Searching ERIC

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What is ERIC?

The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) online library contains material from over 1,000 education-related journals and ERIC documents from 1966-present.

                  

Your Task

You will use ERIC to locate information on how mindfulness practices such as meditation can improve the academic achievement of elementary school students.

             

 

Keyword Searching

1 of 3Like with Google, ERIC allows you to conduct a simple keyword search.

Your Turn:

  • In the search box, enter meditation academic achievement
  • Then, click Search

Keyword Searching

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How many results did you get?

Keyword Searching

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ERIC has over 1.5 million items, so it's hard to believe that we got such few results. 

Although keyword searching can be effective, you can get much more out of ERIC by using the thesaurus.

The ERIC thesaurus contains descriptors which act like tags that help to describe an item such as an article.

Using the Thesaurus

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Your Turn:

  • Locate and click the Thesaurus link at the top of the page

      

 

Using the Thesaurus

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You are now in the Thesaurus and will use it to locate the correct descriptors for our research into meditation.

For this exercise you want to use the second search box:

         

Let's first find the correct descriptor for meditation.

Your Turn:

  • Enter meditation in the search box
  • Then, click Browse

Using the Thesaurus

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Take a look at your results.

Which term does ERIC use for meditation?

Using the Thesaurus

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Your Turn:

  • Click the link for Metacognition
  • Click Metacognition again

ERIC also includes scope notes that help to define the term.

You can also see broader terms and narrower terms that fall under this same term.

Using the Thesaurus

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Your Turn:

  • Check the box for Metacognition
  • Click the Add button to add the term to your search

      

 

Using the Thesaurus

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Note that DE "Metacognition was added to the main search box.

Now, let's locate the correct term for academic achievement

Your Turn:

  • Delete meditation from the Thesaurus search box
  • Enter academic achievement
  • Click Browse

Using the Thesaurus

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It looks like academic achievement is the term used in the thesaurus.

Your Turn:

  • Check the box next to academic achievement
  • Change the connector OR to AND since we want to include both terms in our search

   

  • Click Add

Using the Thesaurus

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Note that the term academic achievement along with the connector AND were added to your main search box.

Your Turn:

  • Click Search

Now how many results did you get?

Using Limiters

 

 

clear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evaluate Search Results

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1. Find the Publication Date slider located on the left-hand side of the page.

What is the earliest publication date in your result list?

Evaluate Search Results

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1. Skim the titles of your search results and locate the article Investigating Ghost Towns: Activities for Upper Elementary and Middle School Students.

2. Look at the icon to the left of the article title.

What type of source is this?

Evaluate Search Results

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ERIC contains a number of Source Types, including Research Reports.

1. Hover your cursor over the magnifying glass icon to read the article’s abstract:

cite

What are the first few words of the article’s abstract?

Evaluate Search Results

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After skimming the abstract, might this article (Investigating Ghost Towns: Activities for Upper Elementary and Middle School Students) be useful for your research project (history instruction for elementary school students)?

Evaluate Search Results

1. Click the link HTML Full Text to view the entirety of the article.

2. Scroll down the page to skim the article contents.

What is the first sentence under the section Capitalizing on Curiosity?

Use Bibliographies to Find More Articles

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You decide to use this article for your research paper, and you'd like to see if the journal that published this article has more like it.

1. Scroll back up to the top of the page until you reach the bibliographic information listed next to Title:

bibliographic info

What is the name of the journal in which this article is published?

Use Bibliographies to Find More Articles

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Next, click Advanced Search at the top of the page.

Note: Each time you return to Advanced Search, your previous limiters (such as Education Level and Audience) will be reset.

In the section titled Limit your results, locate the search box labeled Journal Name. In the search box, type in social studies. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and then click Search.

How many results did you get?

Locate Articles with ERIC Thesaurus

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You can also locate articles using the ERIC Thesaurus. The thesaurus contains a controlled vocabulary of subject terms that represent the content of the article. Each article indexed by ERIC is assigned a number of subject terms, and each subject term represents one concept.

Since one concept may be described by multiple words, subject terms help take out some of the guesswork involved in locating relevant articles.

Let’s try a new search.

Locate Articles with ERIC Thesaurus

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1. Scroll up to the top of the page and click Clear.

2. Click Thesaurus, located in the top left hand section of the page:

thesaurus

The search box at the top of the page searches the entire ERIC database. Since we’re just interested in thesaurus, we want to avoid that search box for now.

3. Locate the second search box labeled Browsing: ERIC -- Thesaurus. This is where we’ll browse for subject terms, which we can later use to search for articles:

thesaurus search box

Locate Articles with ERIC Thesaurus

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Your Educational Psychology instructor has assigned a research paper about a current societal problem in education. Your must find 3 – 5 scholarly articles to use for your paper.

