July 31, 2014

ERIC Update: July 2014

94% of Documents are ERIC’s Full Text Documents are Now Available: A PDF Restoration Process Update

Have you noticed fewer "PDF Pending" indicators in ERIC the last few weeks? That is because Phase I of the PDF restoration project is now complete. 94% of the previously removed documents are now available online!

We want to thank you for your patience over the past two years. We have received many questions about the process. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions:

Why were documents removed from ERIC? In August of 2012 we discovered that personally identifiable information appeared in some ERIC documents. Due to new search technologies, this information was easily discoverable for the first time. We temporarily removed access to all full-text documents due to the security concerns. Over the past two years we have been restoring documents to the collection on a rolling basis.

How big of a problem was it? Did many documents contain this type of information? There are 670 documents that have are have sensitive information that we cannot release. We have removed the “PDF Pending” indicator and the "Download Full Text" links from these records, but the citations remain in the collection. We are considering how we can make these documents available in a way that protects individual’s privacy in the future.

What documents are now available online? Approximately 94% of the PDFs that ERIC has permission to display are now available. This includes all peer-reviewed materials, documents published after 2004, and PDFs that were scanned electronically for sensitive information.

I am seeing a "PDF Pending Restoration" message. What does that mean? During the course of the document review process, we discovered that approximately 5.5% of the collection contained documents that were made from poor copies of microfiche. These documents are often unreadable to human eyes and machine readers. While these PDFs do not present a security concern, they are not useful for ERIC users. We are going to go back to the original master copies of the microfiche to try and make a more readable copy. 

This will not be a quick process and we would like your suggestions on how we should prioritize documents for restoration. Please send any suggestions to ERICRequests@ed.gov.

How do I get copies of the "PDF Pending Restoration" Documents? These documents are still available on microfiche and are included on the most recent ERIC weeding lists, found here.

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