Home > About > News >

Whatever happened to “Education Index”?

December 19th, 2012

in Pickering Educational Resources Library

Way back in 1929, the H. W. Wilson publishing company began to release a new series called “Education Index”. The purpose was to cover educational periodicals, books, and pamphlets by author and subject, and to thereby give readers clues to the best literature. You could find the citations on a certain topic in an annual cumulation, and then look in the card catalog to investigate whether your local library held a particular item. For years and years this was the best way to do library research.

The computer, of course, has changed all of that. First, the annual indexes began to be released on CDROM. Then, someone had the bright idea of combining the years into a single set. The ability to search the set for subjects, authors, or titles was another stroke of brilliance. All of the annual cumulations were added, all the way back to 1929. Finally, the product became available over the internet as a subscription resource. Still, to this day, the volumes are also released in print.

Around the year 2000, “Education Index” became “Education Full Text”. The latter is the current name of the database, and you can find it listed on Pickering Library’s list of important databases in education. The name change happened when, instead of only listing article citations, Wilson began to offer the articles themselves, as it had licensed the rights to the content of certain journals. However, not all journals are available and there are many items in the database that are only referred to, not given in whole.

In 2008 the H. W. Wilson company was bought by another firm. EBSCO now owns Education Full Text. As this company adds other sets of content related to education, other name changes for what used to be Education Index are probably in store.  These are some of the other subscription databases that can be found on EBSCO website,  a few of which contain the entirety of (or select titles from) the good old Education Index:

  • Education Source
  • Education Research Complete
  • Academic Search Premier
  • Education Abstracts
  • Ebsco Discovery Service
  • ERIC
  • Education Administration Abstracts

If you would like to know more about these databases or the history of library advances in technology, please contact Dan Benedetti at benededa@bu.edu.