This week's launch of a new website that offers information on 1,400 educational research projects means that teachers will no longer be able to claim that it is impossible to keep up-to-date with what researchers are doing.
The online database compiled by the National Foundation for Educational Research (www.nfer.ac.ukceruk) went live on Wednesday. The Current Educational Research Database in the United Kingdom (CERUK) covers not only school-based studies but research in the pre-school, further education, higher education, adult and continuing education sectors undertaken last year.
"The database includes all commissioned, sponsored, policy-focused research and individual and collaborative research at PhD level or above," an NFER spokeswoman explained. "Research in related fields such as psychology and sociology will be included if it is of actual or potential significance for education."
CERUK can be searched using keywords, by title, the institution where the research was carried out, or researcher. Teachers looking for findings may be disappointed because many of the listed projects have yet to yield publishable results. But the free, downloadable information will include a 250-word abstract describing individual projects, details of any publications arising from the research, and contact addresses and telephone numbers.
The database is a joint venture involving the Department for Education and Skills and the new unit the Government set up to improve the collation and dissemination of research findings - the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre. Together they have contributed pound;50,000 to the project - a sum matched by the NFER.
"We're confident that this new database will be of great value to researchers and teachers," the NFER official said.
Anyone with information to contribute to CERUK should use the on-line submission form on the NFER's website (www.nfer.ac.uk) or contact Janet May-Bowles, The Library, NFER, The Mere, Upton Park, Slough SL1 2DQ Tel. 01753 747277 or email email@example.com.