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PS4363 - Advanced Research Methods for Psychology

resources to use to develop and complete the research project as well as identify articles to use in article asssignments


Search these databases to find articles, books, videos, and more on psychology topics.

What is ERIC?

The ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) database is a portal to education research including journal articles, books, conference papers, dissertations, and more.  The US Department of Education maintains ERIC.  

The two main categories included in ERIC are:

  • Journals (EJ) - some full text articles, other may need to be requested by Interlibrary Loan.
  • Documents (ED) - variety of sources including author submissions

ERIC uses Descriptors to help users find materials that have the same subject but may use different terminology.  You will find Descriptors with their definitions and related terms in the ERIC Thesaurus.  

Tips for Finding Articles in ERIC

How to: 1) conduct a basic keyword search in ERIC and 2) interpret your search results.

Example 1 - Keyword Search

A keyword search is a great way to begin your first search.

In this search, I want to find articles that discuss self esteem issues in college students. I've decided to limit to peer reviewed journals. You would bring up the ERIC database type in "self esteem and college students" in the search box.  Then, in the Search Options section, select the Peer Reviewed box and select Journal Articles (EJ) to limit to journals.

ERIC databases keyword search screenshot
Ex. 1 -ERIC keyword search limited to peer-reviewed journal articles


Example 2 - Results

Results of a search for the phrases "self esteem" and "college students".  Click on the article title to read the abstract and to view the complete article if it is available.  The "Subject" words under an article are important to note since they offer suggestions of other terms you could search to find related articles.

ERIC database search results screenshot
Ex. 2 - search results from ERIC


Use the ERIC Thesaurus

I recommend using the ERIC Thesaurus to improve your search.  The Thesaurus lists all the formal "descriptors" used by the ERIC staff. These subject words bring together articles with similar ideas, but with different terminology, under one term.  

This page gives you tips on how to 1) find the best search term(s) with the Thesaurus and 2) add multiple terms to your search.

Example 1 - Find the best subject search term with the ERIC Thesaurus

The ERIC Thesaurus is a useful tool to figure out which word(s) to use when searching to find all articles the same topic.  For instance, people of a certain age might be called "young adults", "teenagers", "youth", etc.  What's the best terms to find all articles on this group?

When you search the Thesaurus for "teenagers", you will see that the subject term is "adolescents".  Use would use "adolescents" instead of teenagers, or other words, to bring together all articles on this age group.


ERIC Thesaurus search for teenagers - screenshot
Ex. 1 -ERIC Thesaurus search for teenagers


Example 2 - Selecting and searching multiple related subjects

The ERIC Thesaurus provides the definition of a subject word and the related, broader, and narrower subject.  As you can see, "adolescents" is defined as people from ages 13-17.  You can add just this term or check other related boxes to add more terms. When you click add after choosing multiple words, ERIC will add these words in a OR search that find article that have at least one of these search words.  

ERIC Thesaurus - search for multiple subjects - screenshot
Ex. 2 - Select multiple subjects, related the adolescents subject term, to find highly relevant articles