ERIC Number: ED160664
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Jun
Reference Count: 0
The Limitations of ERIC in Reviewing Evaluation Literature. Paper and Report Series, No. 2. Research and Evaluation Program.
Smith, Nick L.
The Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) system was used to identify 1,734 documents on program evaluation methodology. Attempts to further characterize these documents by subject were only partially successful because of the lack of sufficient depth of indexing and design constraints of the computer system. Attempts to characterize these documents by type of publication were also unsuccessful because so many of the documents had not been assigned publication type codes. When compared with a 1976 evaluation bibliography prepared by the Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University and edited by M.A. Bunda, only 27 percent of the bibliography's references were also listed in ERIC. Further investigation revealed that 28 percent of the bibliography was published or written before ERIC was incorporating such documents into its system, 22 percent were books or chapters of books (not usually made available through ERIC), nine percent were journal articles, and 14 percent were fugitive documents, which should generally be included in ERIC. Additional problems associated with non-hierarchical searching, system constraints on assignments of descriptors, and indexer limitations resulted in very little overlap between the ERIC search results and the Western Michigan bibliography. Researchers should be aware of the limitations of a search of the ERIC system. (BW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR.