About the ERIC Thesaurus
The Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors (Thesaurus) is a controlled vocabulary - - a carefully selected list of education-related subject headings. ERIC assigns terms to ERIC records to organize them by subject and make them easier to retrieve through a search. Searching by Descriptors involves selecting relevant terms from this controlled vocabulary to locate information on your topic.
Keyword vs. Descriptor Searching
While you can also search ERIC using keywords of your choosing, you will get more precise search results if you use Thesaurus subject terms. That's because searching by keywords matches the exact words found in a record, whether or not they are used in the same context as your topic, while searching by Descriptors allows you to locate records by subject, regardless of the terminology the author may have used. The ERIC Thesaurus will help you save time by reducing guesswork and trial-and-error methods.
Getting Started - Search ERIC Using ERIC Descriptors
To plan your search using ERIC Descriptors, we recommend that you follow these steps:
If you'd like to take a shortcut, you might try simply doing a keyword search, retrieving a record that looks relevant to your topic, and then examining the Descriptors. You can even click on one of the Descriptors to start a new search.