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Education : EDF 580 Advanced Human Growth and Development

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ERIC Searches

Getting Started - Search ERIC Using ERIC Descriptors

To plan your search using ERIC Descriptors, we recommend that you follow these steps:

  1. Describe the topic in your own words.
  2. Divide the topic into major concepts.
  3. Use the Thesaurus to locate the appropriate Descriptors for each concept of the topic.
  4. Add the Descriptor(s) to your search.

If you'd like to take a shortcut, you might try simply doing a keyword search, retrieving a record that looks relevant to your topic, and then examining the Descriptors. You can even click on one of the Descriptors to start a new search.

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What Can I Find in ERIC?


Materials in ERIC are divided into two broad categories. These two groups of materials have different codes.

EJ:  Journal articles. Articles are sometimes available full-text via the Carmichael Library's many databases. Articles not held by the library may be obtained by using our ILLiad interlibrary loan service.

ED:  Eric documents. ERIC  documents (ED) comprise many material types including conference proceedings, scholarly meetings, government documents, theses, dissertations, government reports, audiovisual media, and more. ERIC documents are freely available in several ways: the Carmichael Library has a complete run of ERIC documents (1966-2004) on microfiche on the second floor. ERIC documents published after 1993 are digitized and freely available online.

 ERIC document types

Photo Credit: Iowa Digital Library, Creative Commons license

Education Databases

ERIC Subject Headings to Search

Sample Descriptors Found in the ERIC Thesaurus

  • Behavior Development
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Counseling
  • Developmental Delays
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Individual Development
  • Instruction
  • Intellectual Development
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Item Response Theory
  • Learning Theories
  • Maturity (Individuals)
  • Psychometrics
  • Role Conflict
  • Self Actualization
  • Social Psychology

ERIC Thesaurus Search Tutorial