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ERIC suspends some full text over privacy concerns

I’m not sure how long this has been going on, but in trying to retrieve a report from the Education Resources Information Clearinghouse (ERIC), I received this “error” message:

Dear ERIC Community,

We have currently disabled access to many ERIC full-text PDFs due to the discovery of personally identifiable information in some documents. A team is in place to check each PDF 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 will take several weeks, but our primary concern is to protect the privacy of individuals.

To minimize the burden on our users, we will prioritize searching the PDFs that users request. If you would like to request a PDF to be returned online, please fill out this form, which requires only the document’s ERIC record number and your email address. Full-text PDFs will be returned on a rolling basis. We will be posting the list of newly released documents here.

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

The ERIC Team

It seems like a responsible enough message and they are trying to assist researchers who need documents. It would have been nice if the message had a date stamp so we could see how long it will take ERIC to rectify this situation.

I’m also wondering about the status of ERIC fiche collections. Wonder if we’ll see withdrawal requests from ERIC and whether that would wind up highlighting the personal information they’re trying to withdraw.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


  1. I don’t remember the exact date, but this has been going on for at least six months. I encountered this problem during July of 2012 while helping a student. I have been told this effort could take well over a year, so articles that are not available from ERIC become ILLs for us.

  2. ERIC sent out a notice about this to its newsletter subscribers on September 18th, 2012. I have heard no update as to when they plan to have all content restored.

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