Designing Effective Online Educational Literature Searches: Procedures for Content Analysis and Validation

Document Type

Contribution to Books

Publication Date



Knowing the existing research literature has become important for anyone involved with education, informed research, policy, and practice rests on an understanding of unfiltered original source material. Although there has been a proliferation of research studies which are now easily accessible through online resources, being able to find information on specific topics is proving to be a challenge even for experienced researchers. This chapter describes a procedure which first identified field-specific terminology associated with original source material. The parallel terms used in the ERIC database to code the same material was then found. The resulting parallel list of ERIC keywords was tested and validated for preciseness. The finding was that each term's precision could be established. The general methodology developed here is presented as a way of enhancing peoples' use of online resources.