October 23, 2013

ERIC Makes Strides During Transition



New ERIC Website Opens Its Doors

If you have gone to the ERIC website at eric.ed.gov lately you may have noticed that it is undergoing a major change. The goal is to make the experience of using the website easier and more productive for novice users and skilled searchers alike. New functionality is being added on an ongoing basis, and there are plans for new support tools designed especially for practitioners and new ERIC users. 

The revised website was released to the public in August, and more tools and features are will be added to the existing site. Critical functions are open for business and fully operational:

• The new home page, while still subject to change, debuts with a light visual design that emphasizes ERIC’s most crucial features – Search and Thesaurus.

• The search feature is fast, robust, and fully comparable to widely used commercial search products.

• Intuitive faceting on ERIC’s new search results pages allows searchers to easily narrow overly broad searches.

• Record citations are streamlined for increased readability. 

• Easy to find limiters allow searchers to retrieve only records with full text in ERIC and/or only peer-reviewed materials.

• Full text materials are easy to identify and download.

• The ERIC Thesaurus is integrated with ERIC search, increasing its ease of use.

In addition to these key features, ERIC also provides links on the ERIC home page for users to gain access to needed support. You will find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), a notes area for updates and announcements, and the Contact Us page for customer service support. 

Future Planned Enhancements
A new site page for practitioners is now in being designed. The page will display information by education topic area; offer easy-to-use search aids; and highlight recent, peer-reviewed work of interest to this audience. Look for more information in the next edition of the ERIC Newsflash.

ERIC will also begin rolling out popular features from the former website starting in early 2014. Implementation will be ongoing for several months. 

ERIC Resumes Indexing
After a temporary hiatus from indexing in August, ERIC resumed indexing in September. The focus is on new articles and materials that were not indexed during the transition. Look for many new records and full text materials as we get back to normal processing speed.

Release of Restricted PDFs
ERIC has increased the speed for reviewing and releasing documents which have been temporarily disabled due to concerns about personally identifiable information. We will be returning more PDFs to the collection on a monthly basis than ever in the past! We thank you for your patience.

Work on the ERIC Selection Policy
The ERIC team has assembled experts from around the country to help decide the future of what is to be included in ERIC. Our broad goals are: 

• Make sure each source that we index is education research that is relevant to ERIC’s mission.

• Increase the number peer-reviewed, full-text sources in ERIC.

• Increase the number full-text sources that are rigorous and relevant, even though they may not appear in a peer-reviewed journal

• Reduce the number of articles without full text to only those sources that are peer reviewed or are of substantive rigor and relevance.

ERIC Help Desk
If you have a question about searching or using ERIC, you can call the ERIC Help Desk at 1-800-LET-ERIC, available from 7am to 11pm EST. We are happy to help!

Did You Know?
In August 2013, ERIC was used by over 1,715,413 visitors from all 50 states and in almost every country in the world. There were only 6 nations that did not have ERIC users.


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