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David Lee King

Where’d my ERIC Document go?

I have published an ERIC Document (How to Teach Basic HTML in One Hour. 1999. ERIC Database. ED453836, Clearinghouse Identifier # IR058107). Not a terribly exciting article, but mine nonetheless. When the new version of ERIC was mentioned, I naturally decided to search for my document, to see how it appeared in the new version of ERIC. However, when I searched on the ED #, here’s what I found: “Your search found 0 results.” Yikes! Not a good thing.

So, I started poking around a bit. I did a search in a couple of other free ERIC sites, like www.eduref.org – and easily found my document. So, next I emailed the new ERIC people with my problem, and asked what the deal was – here’s their response: “In response to your question “why you can’t locate the record” we are aware of the issue and are currently working to resolve this issue. I hope this is helps”. OK… not exactly a fount of information, huh?

But that was on September 1. It’s now October 1, and all other ERIC databases seem to have reverted to the new version of ERIC, and I can’t find my document anymore! I haven’t tried subscription ERIC services, like OCLC’s Firstsearch version, but I think they’ll be the same – here’s what OCLC says about their ERIC database: “Several changes to the ERIC database on FirstSearch are scheduled to be implemented on October 1, 2004 … The ERIC database will now be produced by the Computer Sciences Corporation (http://www.csc.com). (quoted from “http://www.oclc.org/news/announcements/announcement118.htm”). CSC, I think, ifs the vendor who built and maintains the new version of ERIC.

So, where does that leave me? I just emailed the tech help guy from CSC (company doing the new ERIC database) again, asking if there’s been any movement on my “issue.” For kicks, I also emailed Gary at ResourceShelf, since he’s been posting alot about the new version of ERIC. And for now, I apparently don’t get to see my old, outdated article in it’s full, online, full-text glory.

But here’s the rub – I’m wondering WHY my ED Document doesn’t show up, which leads me to wonder one of two things:
1. if the new ERIC guys didn’t think my article was very useful, and so axed it from the database (not very likely), or 2. if there are other potentially more useful ED Documents that have also disappeared (much more likely).

And that’s scary, especially for education-based researchers. They are potentially missing some good info that they should be able to access via the new ERIC, but are missing it (and not being told why by the new ERIC people).

My goal is to get to the bottom of this! I’ll keep everyone posted. Not that anyone but me reads this, but… oh well. :-)

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