Records retrieved in a search of the ERIC database are assigned accession numbers with either EJ or ED prefixes. EJ records are for journal articles, whereas ED records are for many types of non-journal publications, including conference papers, reports, curricula, government documents, and other generally unpublished materials. Most ERIC documents dating from mid-1992 to present are available in full text online through the ERIC website, and most pre-June 1992 ERIC documents are available on microfiche and can be retrieved from storage for onsite use in the library.

To access an ERIC document online, you may either search the ED number (e.g., ED123456) through the ERIC website or via Google or other Web search engines; this will lead you to the PDF version of the text. To access an ERIC document on microfiche, you may submit a retrieval request, making sure to provide the document's ED number. Keep in mind that some ED records are for materials (such as commercially published books) that are not available online or on microfiche but that may nonetheless be owned in print form by our library or one of the Columbia University Libraries; be sure to check EDUCAT+ and CLIO for book titles cited in ERIC.