Searching ERIC Using the Online Thesaurus
Hi! This is Bobbie. I will be showing you how to use the thesaurus in the ERIC database. ERIC covers the field of education and provides records consisting of citations and abstracts for journal articles and educational documents. Some databases like ERIC include an online thesaurus. The thesaurus contains a carefully selected list of education-related words and phrases assigned to ERIC records to organize them by subject. While you can search the ERIC database using keywords, you will get more precise search results if you use the thesaurus terms. For example, if you are trying to find information on "Class Discussion," you can begin by clicking on "Thesaurus." Type in the term class discussion under "Browsing: ERIC -- Thesaurus"; in this case, "class discussion." Here, you will find a reference from "Class Discussion Use Discussion (Teaching Technique)." ERIC does not want to use this term; it prefers this specific term. You can also browse down through the list here and you will notice that "Class Organization" is a term that being used in ERIC. If you wanted to select this term, you can place your mouse over the little box and you can click here then to select this term. Within the online thesaurus, you can find out a lot of information about the terms being used. For example, if you click on "Discussion (Teaching Technique)", it will take you to this screen where you can find a broader term - in the case, "Teaching Methods" - and then also related terms for this particular descriptor - for example, "Lecture Method," "Questioning Techniques," maybe other terms that you might want to use in ERIC. As you go through the list, if you find that this is a specific term that is of interest to you, you can place the little checkmark in the box - click on "Add" - this will bring you back to this screen and if you notice "DE" stands for "Descriptor" and this is going to be the term that we identified in our thesaurus. If we click here on "Search," the search is automatically performed for us. It comes back and it tells us how many records that we found using this particular descriptor term and then also a list of the articles that are related to this particular term. At this point, we can type in another keyword - for example, "social studies" - or we could use the thesaurus again and go through and select our particular terms for this search. If you have questions, you can contact a librarian at zsr.wfu.edu/ask.