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EDAD Focus: Find Articles

Education Database List

Other databases and search engines

Keywords versus subject terms

For effective searching it is important to understand the difference between Keyword searching and Subject Term searching in databases.

  • Keyword searching asks the search engine to look for every article that has the keywords in it, so an article may, or may not, be on the subject you are interested in researching.
  • Controlled Vocabulary searching (using Descriptors or Subjects) asks the search engine to look for every article that is related to the concept represented by the Controlled Vocabulary you are using.

Steps for effective/focused searching in ERIC

Use the ERIC database to find articles.

Step 1. Search by typing a few unique keywords into the first search box. For example, principal leadership

Step 2. On the results page, click on the Peer Reviewed on the left under "Refine your results" and click the Update button. Read the article titles to find a "pearl of an article" and click on the hyperlinked title to read the abstract.

Limit to Peer Review


VIDEOS on Finding quality articles in databases @ 7 minutes each

Learning outcomes: by the end of these 2 screencasts, you will:

  • know how to find education focused subject guides
  • apply database search strategies modeled to:
    • narrow your search
    • perform concept searches versus keyword searches
    • search in a more sophisticated manner
    • be able to identify quality academic articles
    • know the steps to finding the full text of an article