To search ERIC, I will need to start at
the Rod Library Homepage.
I will then select Databases A-Z under Journal and
Magazine Articles (Panther Prowler) from the Main
I can then find the ERIC (EBSCO) database I need and
This is the search screen for ERIC. The
top part is the search window and the bottom part
includes ways to limit your search plus the search
ERIC is an database. Searching is
similar on all databases.
To select more than one database to
search at one time, I could, at this time, click on the
Choose Databases tab at the top of the screen.
I would then select any databases I would like to search
at once from the listing.
Subject (descriptor) Searching
For this demonstration, I will be using only ERIC
and looking for information on the effects of
Reading Aloud on Reading Achievement.
I know that ERIC has something called
“descriptors” which are similar to subject
headings. Since I do not know what the
descriptors are for my search topic, I will use the
ERIC Thesaurus to find out.
I can click on the Thesaurus link at the top of the
I will now type in reading aloud to find out if this is a
recognized descriptor term or what term I can use
Clicking on the Browse button has taken me to the area
of the Thesaurus where reading aloud would be if it
was a recognized descriptor.
I can look at the previous screen to make sure my term
is not there. It is not listed as a descriptor, although,
Reading Aloud to Others is listed as a descriptor. I
will click on that.
After reading the Scope Note for this term, I realize that
I really need the descriptor oral reading.
I will check mark Oral Reading and click on the Add
button to include this descriptor in my search.
My new search term has been added to the search box
at the top. I will search for this now by clicking on
I now have a set of 1587 entries with the oral reading
descriptor (or field DE as it appears in the entry). I still
need to narrow my search further by adding my second
I will go back (by clicking the Back button on my
browser) to the thesaurus and type in my second term:
Reading achievement appears in the descriptor list
as a recognized descriptor.
A quick check of the Scope Note tells me that this is the
descriptor I want.
I can now Add my new term to my search by check
marking my new term and clicking on the Add button.
I will now Search for my new term.
I now have another even larger set with 8508 entries.
However, I want all of my results to have both search
terms: Oral Reading and Reading Achievement.
These entries have one term OR the other but not
necessarily both terms.
I will change the Boolean operator OR in the search
box to AND and click on Search again.
I am now down to 153 entries! The Boolean operator
OR broadens a search while the operator AND narrows
This set may be further narrowed by adding my last
keyword term effect to the search with the truncation
symbol * to pick up entries with either effect or effects,
I have now narrowed my set down to a more
manageable size of 57 entries.
I may have eliminated some possible entries by using
the term effect only. I could use other terms with
similar meanings such as influence. I will add this term
using the operator OR and search again.
I have added 7 more entries to my set by searching for
entries with either
effect* or influence.
My professor has requested that I have at least 10
journal articles for this paper. I will use the limiting
feature to find these. I will click on the Refine Search
tab in the middle of the screen.
I will scroll down and find the area where I can select
Journal or Document and select Journal Articles
from that drop-down menu.
There are other ways to limit on this page but I am not
going to do that at this time. Now, I will click on Search
to see if my set of 57 entries contains at least 10
I have now narrowed my set to 24 journal articles. The
next step is to check whether I can use these and
whether they are available in the Rod Library.
It appears as though there may be several ways in
which I can get these articles. #3 is a PDF I can print
out here while #5 is available as an HTML document.
I know what PDFs and HTML articles are but what
about the articles that say “Check SFX for availablity?”
I will click on that phrase on #4 and see.
I have been taken to the SFX screen which indicates
that article #4 is available in Education
Full Text database. I will click on that link to find it.
The (SFX) link enables this database to be linked
to other databases. will take me directly to the
article I am looking for in some databases, while in
others, I will be taken only to the search screen for that
database. For these, I will need to look for the article
I will return to the listing of articles by closing the SFX
screen. I am now ready to look at more entries.
After clicking on Check SFX For Availability on #11 in
the search results, I find that no electronic copies are
available. Can I get this article somehow?
I can click on Library Catalog (UNISTAR) to see if this
library has this article in paper.
I am in luck! This library has this periodical in paper at
call number LB 1027.55 S368 But where in the library
is that located?
A quick look back at the SFX screen tells me that I need
1992, volume 7, issue 1.
I will now go back to the UNISTAR record for this
periodical and see if this library has volume 7. The
Library Has statement says that this library started
taking this periodical with vol. 7 and still takes it. The
location is UNI Periodicals which are on level 1 of the
I will now look at #14 in my results list and click on
Check SFA for availability.
This entry appears to have no electronic copy nor is it in
UNISTAR. Is there a way to get this?
Yes. You can open a browser and click on Books and
Other Materials (UNISTAR).
Next, select the tab Borrow from other Libraries.
On this page, you would select Journal Article and fill
in the requested information. The article will be found in
another library and sent to you.
If you have any further questions on searching ERIC,
please stop at the Reference Desk. We will be happy to