UNESCO Education UIL

Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), USA

ERIC is an online digital library of education research and information. ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. It provides easy access to education ltierature to support the use of educational research and information to improve practice in learning, teaching, educational, decision-making, and research. Prior to 2004, 16 ERIC Clearinghouses, each devoted to a particular topic within education, were operated out of universities and professional associations across the country. There were also multiple sites for searching ERIC. The ERIC/ACVE Clearinghouse was a comprehensive information service in adult continuing education, career education, vocational and technical education, employment and training, located at the Centre on Education and Training for Employment, Ohio State University. Unfortunately all ERIC clearinghouses were closed as of December 31, 2003. The U.S. Department of Education consolidated ERIC’s work under a single contract in 2004. The ERIC Web site at www.eric.ed.gov is the result.

Areas of Specialization:

Basic education, Community development, Distance education, Family education, Further training, Higher education, Lifelong learning, Literacy, Nonformal education, Prison education, Vocational education

User Profile:

Since the ERIC data base is available in many different locations worldwide – through the Internet, in libraries and resource centres – no reliable profile of data base users exists. Users who contact ERIC/ACVE directly come from a variety of backgrounds and settings. In 2003, over 35% were classified as "other" – professionals from community–based organizations, business and industry, and other non–governmental settings; parents; or members of the general public. 27% were from post–secondary settings, 23% from government organizations, and 14% from K–12 education settings.

Contact Information


ERIC Program
c/o CSC
655 15th St. NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005

(+1–800) 538 3742

Basic Institutional Data:

Founded in:
Parent Organisation:
ERIC, a US national education information network, is part of the National Library of Education, US Department of Education
Countries Served:
United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Worldwide
Working Languages:


Books and Documents:
ERIC contains entries for nearly 500,000 books and documents; approx. 40,000 are related to some aspect of adult education. Most are available in either microfiche or paper copy from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS).
Multimedia materials:
ERIC is limited to print materials. Occasionally references found to audiovisual materials must be acquired from the original source.

Methods of Data Management

Cataloging Rules
Adaptation from a number of cataloguing conventions
Methods of Data Processing
Indexing Tool
Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors and Identifier Authority List (internal document)

Services and Special Activities

Publications Produced

On the ERIC/ACVE Website:

The Clearinghouse publications were intended to meet the information needs of a variety of audiences by selecting, synthesizing, explaining, and reviewing material from the ERIC database and other sources:

ERIC Digests: summarized current information on specific educational topics, based on research findings and critical literature in the field. To access a searchable file of the full text of all ERIC Digests produced by all ERIC Clearinghouses, go to http://www.ericfacility.net/ericdigests/index/

Trends and Issues Alerts: provided a brief description of an emerging trend and related issues, with an annotated list of information sources, including organizations and websites. Myths and Realities – explored myths associated with topics in adult, career, and vocational education by examining commonly held assumptions that are taken for granted but are not accurate.

Practice Application Briefs: developed for classroom teachers and other practitioners, these products provided specific examples derived from research findings that could be applied in practice settings.

Practitioner File (P–File): designed to assist adult, career, and vocational education practitioners, each edition of this product included some or all of the following: background information, practical application articles, glossaries, and lists of related print and online resources.

ERICFile: an information bulletin published twice each year that contained news of the ERIC system, information about services and products, and an order form for publications.

Major Clearinghouse Publications & Compilations: intended to provide current knowledge on high–priority topics in the Clearinghouse’s subject areas, these monographs reviewed, synthesized, and analyzed existing literature sources or summarized and / or evaluated trends and issues in an area.

Webliographies: web–only publications (with no print equivalent) that served as guides to sources of information on frequently requested topics in adult, career, and career–technical education. They included an overview of the topic and an annotated list of links to web resources.