Conducting Electronic Research

ERIC-Education Resource Information Center

Steps to an ERIC search

Step One

ERIC is a public-access database of journal and non-journal education literature. It is sponsored by IES, the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences and its Web site contains more than 1.2 million citations dated between 1966 and the present.

The screen-shot below illustrates the first step in a basic ERIC search for works by John Steinbeck. Feel free to click on the visit the database page at the website for Colorado State University's Morgan Library and select E from the alphabet menu that appears, scroll down to ERIC and become the researcher yourself or, just click ERIC here to do the same.

As you can see, the researcher has selected the Basic Search tab and entered the author's name in the search field.

Screen shot of ERIC database

Step Two

This screen-shot illustrates the ERIC results page returned after submitting the request.

Take a moment and study the page. The Search returned 26 results. Notice all the different pieces of publication information provided. Especially note the "descriptors" section. There will be some good subject-heading suggestions to add to your keyword search criteria.

Screen shot of ERIC database

Step Three

This screen-shot illustrates what happens when you click the Search Within Results button at the top of the page.

As you can see, a handy side-bar allows you to further shape the criteria of your search. The researcher has entered one of the descriptors from the basic search into the keyword field and selected a publication type as well as some thesaurus choices (not visible in the screen-shot).

Screen shot of ERIC database

Step Four

This screen-shot displays the results returned after the request has been submitted. The results page now displays 1-2 of 2 sources that fit your previous search criteria.

Screen shot of ERIC database

Step Five

The final screen-shot shows the browser window that appears if you elect to conduct an Advanced Search rather than a Basic Search.

Notice the helpful Boolian search tips located in the upper right-hand corner. The advanced search option operates in much the same way as the keyword search option on SAGE, the online library catalog at Colorado State University's Morgan Library.

Screen shot of ERIC database

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Introduction