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ERIC/Professional Development Collection: A Librarians Guide. Dan Chaney Humanities and Social Sciences 2004. What Is ERIC?.

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eric professional development collection a librarians guide

ERIC/Professional Development Collection:A Librarians Guide

Dan Chaney

Humanities and Social Sciences


what is eric
What Is ERIC?
  • The Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) is a national information system designed to provide ready access to an extensive body of education-related literature.
    • Established in 1966
    • ERIC is supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement and is administered by the National Library of Education.
  • The ERIC system is composed of 16 subject-specific clearinghouses, associated adjunct clearinghouses, and support components.
  • The heart of the ERIC system is the ERIC database, the world’s largest source of education information.
    • One of the most widely used databases in the world.
how is eric put together
How Is ERIC Put Together?
  • Composed of 16 Clearinghouses, which are responsible for identifying literature in specific areas, such as Educational Management, Higher Education or Counseling and Student Services, and they catalog, index and abstract the documents for the database.
  • There are also 11 Adjunct Clearinghouses which overlap the broader Clearinghouses. Examples include: Child Care, Clinical Schools and ESL Literacy – these serve to “fill in the gaps.”
the eric database
The ERIC Database
  • ERIC provides access to information from journals included in the Current Index of Journals in Education (CIJE) and Resources in Education Index (RIE).
  • Coverage starts before 1966 in Professional Development Collection (EBSCO), but ERIC coverage doesn’t start until about 1966.
  • Over 2,000 titles covered
  • 983,000 records
  • 33,000 records added yearly
  • OSU Library provides access to two different versions of ERIC: FirstSearch and EBSCO.
eric composition
ERIC Composition

ERIC indexes and abstracts two types of material:

  • ERIC Journals (EJ): coverage of over 800 journal titles, some full-text
  • ERIC Documents (ED): Non-journal research, including project reports, lesson plans, curriculum, guides, and conference papers.
    • ERIC Documents are available in MMR, and you can exclude them from searches.
thesaurus of eric descriptors
Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors
  • There is a thesaurus of controlled vocabulary available at Reference Desk (025.337 T413).
  • To be honest, the online ERIC Thesaurus is more likely to be used.
  • Be aware that there is no “combined thesaurus” for both ERIC and the Professional Development Collection. If you want to use an electronic thesaurus, you’ll need to only search ERIC.
eric changes
ERIC Changes
  • 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.
  • Beginning in January 2004 and until the new ERIC model for acquiring education literature is developed later in 2004, no new materials will be received and accepted for the database. When the new model is ready later in 2004, the new ERIC contractor will communicate with publishers, education organizations, and other database contributors to add publications and materials released from January 2004 forward.
  • ERIC clearinghouses, including AskERIC (the free one), are out of commission as of now.
so has this affected eric
So, Has This Affected ERIC?
  • Too early to tell.
  • I checked ERIC this week to see if it was indexing any material from 2004. No 2004 material in ERIC.
  • 2004 material was appearing in the Professional Development Collection, however.
  • It’s quite likely that ERIC will not be updated for much of 2004, making the PDC more important for education research.
professional development collection
Professional Development Collection
  • 550 full text journals, including more than 350 peer-reviewed titles
  • Claims to be most comprehensive and most valuable collection of full text education journals in the world.
  • In addition to full text, indexing and abstracts are provided for more than 800 journals.
  • Full text information in the Professional Development Collection dates as far back as 1965.
search basics
Search Basics
  • Boolean operators: and, or, not
  • Parenthesis can be used to control a search query.
  • Truncate with * (educat*)
  • Wildcard with ? (wom?n)
eric search limits
ERIC Search Limits
  • Limits for ERIC Searching Include:
    • Peer Reviewed
    • Full Text
    • Date of Publication
    • Journal articles or ERIC documents
    • Education Level
    • Publication Type
    • Intended Audience
    • Government Level
    • Country of Publication
professional development collection limits
Professional Development Collection Limits
  • Publication Type (pamphlet, periodical, book)
  • Document Type (include, but are not limited to: article, book review, case study, literature review, and recipes)
a simple search
A Simple Search
  • Suppose we have a student interested in mainstreaming
    • Mainstreaming as a Keyword = 8960 citations
    • Mainstreaming as a Descriptor = 8168 citations
    • Mainstreaming as a Major Descriptor = 4965 citations
  • We can limit to articles dealing with Elementary Education with the Educational Level limit in ERIC = 1354 citations.
  • If we limit to Journal Articles, there are 986 citations.
  • If we add in case studies, we’re left with 33 citations.
another search
Another Search…
  • Suppose a researcher is interested in school violence(this is a topic that is just as likely to be used by an education major as a sociology or psychology major)
    • “school violence” (as a phrase) = 1736 citations
    • school and violence = 5866 citations
    • “school violence” (phrase) as a descriptor = 1039 citations
    • school and violence as a descriptor = 3158 citations
    • Why the difference? School Violence is a subject heading in the PDC, not in ERIC.
  • If we are interested in journal articles, we are left with 2155 citations.
  • If we want to focus on early childhood education, we’re down to 1125 citations.
  • Remember that education is a social science and as such, you may want to search PsycINFO and Sociological Abstracts (in addition to ERIC) for other disciplinary perspectives on education-related topics.