The ERIC search engine uses smart search technology. If you type what you are looking for without quotes or advanced Boolean logic, the most relevant results will appear as the first results. If you use quotes, Boolean logic, or Thesaurus descriptors you will get overlapping but not the exact same results. Use the limiters in the left sidebar to narrow or focus your results. If you know the ERIC number (begins with EJ for Journal articles, ED for other documents), you can search by number.
Thesaurus terms, also known as descriptors, are similar to twitter hashtags in that they are vocabulary that has been tagged to each ERIC item to identify its topic. For example, ERIC uses the descriptor alcohol abuse. If you search using the keyword phrase problem drinking you wil get overlapping but not identical results. In many cases it is a good idea to search using the descriptors.
The majority of ERIC journal articles are peer-reviewed, but there are many other documents in the database in addition to peer-reviewed journal articles (conference proceedings, reports, etc.) You may limit your selection to peer-reviewed articles only.
The library does not own all the journals that are indexed in the ERIC database. You may limit your selection to full-text to choose only documents that have complete full text (as opposed to just the citation and abstract.) Note that limiting to full-text will eliminate the chance to link to documents outside of the ERIC database that are accessible free of cost on the internet. There is also a chance that the library has the article in print, and this would be noted as 'local holdings'. This will not appear if you select full text only.