ERIC was begun in 1966 and is maintained by the U.S. Department of Education. Essentially, ERIC acts as a clearinghouse to collect and disseminate education-related information. The ERIC database has over 1 million abstracts of documents and journal articles on education research and practice. This huge database consists of two parts:

  • Resources in Education (RIE). These are documents such as papers, dissertations, theses, conference proceedings, etc. There is no full text, only citations and abstracts. These documents are indicated by ED in the database.
  • Current Index to Journals (CIJE). These are citations and abstracts from over 750 professional journals. These are indicated by EJ in the database.

The database also includes ERIC digests, 2-page research syntheses covering the most timely and popular subjects. There are about 1600 digests available. Note also that about 1000 lessons plans are available.

You can access ERIC from the library web page at http://www.vanguard.edu/library

1. Choose either simple or advanced search. If you are searching multiple terms, the advanced search may be the best choice.

2. If you want to search only for journals, check the box next to Journal Articles.

3. Note that you can also indicate dates you wish to search.

4. If you want to search a phrase, enclose it in single quotation marks.

5. Author searches should be entered Lastname, Firstname. Gardner, Howard If you don’t know the first name completely, you can use truncation (Gardner, H*)

6. As you search, note also the descriptors (subject headings ERIC uses) in each citation, which can lead you to other keywords to use in searching.

6. The list of hits is ranked according to relevance, which gives each citation a score according to how pertinent the document will be to your search.

Note: There is no way to tag items to view again, but if you use the ERIC in the FirstSearch database, this option is available, plus the option of emailing records to your email address.