After talking with your instructor, you decide to research the effectiveness of school intervention programs on bullying.

Based on your research question (Are intervention programs an effective way to address bullying in schools?) which of the following words best represent the major concepts of this topic?

 

Search Subject Terms

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Subject terms are listed in alphabetical order. The easiest way to search the ERIC thesaurus is to type in a term and hit Browse:

browse

1. Type bullying into the second search box and hit Browse. You will find that Bullying is indeed a subject term in the ERIC thesaurus.

2. Click Bullying to learn more about this subject term.

The Scope Note explains and clarifies what is meant and what is not meant in the definition of the term.

Broader and Narrower Terms refer to more general class or more specific subclasses of the term.

Related Terms list associative descriptors - terms that are related, but not quite synonymous.

What is the Scope Note for the subject term Bullying?

Search Subject Terms

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1. Check the box next to Bullying and then click Add:

add

This tells ERIC to search for articles in which Bullying is a key concept.

2. Look up at the first search box at the top of the page. You will find that DE “Bullying” now appears in the box. But before we do that search, we need to search the thesaurus for our other term.

3. Return to the second search box and delete bullying. Next, type in intervention and click Browse. Check the box next to Intervention.

We want to find articles that have both subject terms bullying and intervention. In order to do this, which of the following words should we use to connect these terms?

Search Subject Terms

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1. In the dropdown box labeled Select term, then add to search using, select the connector AND:

AND

2. Click Add.

What search string appears at the top of the page in the search box titled Searching: ERIC?

Search Subject Terms

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In the beginning of a subject term search, it’s better to start off with 1 – 2 terms and see what results you get. If necessary, you can always refine your search results by adding another subject term.

1. Click Search.

How many results did you get?

Keywords vs. Subject Terms

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You may wonder how searching by subject terms differs from keyword searching. Let’s find out!

1. At the top of the page hit Clear. This will erase the current search (DE "Bullying") AND (DE "Intervention") from the search box. (You will be able to easily retrieve this search later on.)

2. Type in bullying AND intervention. Click Search.

How many results did you get?

Keywords vs. Subject Terms

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Why do you think the keyword search yielded different results from the subject term search?

Retrieve Searches

Let’s return to the previous search.

1. Click Clear to remove this search from your page.

2. Click the link Search History (located near the top of the page):

search history

A new box will appear labeled Search History/Alerts.

3. Locate the search (DE “Bullying”) AND (DE “Intervention”).

4. Click the link View Results:

view results

NOTE: You may want to collapse the Search History box at this time. Scroll back up to the top of the page and locate the Search History link. To close out this area, click the downward arrow next to the link:

close search history

Refine Results by Publication Date and Peer Reviewed

This search retrieved records dating back to 1980 and includes peer reviewed articles. These articles are written for an academic or scholarly audience.

You need to find recent, scholarly articles. Let’s refine our results by Publication Date and Peer Reviewed.

1. In the area labeled Limit To, adjust the mini slider to find articles published between 2010-2011. Notice that the results are automatically updated.

publication update

2. Select the box next to Peer Reviewed.

How many results did you get?

Evaluate Your Results

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1. Scroll down to locate this article: Why Interventions to Reduce Bullying and Violence in Schools May (Or May Not) Succeed: Comments on This Special Section.

2. Look at the subject terms of this article (located next to Subjects). You will find the subject terms Bullying, Intervention, and several more ERIC Thesaurus terms that represent key concepts of the article.

What is the FIRST subject term listed for this article?

Evaluate Your Results

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Click on the title of the article to view the full record.

What is the name of the journal that published this article?

When was this article published?

Cite Your Source

After reading Why Interventions to Reduce Bullying and Violence in Schools May (Or May Not) Succeed you decide this article will be a good source for your research paper, but you’re not sure how to cite it.

1. Locate the vertical toolbar located on the right side of the page 

2. Click the Cite icon:

cite

What is the first citation format on the list?

NOTE: It's very important to double-check each citation to make sure it has been formatted correctly. Details such as capitalization, punctuation, italicization, or date order may be incorrect.

3. Click the X in the top right hand corner to close out the Citation Format box:

close citation

Find More Articles

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You would like find out if there are any more articles by the author Peter Smith about this research topic.

1. Scroll up to the top of the screen and click the link Advanced Search.

2. In the search box located under (DE “Bullying”) AND (DE “Prevention”) type in smith, peter.

3. In the dropdown box on the right select AU Author.

4. Click Search.

How many results did you get?

Find More Articles

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How might you find more scholarly articles on your research topic (Are intervention programs an effective way to combat bullying in schools?)

 

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have now completed the University of Arizona Libraries’ ERIC tutorial.

 

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