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Research Instruments

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

Instrument Reviews

Assessing the Instruments Reliability and Validity

You should assess an instrument's validity and reliability before you try to obtain its full text.

Where you find that data depends on whether the instrument is "published" or "unpublished." 

Published Instruments
Published means commercially published, and that the instrument is typically available for sale. You can find reviews of many published instruments, including validity and reliability data, in Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print Database.
The MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) is a published instrument.
Unpublished Instruments
Unpublished means that the instrument has not been commercially published. You can find reviews of unpublished instruments in many of the Resources for Identifying Instruments. If you are not sure where to start, try APA PsycTests or HaPI.
The LANSS (Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs Pain Scale) is an unpublished instrument.

Use This Flowchart to Determine How to Assess Your Instrument:

The Library Databases Can be Used to Find Assessment Information!

You can search for reviews of instruments using the library databases. 

To find a review, search for the instrument name and include the word review, reliability, or validity.

  • For example, in CINAHL:


After you complete your search, find articles that discuss reliability and validity. 

  • You will find this information within the abstract or full text.