ERIC Searching



What is ERIC?

ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center): ERIC is the world's largest index to journal articles and research reports in the field of education. It includes material written from 1966 to the present. ERIC provides citations to a wide variety of information, including journal articles, curriculum and teaching guides, conference reports, and dissertations.


GALILEO contains two versions of ERIC: EBSCOhost and the free government website (


GALILEO listing of ERIC databases


ERIC Documents (ED) vs. Journal Articles (EJ)

When you search ERIC, you need to be aware of two abbreviations you will see in the search results records. Each document or article indexed by ERIC is assigned a six-digit ERIC Number that is preceded by either:

  • ED (ERIC Document): These are non-journal items, such as project reports, lesson plans, curriculum guides, and conference papers. These are referred to as ERIC microfiche documents, because they were originally only available in microfiche format. The entire ERIC Document collection is located in the brown microfiche cabinets on the second floor of Odum Library, and microfiche reader/printers are available.


  • EJ (ERIC Journal article): ERIC indexes articles that have been published in over 800 professional journals. The EBSCOhost version contains some full-text articles (as either Full Text from ERIC or Linked Full Text).

Keyword Searching

In all versions of ERIC, you can search by combining your concepts with and or or.  Remember to put quotes around phrases:


"eating disorders" and teenagers


Descriptor Searching: Using the ERIC Thesaurus

The ERIC Thesaurus is an alphabetical listing of the descriptors, (or controlled vocabulary or subject headings), that are assigned to each article and document indexed by ERIC. An indexer reads each article and determines its subject content. S/he then assigns a number of descriptors to the article. In a well-designed thesaurus, the same term is always used for the same concept. Although various authors discussing the holding back of students may talk about "retention", "repeating a grade" or "holding back", any article which discusses this topic will be assigned the ERIC Descriptor "grade repetition".

Rather than guessing at what to type in, look up terms you're thinking of using in the Thesaurus. It will either confirm that your term or phrase is an official descriptor, or it will give you the preferred ERIC descriptor.

Several versions of the ERIC Thesaurus are available:

  1. An online version is available from the ERIC website (

Shows the ERIC webiste interface with the Thesaurus tab highlighted.

  1. In the EBSCOhost version of ERIC available in GALILEO, click on the Thesaurus link at the top of the screen.

Shows the EBSCOhost version of ERIC with the Thesaurus link highlighted.


  1. A print version, Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors, is kept at the Reference Desk.

Searching for Research Reports

Research Reports are articles and documents that report on the results of qualitative and quantitative studies, questionnaires, surveys, and case methods.

  • ERIC Website:
    1. Click on the ERIC Search button.
    2. Click on the Advanced Search tab.
    3. From the Publication Type(s): select the Reports - Research option.
Shows the ERIC website with ERIC Search tab, Advanced Search tab, and Publication Types option highlighted.
  • EBSCOhost version of ERIC:
    1. Click on the Advanced Search link in the green bar at the top of the screen.
    2. Type your search statement into the first search box.
    3. Scroll down to the section titled Limit Your Results.
    4. From the menu next to Publication Type, choose Reports - Research.
Shows the EBSCOhost version of ERIC with Publication Type, Reports-Research.

Getting Your Hands on ERIC Documents & ERIC Journal Articles

ERIC Documents published since 1993 are available full-text . Many documents from before 1993 have also been digitized (approximately 55%). Due to difficulty securing copyright, the remainder have yet to be digitized.

For on-campus students, the entire ERIC Document collection is located in the brown microfiche cabinets, located on the first floor of Odum Library, and microfiche reader/printers are available.

For off-campus students, ERIC Documents that are not available full-text can be requested via ILLiad ( Before you request an ERIC Document via ILLiad, be aware of its length—ERIC Documents can vary in length from ¼ a page to over 500 pages.  For items over 100 pages, it can take over a week for delivery.

To get an ERIC Journal Articles, follow the steps to Getting Your Hands on the Articles.