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Finding Survey Instruments and Questionnaires: Keyword Searching ERIC

Keyword Searching ERIC

The field defaults for keyword searching in ERIC cover the following indexes:

TI Title

• AU Author

AB Abstract

• IN Institution Name

DE Subjects (Descriptors)

• SU Subject Headings

Keyword searching is not the best way to locate its instrument references in this database.

Instead, the best options for instrument reference searching are (in order of narrowest to widest search scope):

1) Publication Type: "Tests/Questionnaires" search

2) Explode Subject: "Measures (Individuals)" term search 

3) Abstract Nested "OR" search

4) All Text Nested "OR" search¹


¹ All Text Nested "OR" searching will retrieve the largest search results for instruments. However, it will not necessarily increase number of relevant search results.

The increased search results of this type of broad search strategy often come at the expense of search focus and relevance. This type of strategy is best used as a last resort, or if you have to perform an exhaustive search for relevance. But be prepared to sift through a lot of extraneous material and "red herrings" (records containing generic instrument term references but no references to titled instruments).


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