This video demonstrates how to search in the ERIC- ProQuest database for education research.

Video Transcript:

This video demonstrates how to search in the ERIC database available through ProQuest. The ERIC database is sponsored through the U.S. Department of Education and is the biggest index of educational journals and other related educational resources.

When searching in a database like ERIC, you need to break your research question into the key concepts or keywords.

For example, the database won’t understand if you type in the whole phrase “What types of early intervention programs are available for children with autism?”

Instead, you need to break up that phrase into the most important concepts, such as “early intervention,” “children, and “autism.”

Once you have your main concepts, brainstorm some synonyms, acronyms, or related terms to expand your search so you can retrieve as many results as possible.

For example, you might search for “autism” OR “autism spectrum disorder” OR “ASD.” By connecting your search terms with “OR,” you are telling the database to search for articles that mention either of those terms. Using “OR” will yield more results. (OR = MORE) Also, put quotation marks around phrases in order to keep those words together. You can type an asterisk at the end of a root word to have the database find alternate variations of that word. For example, a search for “child*” will find results that mention child, children, and childhood.

Conversely, you can narrow down your search by using “AND” to connect your keywords, which means that both terms must be present in the article.

Be careful not to add too many search terms all at once because that may cause the database to misinterpret your search. Also, “one search does not find all” so you may need break your topic into smaller pieces and try searching using different combinations of keywords and related terms.

Before you click search, consider limiting to scholarly journals and peer reviewed articles in order to find high quality research. You can also select an education level such as “early childhood education” if that is your arear of focus.

Once you get your results, you can use the panel on the side to help narrow down your results. You can adjust the date range to find current articles and you can look at the recommended subject headings to help you brainstorm more keywords to try using. You can also limit your results to research reports by clicking on document type then choosing the 143 code. Please note that the results are not all primary research, so you will still need to evaluate the relative merits of each article that you find.

Each article on the results list includes a link to its reference list so you can view the sources that were used, as well as a link to how many times the article was cited by others in newer research to help you determine its impact.

If you do not see a link to the full text of an article that you want on the list, click on the “Find It” button to see if it is available in another library database.

Remember, if you have any questions about using ERIC, please ask a librarian for assistance.