ERIC - an education index
EBSCOHost
This page reviewed on December 10, 2012
Search Features Chart

Search Basics

Didn't Find
Enough
Index to Search Examples
And | Or
Article/Document Title | Articles Only | Audience | Author
Document Number | Documents Only | Journal Title
Proximity | Research Articles, etc
Subject Terms | Truncation

Save money - e-mail your Search Results

Found too
Much

BASIC:
AND
children and violence and television
Explanation

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Find More
BASIC:
OR
Use similar terms - link them with OR
(children or child) and (violence or aggression) and television
Explanation

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Find More
TRUNCATION
and
WILDCARDS

TRUNCATION

Find the ROOTof a word - end it with * (an asterisk).

child* - finds child, childhood, children, childs

child* and (violence or aggression) and (television or tv)

WILDCARD

The question mark symbol ? is similar to the truncation symbol.
However, rather than representing many letters, it is used to represent one letter at a time.

wom?n - retrieves - woman and women
cat? - retrieves - cats
bab??? - retireves babs, baby, babies and babble but not babbles
Explanation

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Find More :
USE FEWER CONCEPTS

Decreasing the number of concepts will increase the number of articles
child* and (violen* or aggress*) and (television or tv)

Explanation

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Find Less:
USE MORE CONCEPTS

Increasing the number of concepts will decrease the number of articles
child* and (violen* or aggress*) and (television or tv) and parent*

Explanation

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Find Less:
Proximity
Searching

Designate how close to each other you want your concepts - instead of AND use N# or W# where # can be from 1 to 50.

child* n10 television w10 violence

Explanation

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Find Less:
Limit Search
to words in ARTICLE TITLE
ti(child* and violence and (television or tv))

Note that the parenthesis match, i.e. there are as many open as closed parenthesis.
If you use parenthesis they must match
.

Explanation

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SUBJECT TERMS:
Limit Search
to words in DESCRIPTOR FIELD
Descriptors

su(autism and mainstreaming)
or
su(autism) and su( mainstreaming )


Identifiers

id(sample)
are used in the same manner.

Note that the parenthesis match, i.e. there are as many open as closed parenthesis.
If you use parenthesis they must match
.

Explanation

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Limit Search to a
SPECIFIC JOURNAL
child* and (violence or aggression) and (television or tv)
and JN(journal of social psychology)
Explanation

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Limit Search
to SPECIFIC AUTHOR
child* and violence and (television or tv) and AU(Huston Aletha)

Note. Authors' names may be written:
lastname firstname or firstname lastname

Explanation

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Limit Search to periodical articles or ERIC documents.
a. The example below will retrieve only periodical articles.
children and television and violence and TY ej

b. The example below will retrieve only peer reviewed periodical articles.
children and television and violence and TY ej and RV T

c. The example below will retrieve only ERIC Documents.
children and television and violence and TY ed

Explanation

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Limit Search to articles with
selected features.
FORM: (ZT "reports - research")

List of selected features:
  • To be updated with other Publication Types)

Explanation

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Document Number
If you have the document number EJ###### or ED###### you can locate the citation in ERIC.

FORM:

AN ######

...

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Target Audience

FORM:

AG administrators

Other audiences are:
  • administrators
  • community
  • counselors
  • media-staff
  • parents
  • policymakers
  • practitioners
  • researchers
  • students
  • support-staff
  • teachers

...

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ERIC - Didn't Find Enough Articles - Need More. Need Less

And | Concepts |

You may have selected a topic about which little has been written.
Reduce the number of concepts. Instead of writing about how violence on television affects children - write about how violence in any form affects children: violence and children.


Or

Try to add additional but similar terms. Children might also include adolescent, youngster, young adult and child. Add these terms to your search using Or.

Truncate

Truncation, in principle, is similar to using OR. It finds similar terms by using the root of a word. In our example, Child is the root of children - childs - childhood - childlike. Searching a database using the truncation feature will find all words which begin with the root preceeding the truncation symbol. Word Proximity

If you used NEAR (terms must be found in the same sentence) to require that your search words or concepts be close to one another. Try searching for them further apart by using WITH (words must be in the same field). This may retrieve some articles which are not relevant to your topics but it will also likely retrieve additional useful articles.

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ERIC - Found too Many Articles - Need Less. Need More

And | Concepts |

You may have selected a topic about which a great deal has been written. Examine your subject and consider a narrower topic.

Add an additional concept. Instead of writing about how violence on television affects children - write about the role of the parent in the matter of television violence and its effect, if any, on children:

violence and children and television and parent.

Or

Examine the terms in the OR statement. Remove those which are less directly related to your subject. While the concept of Children might include adolescent, youngster, young adult and child. You might remove the terms adolescents or young adults, which imply older children.

Truncate

Truncation, in principle, is similar to using OR. However, there may be words with the same root which are not as related to a topic as we would like. Don't truncate. Spell out the terms needed and use Or.

Word Proximity

If you used WITH (words must be in the same field) to require that your search words or concepts be further from one another, try searching for them nearer together by using NEAR (terms must be found in the same sentence).

