ERIC Tutorial

3.1 Advanced Strategy: Using the Thesaurus

In periodical indexes one or more descriptors have been assigned to each article, based on the content of that article. For example, if you search for "block scheduling", your results list will include all articles focusing on that subject.

Try It!
You can do a sample search to see how this works. From the ERIC advanced search, do an all text search using the phrase "block scheduling" (remember the quotes for a phrase). Did you get over 400? Then change your search to a descriptor search and try again. This list should be much shorter and more focused on block scheduling.

Now that you understand the importance of identifying the right descriptors, you need to know how to do so. From the advanced search screen, choose the link at the top that reads Thesaurus. Enter your term in the "browse for" box (lower box on page) and click on browse. If your term is part of the controlled vocabulary for ERIC, it will appear as in this sample:

Image showing the preferred  ERIC Thesaurus term for 'block scheduling', which is 'block scheduling'


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