <Search>. 
      • Choose Databases –allows you to select another EBSCOhost database to search.
    • Type a search term or phrase in the <Find> field.

    • Separate keywords with AND, OR, or NOT.  Expand the search with synonyms by connecting words with the word "or".  Narrow the search by adding more terms and linking them with the word "and".  Combine search techniques: i.e., discipline AND (secondary schools OR high schools)
      If "and" and "or" are both used, the words linked by "or" need to be in parentheses).
    • Use the asterisk (*) to retrieve various endings. i.e., college* retrieves college OR colleges.
    • To keep words in a specific order, use the (w) within operator.  i.e., behavior w problems retrieves the word behavior always followed by the word problems.  
    • Click on <Search>.
    • Use <Advanced Search> when searching multiple entry fields, Boolean operators, field codes or multiple search terms.
      • Click <Advanced Search> from the Search window toolbar.
      • Enter your search terms in the “Find” box.
      • Enter additional search terms in the optional text boxes.

      • Use the pull-down menus to select Boolean operators to connect your search terms.  
      • Add limiters to narrow your search or expanders to broaden it. To select multiple terms from a list, press the Ctrl key (or Command key) and click the left mouse button. (If you change expanders while searching, this may affect your search history.)   In the example below I have limited results to journal articles.  If I wish to retrieve both journal articles and non-journal items (documents), highlight "None applied."  For additional examples, see the Limit the Current Search below.


      • Click <Search>.  




    • From the UCF Library homepage, click <Databases Titles A-L>
    • Select <E> from the alphabetic list at the top of the page
    • Click on <ERIC Thesaurus> from the database list
    • Follow the directions on the ERIC Search Wizard User Guide ( ) or

     SELECTING SEARCH TERMS  (Using the EBSCOhost Toolbar options)

    • Allows you to look up subject terms using the subject authority file, to perform journal searches or to do a new search.
    • Click on the thesaurus button on the green toolbar to select search terms from the subject authority file.
    • Enter your search terms, for example discipline, in the Browse for field. To search for a person's name, use the following format: last name, first name.
    • Click the Alphabetical radio button to list your search results in alphabetical order.  Click on the Relevancy Ranked radio button to list your search results according to relevance.  
    • Explode retrieves all references indexed to your term and its related narrower terms.
    • Click Browse to view your term(s) as they appear in the Subject Authority File. A results list is then displayed showing terms retrieved.

    • Select one or more terms by checking the box to the left of the term desired.  

    • After selecting the terms you wish to search, click on <Add> to add the selected term/s to the search. Your terms will appear in the Find box
    • Click on <Search> to retrieve records that match your search criteria.



    • Add additional terms to your search to help narrow or broaden it.  
    • Click <Search>   .


    • Use boolean operators when the search contains two or more aspects (terms)

    classroom discipline AND  secondary schools (retrieves records that contain both terms)

    secondary schools OR high schools (retrieves records that contain one or both terms)

    teachers NOT principals (retrieves records that contain the first term but not the second term) 

    • Special limiters for ERIC can be used by clicking in the appropriate box and highlighting the needed information.    Reports - Research enables you to retrieve quantitative reports and research reports.

    • Publication types: include dissertations./theses, journal articles, guides, historical material, legal/legislative materials, reports, conference papers, statistical data, and tests/evaluation instruments.

    • Journal or Document allows you to limit your select to either journal articles (designated as EJ) or documents (designated as ED).   If you want both, highlight "None Applied."

    ERIC Number allows you to search by ED (document) or EJ (journal) number.

    Journal Name allows you to limit your search results to articles found in a particular journal.

                 Audience limits articles to administration, community, parents, students, and teachers. 

    • Then click <Search>.


    • Select <Preferences>  from the toolbar to customize the display of the results.
      What to display (how many records at once)
      Display records with title only, brief records, or detailed records

    • Click <Apply> to set options.
    • View retrieved records by clicking on the citations you wish to view.


    • View retrieved records by clicking on each citation you wish to view or add them to your folder to view later.

    • Use the forward arrow, the back arrow, or the appropriate page number  to navigate through the citations.
    • Use the Page number link to open pages in the results list other than the next or previous one.
    • Display the full content of individual articles (including the full-text when available by clicking on  



        Sample of a pdf full text image



    • Use the down and up arrows on the right side of the screen to scroll down or up the page.




    • Examine the article citation immediately above this section.
    • The article title is: I Didn't Do Nothin'
    • Vavrus, Frances and Cole, KimMarie are the authors of the article.
    • The journal title is Urban Review.
    • Date of the article is June, 2002
    • V 34 is the volume number of this journal; n 2 is the issue number.
    • Article is found on pages 87-111.


    ·         When the item retrieved is not published in a journal but is a document published by a governmental agency, a conference proceeding, a report or a field study, it is called an ED document and designated with an ED prefix. ED documents may be available through the EDRS Web site.  If you click on the 
      (ERIC Document Retrieval Service) link, you may be able to obtain a full-text copy of the ED document.

    ·         If the ED document is available in full-text, you will see the the following message: 

        Then the document will load in pdf format.  You must have Adobe Acrobat to view the ED documents.  Only documents dated 1996 to present are available online.  

    ·         If you do not see the Adobe Acrobat PDF icon, this means that you must write down the ED number: i.e. ED411103, go to the ERIC microfiche section of the library (See library map of the third floor), pull the microfiche with the corresponding number in the upper right hand corner, and use the reader/printer to view the document.  To print all or part of the document, you will need to purchase a copy card.


    • Click on the folder  button to the right of each citation you wish to print or email.

    • The folder will change to

    • Once you have selected items or articles to save for printing or emailing, go back to the top of the page, and click on .  


    • Click on the folder  button to save results to the folder once you have selected items or articles to save for printing.  
    • The add folder name will switch to the word  Added. 
    • Click on the link near the tabbed toolbar at the top of the page to collect or manage search results during your session.  The Result List Items will display.  Remove any items you wish by clicking on Remove All.

    • Select <Print> from the delivery options on the screen
    • Select the <Estimate number of pages> link to estimate how many pages will be printed, emailed, or saved.
    • To continue, click <Print> as directed.
    • Results will be formatted for printing and displayed on your screen.
    • Click <Ok> to print items from the browser screen.


    • Follow the directions given above for printing until you get to the delivery option
    • Click on <Email>  to email item records to yourself.

    • Choose the format you want to receive: additional citation details, full text, or pdf
    • Type in the email address to which the citation/s or articles are being sent and a subject (if desired)
    • Click on <Send>

    Last updated: 03 June 2009
    Terrie K. Sypolt, Reference Librarian