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Research Instruments

This guide will help you learn how to identify, assess, and obtain research instruments.



Asher's Occupational Therapy Assessment Tools is an excellent book for finding instruments related to occupational therapy.

Each chapter is broken down by subject so that you can find an instrument related to the topic you're interested in studying.

The book details lots of information about each instrument, including author(s), source, validity, price range, and references.



CINAHL is the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature database. There are three ways to search for tests by subject:

Option 1. Enter your topic in the search bar, then select field IN for instrumentation. Hit search.

CINAHL search using IN field

Option 2. In the Advanced Search, enter your topic keyword. Scroll down to Search options. When you see Publication Type, highlight questionnaire/scale.

Hit Search.

CINAHL Publication Type Box

Option 3. Use CINAHL Headings to help find an instrument. Click on CINAHL Headings, above the search field. From there, enter your topic.

CINAHL Headings box

2. CINAHL will give you the words you should use to search for your topic in their database:

CINAHL Heading Result

3. Click the box next to your heading. On the right hand side of the page, you can click Search Database.


4. CINAHL will bring you back to the main search screen, where your subject will be in the search box. Change the field to IN instrumentation, and hit search.

CINAHL instrumentation

A Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests

Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests

A Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests allows you to search for instruments by subjects, including attention, memory, and motor skills. The book has a test and subject index, as well as one for authors. It includes pricing and publisher information for the instruments.

Directory of Unpublished Experimental Mental Measures

Directory of Unpublished Experimental Mental Measures

The Directory of Unpublished Experimental Mental Measures is a book that lists unpublished instruments. Each chapter is divided by what is being measured (motivation, values, etc). There is also a subject index in the back. You can read through the chapter pertaining to your subject to find instruments. Each entry includes validity and reliability information, as well as the author name and original source.



ERIC stands for Educational Resources Information Center, and is a great database to start with if you're looking for instruments used in education settings.

There are several ways to find instruments in ERIC:

Option 1. Enter your topic keyword in the first box. Scroll down to Limit Your Results. Under Publication Type, highlight Tests/Questionnaires, and then hit search.

Limit results in ERIC

Option 2. Enter your topic keyboard in the first box. Then enter test* or survey* into the next box and select the field AB (abstract) in the green box. Hit Search. 

Searching ERIC

Option 3. Enter your topic keyboard in the first box. In next box enter tests/questionnaires under PU (publication type). Hit search.

ERIC Publication Type Search Box


ETS Test Link



ETS has a large database of instruments. Some of these are available for purchase through ETS, although you still need to read the terms of use for information on copyright and using the instrument. For instruments that are not available for purchase, ETS provides citation information to help you find the instrument.

In its search results, ETS also lists the acronym for the instrument, which may help you in further searches.

ETS allows you to limit your searches so that you only find instruments they have available for download. (Note that there is a fee associated with the downloads.)

1. In the Advanced Search Box, select Order Information for the first box. Enter the keyword downloadable.

2. Enter your topic in the second box, under all fields. Hit Search.

ETS Advanced Search Box

To search all results (not just downloadable), you can do a basic or advanced search.

For a basic search, simply enter your keyword in the search box and hit the enter key.

ETS basic search

For an advanced search, click the Advanced Search tab. 

1. Change the second box to All Fields.

2. Enter your keyword and hit search.

ETS Advanced Search

In Advanced search, you can also search by subject, year, author, and title, among other categories.




HaPI stands for Health and Psychosocial Instruments. It is a database with information on research instruments.

To search for an instrument in HaPI:

1. Enter your keyword in the search box.

2. Change the field to ME Measure. Hit search.

HaPI searching using ME

Mental Measurements Yearbook

Mental Measurements Yearbook

Mental Measurements Yearbook is a guide to many instruments for a variety of disciplines. More recent versions (volumes 8-20) can be searched in the Gumberg Library databases; earlier editions can be found in the library stacks (volumes 3-18). MMY includes pricing data and publisher information.

To search MMY by subject:

1. Enter the subject keyword in the search bar without choosing a field.

2. Hit search. You should receive a results list with the tests that measure your field of study.

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global


PQDTG is a database that hosts a large number of dissertations and theses, many of which are full-text.

In Advanced Search, enter your topic in the top box and change the search field to Anywhere. In the second box, input survey, assessment, etc, also changing the search field to Anywhere:

PQDTG Search Box

Dissertations often include the entire research instrument.  Make sure you contact the author for permission before using it.




PsycTESTS is a database containing a large number of psychological instruments.

To search for research instruments in PsycTESTS, enter your subject and hit search.

PsycTESTS search box with the word depression in it

For more info on PsycTESTS, see our guide!