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Dissertation Research in Education: ERIC

This guide was created to teach doctoral students to select, search, evaluate and organize their dissertation research project.

About ERIC

Educational index of research documents, dissertations, journal articles, technical reports, program descriptions and evaluations, and curricular materials. Consists of the print indexes Resources in Education (RIE) and the Current Index to Journals in Education (CIJE).  ERIC contains more than 1,300,000 records and links to more than 330,000 full-text documents from ERIC back to 1966.

Eric indexing allows the user to view all values that occur in specified fields.  Access the index browse feature by clicking the green "Indexes" button on the upper portion of the search screen. Use the drop-down menu to choose an index to browse.

Finding Full-text in ERIC
While ERIC is an index (citation database), EBSCO provides seamless links to the full-text of a journal article if it is available in another EBSCO database (Academic Search Premier, PsycARTICLES or SocINDEX). 

IF you have a citation without full-text, use the library's Journal Finder to search MC journal holdings.

If the citation is for a book,  you will need to check the library catalog.

If you don’t find the full-text and you have the time, consider Interlibrary Loan.  The ILL forms are available on the library web site.

Eric Database Search Tips


  • Select the Advanced Search tab.
  • Enter your terms in the text box labeled Find or select a term from the thesaurus (see Using the ERIC Online Thesaurus descriptors).
  • If desired, limit your search by date published, journal or document, publication type, etc.
  • Click the Search button.

Use Boolean operators (and, or, not) and the search history on the Advanced Search screen to combine search terms.

Use limits whenever possible to narrow the search. 

Full Text
Select to limit results to only ERIC Digests. The results will not include full text journal articles or most of the ERIC documents.

Enter a magazine (journal) title to limit search results to articles in that magazine.

Date Published
Select a date or a date range to limit search results to specific dates.

Journal or Document
Select one to limit your search to either journal articles or ERIC documents.

Use field codes to customize your searches.

To search for an author enter au and the author's last name followed by the author's first initial or name. Use more than one variation of the author's name to conduct a complete search.

  • au bennett j
    Limits to records with Bennett J in the author field. 
  • au bennett john
    Limits to records written by John Bennett.
  • au bennett l or au bennett john
    Limits to records written by J Bennett or John Bennett.

To search for a word in the title enter ti before the phrase to be searched.

  • ti charter schools
    Limits to records with only charter schools in the title field. 

To search an official ERIC descriptor, enter de before the term.

  • de academic ability

Cited References

Using the Cited References to extend your research.  Can you say "free research?"

Reference browsing allows you to extend a search beyond the initial results list to records that are cited by an article or records that cite an article.



These citations can be accessed through an article's...

    Cited References (a list of records cited in your original article) or

    Times Cited (a list of records that cite your original article) links.