Finding Information on Student Success for HS154

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Analyzing Your Information Need

Start out by deciding exactly what you want to find. Entering a vague or very general phrase, e.g., "student success," won't find what you need. Use your class notes, textbook, and/or testing results to help you decide on a particular aspect of the overall subject, and concentrate on that.

To find articles on topics relating to education, you will have to use either a paper or an electronic index that covers periodicals. Journals, magazines, and newspapers are all periodicals, but most of the periodicals covered by the indexes specializing in education are journals, which publish high-quality articles in education.

Note: Although many students prefer using the electronic indexes to find articles, Pointer to tipthe printed index is excellent for finding or narrowing a topic. Browse for a subject, then look to see what related subjects are listed under the words, "See also." •Skip to How to use the printed index

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Electronic Indexes

You can use three different electronic databases that index articles in the field of education; one is a government database, and the others are subscription databases. The databases have some, though not all, material available in full text.

Education Full Text
Includes indexing and abstracts of more than 600 education periodicals (400 peer-reviewed). Full text of articles from over 350 journals as far back as 1996. •How to connectHow to use
Educators' Reference Complete (Gale)
A good place to start a search for journal articles. Has a collection of hundreds of full text education journals, many of which are peer reviewed. It also includes indexing and descriptions for over 1,000journals. •How to connectHow to use
ERIC is the "big daddy" of education databases. It provides indexing and abstracts for over 1,000 journals, although the coverage may not be as timely as Education Full Text. ERIC does not provide full text of journal articles, although there may be links to articles through other EBSCOhost databases. ERIC also has numerous non-periodical documents, as explained in the section on ERIC below. •How to connectHow to use

Connecting to the Databases

In the library, you may connect by clicking the "Articles Indexes & Databases" link on the library's home page. p>

From elsewhere you may connect directly to our database page. If using databases from off campus, you will need your My Chemeketa user name and password.

Using Educator's Reference Complete

You can search by key words or by subject.

picture of Browse Subjects link If you are looking for a number of articles on a single concept, you may wish to try a Subject search. Click the "Browse Subjects" link in the toolbar near the top of the screen.

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Fig. 2 The subject search screen

  1. Type your desired subject in the space marked "Find Subject," and click the Go button. The subject headings closest to what you typed in will appear.
  2. Clicking on a subject will find articles on that subject. Clicking on the Plus sign next to a subject shows all the subdivisions, or more specific aspects, of the term.
  3. The number next to each subdivision, in the Results column, indicates the number of articles available. Click on a subdivision to view the articles, or,
  4. Click on "Related subjects" to find other headings that may relate to your subject.

The form on the Advanced Search page makes it easy to combine ideas together. If you wish to target your search to a particular part of an article, such as the title or subject, pulldown menus let you specify in which part of the article to look.

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Fig. 3 The advanced search screen

To be sure of finding scholarly articles, you can choose the "Peer Reviewed" option.

For information on interpreting results, printing, saving, and e-mailing, see Using Gale Periodical Databases.

Using Education Full Text

Type your search term(s) in the spaces provided (Fig. 4). You may click the "Peer Reviewed" option to limit your search to scholarly journals. Click "Search."

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Fig. 4 The Education Full Text search screen

To use the database's subject, headings, click on "Thesaurus" in the blue toolbar banner.

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Fig. 5 The Education Full Text thesaurus screen

You may type in a word or phrase and examine the resulting subject headings. Clicking on a heading shows more information about it, including any broader or more specific terms. Select the heading you want, then click the Add button. Clicking the Search button near the top of the screen will execute your subject search.

Using ERIC

ERIC is a government database that indexes and abstracts (summarizes) two kinds of material: journal articles and other documents. ERIC provides full text for some recent journal articles. ERIC documents may be any other type of educational material: curriculum materials, conference papers, books, etc. Most documents added to ERIC since 1993 have full text available. Some materials, such as commercially published books, are not available in full text due to copyright restrictions.

ERIC is currently under redevelopment (August through October 2013) and is changing. For details please see Note from the Commissioner.


The ScienceDirect database has many psychology journals, which may be helpful in finding articles on your subject.

Printed Indexes

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Education Index is available for older journal issues. It covers several hundred education periodicals; it is found on the index table in the library's Reference section.

The steps in using Education Index are:

  1. Find your topic among the Bold-faced subjects. They are alphabetically arranged in each volume.
  2. Look for the title of an article of interest under your subject. You will find the title of the journal abbreviated and in italics after the author's name. This is followed by the volume number, the page number of the article, and the date.
  3. Check the list of abbreviations in the front of the volume to get the full journal title.
  4. Check the library's blue periodicals binder or the library search to see if the library has that journal and date.
  5. Find the journal shelved alphabetically by title in the Periodicals collection

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Fig. 6 Example of entries in Education Index


If Chemeketa does not have the periodical you want, Pointer to tipask a reference librarian about requesting an interlibrary loan. We can generally obtain a copy of the article for free.

Specialized Dictionaries

Specialized dictionaries are helpful in explaining the terms found in peer-reviewed journals:

Obtaining Materials from Other Library Systems

If the article you want is not available online or in our library system, you can request an interlibrary loan by filling out a form online.

Please allow extra time for interlibrary loan. The amount of time needed depends on many factors, including how many libraries have the item. It may take from a few days to several weeks; allow a minimum of one week.

To comment or request help, please e-mail Reference or call 503.399.5231.

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Updated: 17 December 2014