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SPED 707: ERIC

Ways of finding research on special education topics

What It Is

ERIC is an index that covers the peer-reviewed education journals. It is managed by the U.S. Department of Education, and goes back to 1966. It's a great tool for finding out what's in the education literature. As an index, it does not provide the full text, but if you use the EBSCO version of ERIC, it's easy to jump to the full article where available to us.

How to Use It

One good way to start is by searching for two or three terms that fit your research question. Then click Limit To Peer Reviewed on the left. Try browsing until you see an article that looks useful. Look over the abstract to make sure. Then check the Descriptors for ways to focus your search. Descriptors are subject terms or tags that a human being has assigned to each article.  If you can translate your question into ERIC descriptors, you'll have more relevant articles in your search, and you'll come closer to finding everything relevant in the database,

How to Find It

Hunter Library homepage --> Databases --> Education --> ERIC - Education (EBSCO)

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Thesaurus

If you want to be really scrupulous in your searching, try the ERIC Thesaurus. It lets you browse all the ERIC descriptors and see related, broader, and narrower descriptors. Often there is more than one search that leads to relevant articles, and the Thesaurus helps you construct these alternate searches.