ERIC Basics

[Intro music.] When you encounter ERIC’s advanced search screen, you’ll see many more boxes than you are used to in Google. You can do a search that’s almost as simple as a Google search. We can type dyslexia in the top box and hit search. This finds almost 3000 articles in ERIC. Typically, however, you are researching a more specific topic—such as, How does dyslexia affect a learner’s self-esteem? You may have searched in Google by typing in a full question – this won’t work well in library databases. To answer this question in ERIC, pick out the main ideas. On the advanced screen, we will devote one line to each idea. So dyslexia on the first line and, “self esteem” on the second line. The two lines are linked with AND – this means that both terms must be in articles you find. We’ve placed quote marks around “self esteem” to ensure that we find only that exact phrase… the word esteem must follow right after the word self. Now your search produces a much smaller list of articles that specifically address issues of self-esteem in dyslexics. Let’s suppose, however, that you are also interested in how dyslexia affects a learner’s “self concept” or the learner’s confidence. We can add these alternate ideas to the search by placing those terms on the same line as “self esteem” and linking them with the word OR. By providing alternate terms for the second idea, you increase the number of articles found. You can further refine your results using the side bar… Perhaps you want only scholarly journals… Or only recent articles. To decide which articles to read, scan the list using the both article titles and journal titles as clues. Use the abstract to further investigate what the article is about. This short description of the article saves time as you can then quickly rule out some articles. The full text of articles you want to read may be just a click or two away. Sometimes the article is right in the ProQuest ERIC database. Other times you might use the Findtext+ button to retrieve the full text article from the library’s other electronic resources. If these don’t work there are other ways to find full text articles. To learn more time-saving research tricks see additional video tutorials in this series. [Exit music.]

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