One of the most powerful features of this database is the ERIC Thesaurus, which contains a controlled vocabulary of education-related words and phrases that represent the content of each document in the database. Every document in ERIC is assigned a number of subject terms, or descriptors, from the thesaurus; each descriptor represents one concept.
Keyword vs. Thesaurus Searching
With keyword searching:
The database will look for your search terms in more places than just the subject — it will search in the title, abstract, etc.
Keywords are based on natural language, which is more flexible.
With thesaurus searching:
The database will only retrieve results in which your search terms are key concepts.
You don’t have to think of all the different ways a concept may be described.
The video below demonstrates a thesaurus search. It uses the ProQuest thesaurus, but the ERIC thesaurus is hosted by ProQuest and works in the same way.