Accessing ERIC Documents

The ERIC database has temporarily disabled PDF downloads on ERIC documents for security reasons. They are hoping to enable the downloads again soon, but no specific timeline has been given. Access to journal articles is unaffected.

In the meantime, the Library does have copies of all ERIC “ED” documents on microfiche. To locate an “ED” article on microfiche all you need is the 6 digit ED number, such as ED365743. Fiche are filed in cabinets up on the second floor of the library and Periodicals staff are available for assistance. We have several ways in which to view and make copies of pages from the fiche including digital. Please note, however, that the process is somewhat cumbersome and time intensive, so if the ED document is long—some of them are hundreds of pages—it will take some time to make a copy.

5 thoughts on “Accessing ERIC Documents”

  1. This just in via an email list (“Educ. & Behavior Science ALA Discussion List” ):

    I wanted to provide an update on the status of ERIC full-text documents. We have made all peer reviewed articles publicly available again—this is approximately 20,000 full-text articles. We are also in the process of creating a request process for individual records to be given priority in being returned to the site. I hope to provide more information on that process in the next week.

    Thank you for your patience,

    Erin Pollard
    Associate Research Scientist
    National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
    Institute of Education Sciences
    U. S. Department of Education
    555 New Jersey Ave., NW, Suite 506f
    Washington, DC 20208
    (202) 219-3400

  2. Another update from Eric…

    Dear ERIC Community,

    In early August we discovered that sensitive personally identifiable information appeared in some full text documents contained in the ERIC collection. Specifically, social security numbers and other highly sensitive information were found in multiple documents and in a way that could not easily be isolated. For that reason, we had to temporarily disable access to many full text documents.

    Although these documents had been publicly available in microfiche for many years, the advent of Internet search engines has made it easier to find this information. Our number one concern is to ensure that any full-text documents we provide do not violate any individual’s privacy. We believe that if any of us were to have our privacy compromised by an ERIC document, we would want the same consideration.

    We are seeking to restore access to documents as soon as possible. In order to restore access to ERIC, we have to check every document to see if it contains personally identifiable information. Due to the quality of many of the documents, a large portion of the search has to be done by hand. This is a large undertaking and we are in the process of hiring a team to help restore access in a fast and responsive manner. We hope to get this team in place by late September and releasing large numbers of ERIC documents by the end of October. We will continue to release documents after that point on a rolling basis.

    To minimize the burden on our users, we will prioritize searching the documents that users request. If you would like to request a PDF to be returned online, please email with the record number (such as ED263102). Documents will be returned on a rolling basis and may take several weeks, but we are working as fast as possible.

    We are sorry for the inconvenience and want to thank you for bearing with us through this unexpected delay.

    The ERIC Team

  3. Another update….
    ERIC Addresses Privacy Concerns
    Issue 13 – September 2012

    In early August, the ERIC management team and the U.S. Department of Education became aware that some full-text documents in the ERIC Collection contained personally identifiable information. Sensitive information was found in multiple documents in a way that could not be easily isolated. The accessibility of this information to modern Internet search engines increases the risk that these details could be discovered and used improperly. In order to safeguard individual privacy it was necessary to temporarily disable access to ERIC full-text documents.

    We are working to restore access to full text as quickly as possible while protecting individual privacy. While the vast majority of documents do not contain sensitive information, it remains necessary to identify and address each of those that do.

    Each document must be checked to verify that it does not contain sensitive information. Given that there are more than 340,000 full-text documents in ERIC, this represents a significant undertaking. The U.S. Department of Education is in the process of hiring a team to help restore access in a fast and responsive manner. We anticipate that it will be possible to begin restoring access to large numbers of ERIC documents on a rolling basis later this fall.

    An initial wave of more than 20,000 documents has already been restored. This first restoration consists of peer-reviewed full-text documents such as Institute of Education Sciences (IES) publications and peer-reviewed journal articles (EJs). At this time, we cannot provide a precise estimate for complete restoration of full text.

    Priority is being placed on documents requested by ERIC users. If you would like to request a PDF to be returned online, please email referencing the document’s ERIC number (EDxxxxxx). We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work to resolve the situation.

    ERIC is committed to keeping you informed as we move forward with this effort. Check the alerts and Spotlight area of the ERIC home page at for updates.

    Temporary System Limitations

    There are several known search and display limitations caused by the temporary restrictions on full-text access. Specifically: PDF links continue to display in ERIC records, even when full text is currently not available. The ability to limit search results to only records with full text does not return reliable results. As soon as the majority of full text is restored to the site, all features will return to normal operation.

  4. Progress! 2 new (Dec 2012) updates:

    Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to make a quick clarification to the summary Chris made. We will be releasing new PDFs on a weekly basis, but only updating the spreadsheet twice a month. Although we released 562 documents yesterday and you can access them now, we will not update the spreadsheet until the first of the year. The reason for the delay is because we want to provide accurate information on a consistent basis, while releasing the documents as soon as possible.

    We have scanned over 3,000 user requested articles so far and have released all documents that were of a high enough quality to be scanned electronically and do not contain personally identifiable information.

    If you or any of your students have a question about when their document is scheduled to be scanned, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with the accession number at I can give an approximate estimate; however, our contractor is considerably ahead of schedule and my estimated release date may be overly cautious.



    Erin Pollard
    Associate Research Scientist

    National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
    Institute of Education Sciences
    U. S. Department of Education

    555 New Jersey Ave., NW, Suite 506f
    Washington, DC 20208

    (202) 219-3400

    From: Educ. & Behavior Science ALA Discussion List [] On Behalf Of Hollister, Christopher
    Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 3:51 PM
    Subject: ERIC news…

    Dear EBSS friends and colleagues…

    On behalf of the ACRL/EBSS ERIC Users Committee, I have been asked to share with you some news that, no doubt, some of you have already discovered on your own. Our friends at ERIC are now providing a list of restored documents; the list is presented in an Excel spreadsheet, and it can be accessed by following the relevant links that begin from the news area in the top, right-hand corner of the ERIC home page:

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