ERIC Adds PDF Request Form to the ERIC website; Provides Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Nov. 01, 2012
In late summer, ERIC announced that access to the majority of full text PDFs in the ERIC collection has been temporarily disabled due to privacy issues found in some of these materials. Efforts are underway to isolate the affected documents and restore the cleared PDFs to the online collection as quickly as possible.
To help users gain access to the full text they need, and to speed the process for returning high-demand PDFs to the ERIC Collection, ERIC has added a form to the website at eric.ed.gov that can be used to request the return of a PDF to the online collection. Users will no longer send an email to request priority processing of restricted PDFs.
To request a PDF for return to the collection, access the PDF request form online and enter the ERIC Number of the document (e.g., ED998998) and your email address, and then click Submit. The ERIC Number you entered will be forwarded for priority processing to the Department of Education so the full text can checked for sensitive information. Once cleared, the document will be made accessible online. Given the volume of requests, this process will take several weeks, but all documents will be returned in order of request.
The request form can be accessed from a link in the alert area of the ERIC Home page, from the web page banner alert present on most pages of the ERIC website, or from the Contact Us area of the site.
ERIC will continue to post updates and ongoing notifications as groups of documents are returned to full-text PDF availability. Check the Spotlight area of the ERIC website for the most recent information.
As an aid to users, answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the ERIC PDF issue are provided below.
What ERIC materials are currently restricted due to privacy concerns?
As of November 1, 2012, the entire collection of full-text materials is restricted, with the exception of:
- Peer-reviewed documents and journal articles for which ERIC has permission to display full text online.
- Documents developed by the Peace Corps.
- Documents developed by ERIC.
- Cleared documents that have been requested by the ERIC user community. These documents are randomly scattered throughout the collection.
To search for peer-reviewed materials, check the Peer Reviewed and Full-Text Availability limiters on the Advanced Search page, and then narrow your search using the facets on the left of the Search Results page. For instructions on how to locate materials from the Peace Corps or ERIC, see the October 1, 2012 announcement in the News area.
Are there other materials in ERIC that are not available in full text?
Most ERIC journal articles (EJs) and some ERIC documents (EDs) are not available in full text because ERIC does not have permission from the publisher (or copyright holder) to display the full text online. Records in your search results that do not have a PDF icon are not available in full text in ERIC, and are not eligible for the PDF request process.
To try to locate these materials, use the Find in a Library or Publisher's website links under Full-Text Availability Options at the bottom of the ERIC record. ERIC provides access through these methods to the greatest extent possible. Additional information may be available in the Publisher field on the Record Details page, accessed by selecting the document title on the Search Results page.
Why does the ERIC record display the PDF icon when the full text is not available?
This is a known limitation of the ERIC search function. There are no plans at this time to suppress the display of the PDF icon for restricted materials.
How can I request that a document be prioritized for return to the online collection?
Use the PDF request form on the ERIC website at eric.ed.gov. A link to the form is provided here, in the website alerts, and in the Contact Us area of the site.
Can I simply email a PDF request using the email address previously provided by ERIC?
No. ERIC no longer accepts emailed requests for PDF documents.
The online request form requires an ERIC Number. What is an ERIC Number and how do I find it?
The ERIC Number is located in parentheses at the end of the document title in the ERIC record. It has six digits preceded by either ED (ERIC document) or EJ (ERIC journal). Each ERIC record has a unique ERIC Number.
If you have a document title and/or author, but you do not know the ERIC Number, you can search for the full record using the Advanced Search feature online at eric.ed.gov. Select Title or Author from the drop-down box in the Search form. Be sure to enclose phrases in quotes.
How long will it take for my request to be fulfilled?
It is our goal to return documents within 6-12 weeks. However, due to the large number of requests, we may not have the capacity to release all of the documents in that time frame. We are moving as quickly as possible.
Will ERIC let me know when the document is available?
Due to the large volume of requests ERIC is unable to respond directly to each requestor. To determine if the full text has been restored, click the PDF icon in the ERIC record online.
Will ERIC send me a PDF document in email?
ERIC is unable to email documents to requestors. To request access to an ERIC PDF, use the request form on the ERIC website.