ERIC: ERIC Documents vs. Journal Articles

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This guide discusses the ERIC database and the differences between ERIC Documents and journals. For further information contact the Reference Department on the 2nd Floor of the AUM Library or by phone at 334-244-3649.

What is ERIC?

ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center): ERIC is the world's largest index to journal articles and research reports in the field of education. It includes material written from 1966 to the present. The database is the electronic version of the printed indexes, Resources in Education and Current Index to Journals in Education. ERIC provides citations to a wide variety of information, including journal articles, curriculum and teaching guides, conference reports, and dissertations. A search of the ERIC database will result in a list of records with abstracts covering document and journal literature on your topic.


ERIC Documents (ED) vs Journal Articles (EJ)

When you search ERIC, you need to be aware of two abbreviations you will see in the search results records. Each document or article indexed by ERIC is assigned a six-digit ERIC Number that is preceded by either:

  • ED (ERIC Document): These are non-journal items, such as project reports, lesson plans, curriculum guides, and conference papers. ERIC Documents make up about 40 percent of the ERIC database. These documents come from organizations such as universities, research centers, state departments of education, professional associations, commercial publishers, and federal departments and agencies. ERIC Documents are available in microfiche format. The microfiche ERIC Document collection (ED 095841 to ED 452340) is housed in cabinets on the second floor of the Library. Microfiche reader/printers are available: copies are 10 cents a page. ERIC documents from 1993 to present are full-text and available online through the ERIC E*Subscribe Database which is linked to the EBSCOHost version of the database. When you are looking at your search results, Full text from EDRS will appear with documents available through E*Subcribe. Click on the link to retrieve the document. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to download and view these documents.

    To locate an ERIC Document, whether it be in the Library or in the ERIC E*Subscribe Database, you MUST have the six-digit ED number.


  • EJ (ERIC Journal article): ERIC indexes articles that have been published in over 1000 educational and education related journals. The EBSCOhost version contains some full-text articles. When you are looking at your search results, Linked Full Text will appear next to those articles available online. Click on the link to retrieve that article.

    AUM Library subscribes to many, but not all, of these journals. Use Serials Solutions to see if the Library subscribes to the title or if it is available full-text in another database.

    To locate an article found in ERIC, you MUST have the complete citation (article title, journal title, author, date, volume and page numbers).

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