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ERIC - Using AND

children and violence and television


The command AND requires that the words on either side of it be somewhere in any articles retrieved; but, the words need not be close to each other nor do they have to be discuss the relationship between them.

If you find that the articles retrieved are not related to your topics because your concepts are discussed in different parts of the article try using Word Proximity.

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ERIC - FINDING MORE USING OR

OR allows the addition of similar words (synonyms).
This increases the change of finding additional articles.

(children or child) and (violence or aggression) and television

Step 1 - For each word in the search statement list additional words with the same or similar meanings.

a - Child, childhood, adolescent - etc. are similar in meaning to our original word children
b - Repeat this process for each word in the original search statement.
Step 2 - Construct a new search using "OR" (children or adolescent) and (violence or aggression) and (television or tv)
.

Rule 1. Words connected with OR must be enclosed in (parenthesis) as illustrated.

Rule 2. OR requires only one term to be present - more than one may be present but only one is required.

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ERIC - FINDING MORE USING TRUNCATION.

Instead of searching for children - search for the root of the word child. This is done by adding the truncation symbol immediately after the root.

Note that this search is a work-saving version of:

child or childs or childhood or children or childrens

Either search will find the related words - child, children, childs, childhood and will likely increase the number of records found.

Some cautions and some additional information concerning TRUNCATION.

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ERIC - Limit the search to the title.

The rationale for a title search is if the words or concepts are found in the title, there is a high probability that the book or article will be directly related to the words being searched

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ERIC - Find articles by a specific author.

Authors will frequently write more than one article on a subject. If you find an author who has written an article you particularly like, search for additional articles by that author. They may be related to your topic.

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ERIC - Find articles from a specific journal or magazine.

Assignments are frequently constructed suggesting that certain periodicals, journals or magazines would be more helpful than others. And, in your studies you may find particular periodicals more useful than others. This search demonstrates how you can limit a search to a specific periodical, journal or magazine title.

Because you are limiting to only one title using this method you may find you have to reduce the number of concepts or increase the use of OR.

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ERIC - Word Proximity

The rationale for requiring words to be close to one another is that there is more likely to be a discussion of the relationship between those words than if they were far apart.

If the word television is found only in the first paragraph of a 10 page article and the word violence is only in the last paragraph of this article it is unlikely that there will be any discussion of violence. By requiring these two words to be closer to each other television near violence (either word may come first) there is a much, much better chance of there being a discussion of television violence.

Decreasing the distance between words will decrease the number of articles found.
Increasing the distance between words will increase the number of articles found.

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ERIC - Limit to Subject Terms (Descriptors).

In the example shown both autism and mainstreaming are subject terms (descriptors).

Every article and document in the ERIC database is described using a variety of subject terms (descriptors). Using these terms can increase the relevancy of article retrieved. Note - it will also reduce the number of articles retrieved.

Subject terms (descriptors) are found in the descriptors section of the retrieved document. Click here to see an example of where they appear in the record. Terms in this section are used only after a lengthly review process.

Subject terms with an asterisk are major subject headings - meaning the subject is of major importance in the article.

In many cases articles/documents are also assigned Identifiers. Identifiers are used for terms in the field of education which are new and or not be as widely accepted as descriptors.

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ERIC - Limit to only Periodical Articles or Documents.

For any number of reasons it may be necessary to limit your search to either Eric Documents or Eric Journal Articles. One of the most common is that a professor demands it.

To avoid the frustration of finding documents you wish were articles use the limiting command.

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ERIC - Limit to Articles with Special Features.

ERIC includes in its description of articles special descriptions to alert readers whether the article is a research article, a classroom guide, or heavy with statistics.

List of selected features:

You may also wish to consider the use of the target audience command.

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Printing and Emailing procedures for EBSCO Host

Conduct a search as indicated in "Basic Searching" or "Advanced Searching". This will produce a list of articles as illustrated in Box 1. If the list is more than 100 articles you may wish to narrow your search to produce a shorter but more relevant list of articles.

If the list of articles is a long one you may wish to make a selection of articles to avoid filling your mailbox with unnecessary or unwanted articles. Select an article by placing a check in the box to the left of the article title. (Clicking a second time will remove the check from the box.) Moving from page to page does not erase the check marks. When completed with checking articles click on the Print/e-mail/Save box. This will bring-up Box 2. Box 1

Box 2

EBSCO has entered default values for many selections and in most cases they can be left as is. However, make sure the selection in 5 is what you want.

To store our research results please consider using RefWorks It not only stores your research results it will help you create correct citations.

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Use the back button at the top of the screen to return to the page you wish.















Truncation & Wildcard Symbols

The dangers of truncation.
Take the word cat. Truncating cat to find cats would also get catfood, caterpillar, catalog -- a -- CATASTROPHE.

The solution is to use the Wildcard symbol.

This limits the truncation to one letter - in this case cats.

The wildcard symbol can also be used internally: - wom? n finds woman and women.

? can be used in multiples. Take baby - - bab??? - finds baby, babs, babes and babies

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This page is maintained by P. Charles Livermore
Reference Librarian, St. John's University, New York.
8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
718 990 5330
It was last updated on December 10 2012.
Suggestions and corrections are welcome and should be sent to him.