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NS 696 Individual Project


Before using a research tool, there are some factors to consider, such as does the tool measure the variable(s) you want to measure, has the tool been used successfully (normed) on your population of interest, and does the tool have acceptable reliability and validity?  Once you've answered these questions, you need to find the right tool.  This page lists various methods for tracking down research tools: searching CINAHL in one of three ways, using library books that include tools, and using Disserations & Theses Full Text.  Before you use a tool, be aware that there may need to get copyright permission from the author/creater/owner.

Finding Research Instruments - using CINAHL

There are multiple ways to search for research instruments. 

1)   Beginning in 1994, CINAHL began indexing research instruments as a publication type. However, other CINAHL records may also include information about research instruments. To find a work that is a published research instrument, search for a Publication Type of RESEARCH INSTRUMENT. Consider using the Publication Type of QUESTIONNAIRE / SCALE.

  1. Enter your primary topic (say alcohol dependence)
  2. Click Edit
  3. Next to Publication Types, click Research Instrument (hold control key to include Questionniare / Scale)
  4. Click Save

2)   To find a body of work that uses a specific research instrument, search using the particular name of the research instrument using the INSTRUMENTATION feature.

  1. Choose MORE from the blue bar at the top of the search screen
  2. Select INDEXES
  3. Select INSTRUMENTATION from the drop-down list
  4. Enter your primary topic (e.g., alcohol dependence)
  5. Click Browse
  6. Check the boxes next to the instrument(s) of interest, then click ADD
  7. Select the SEARCH box at the top

3)   Combine your primary topc (e.g. alcohol depdence) with the following subjects:

  • clinical assessment tools
  • questionnaires
  • surveys

Then review the detailed citation information for the names of specific research instruments.

Finding Research Instruments - Other Online Options

ERIC - Tips for Searching

Publication Types are assigned to documents and journal articles.  A maximum of three Publication Types are assigned per record. These may include questionnaires, tests, examinations, evaluation and measurement devices, test specifications, compilations of tests, opinion polls (instruments), assessment tools, reporting booklets, rating scales, test manuals, etc.

To search, use unique, significant words. Or try include the entire name of the instrument.

  1. Search using search terms for your topic and then
  2. Click Search Options
  3. Next to Publication Types, click Tests/Questionnaires.
  4. Click Search

[From the Indiana State University guide]

Finding Research Instruments - using Dissertations & Theses Full Text

Using Dissertations and Theses - Full Text is another possibility.  When a dissertation is published, the tool is often included.  Searches should include the name of the tool and what the tool is used to measure.

Standards / Research Gaps

Books with Tests

Measures for Clinical Practice and Research: A Sourcebook
Corcoran K & Fischer J
New York: Free Press/Oxford University Press
1987 edition (133 complete instruments
1994 edition (331 complete instruments)
2000 edition (423 complete instruments)
2007 edition (471 complete instruments
REF BF176 .C66 2007 V.1 & 2

**Note**: the Consortium Library has only two volumes but you may request copies of tests from volumes we don't have by submitting a request via ILL

Instruments for Measuring Nursing Practice and Other Health Care Variables
Ward MJ, Lindeman CA, eds.
Wash.: US Govt. Print. Off., 1979
Table of Contents:
Vol.1Vol. 2
Title Index (both volumes)
Gov Docs - 2nd Floor - HE 20.6602:In 7/3 / v.1-2

Measuring Health: A Guide to Rating Scales and Questionnaires
McDowell I & Newell C
New York: Oxford Univ. Press

3rd edition, 2006 (table of contents)
Gen. Coll. - 2nd Floor - WA900.1 .B478m 2006

Measuring Health: A Review of Quality of Life Measurement Scales
Bowling A
New York: Open University Press, 2005
(3 complete instruments)
Gen. Coll. - 2nd Floor- WA900.1 .B787m 1997

Positive Psychological Assessment: A Handbook of Models and Measures
Lopez SJ; Snyder CR
Washington, DC : American Psychological Association, 2003
(19 complete instruments)
Gen. Coll. – 1st Floor- BF176 .P76 2003

PsycINFO Subjects

To search for material unsing or about research instruments, search for the appropriate Subject Heading using the drop-down list. Use the thesaurus feature to find different subject headings in PsycINFO.

  1. Enter your search terms on your topic in the first search box and
  2. Enter Measurement in the second search box and select SU Subjects from the drop-down list
  3. Click SearchSample PsycINFO Subject Headings (substitute for "Measurement" in the search above)
  • Aptitude measures
  • Attitude measures
  • Educational measurement
  • Employment tests
  • General Health Questionnaire
  • Intelligence tests
  • Interviews
  • Inventories
  • Mail Surveys
  • Measurement
  • Performance tests
  • Personality measures
  • Psychological assessment
  • Questionnaires
  • Rating scales
  • Surveys
  • Telephone Surveys
  • Test construction

[From the Indiana State University guide]