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Research Instruments

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

Information for all Resources

Browse Resources for Identifying a Research Instrument!

Identifying a research instrument can be a time-consuming task!

Gumberg library provides access to databases such as, APA PsycTests and HaPI, that contain information about a wide variety of research instruments. These databases are a good place to start looking for research instruments!

Listed below are other resources you can use to identify research instruments. Click the name to learn more about procedures for finding research instruments using the resource!

Subject Area
Additional Information
Asher's Occupational Therapy Print edition is available for library use only
CINAHL Nursing and Other Health Professions  Online database 

Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests

Neuropsychology This book has a test and subject index
DASS Depression Anxiety Stress Scale Free downloadable questionnaire!
ERIC Education research and information Online database
ETS A variety of fields with an emphasis on educational testing Online test collection database 
Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests In Print Provides reviews of tests on Personality, aptitude, intelligence & more Available through online database and in the library
ProQuest Dissertation & Theses Global Multidisciplinary index of dissertations and theses from all fields of study Online database 
RAND Health Care, aging, mental health, quality of life and more Free downloadable surveys - no charge!
Tests In Print Achievement, aptitude, intelligence, sensorimotor skills & more Bibliography of known commercially available tests - library use only

If you don't see a subject covered, please Ask Gumberg for more advice! 



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

Each chapter is broken down by subject to find an instrument related to your topic.

Some chapter topics include:

  • Quality-of-Life Assessments
  • Sensory-Perceptual Assessments
  • Motor and Praxis Assessments
  • Emotional Regulation and Psychological Assessments

This book provides information on cost, reliability and validity, and many other helpful aspects related to each instrument.

Note: The print book is available for library use only.



CINAHL is the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature database.

When searching CINAHL for instruments, you will find articles that discuss using instruments. 

  • After you complete your search, you will need to check the abstract or the full text article for more information about the specific instrument.
  • For detailed information regarding the instrument, find the instrument cited in the reference list and copy & paste the reference into Google Scholar to find the article examining the instrument.

There are two ways to search for instruments by subject:

Option 1:

1. Click Advanced Search. Enter your topic keyword in the search bar. 

2. Select field IN (Instrumentation). 

3. Click Search.

Option 2:

1. Click Advanced Search and enter your topic keyword.

2. Scroll down and when you see Publication Type, select Questionnaire/Scale.

3. Click Search.

CINAHL Publication Type Box

A Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests

Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests

A Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests is a well-established printed book of assessments related to neuropsychology.

This book allows you to search for instruments by subjects.

Some topics include:

  • Attention
  • Motor Skills
  • Visual Perception
  • Somatosenory Function 

The book has a test and subject index, as well as one for authors. It includes pricing and publisher information for the instruments.



DASS (Depression Anxiety Stress Scales) is designed to measure the negative emotional states of depression, anxiety, and stress.

The DASS is a 42-item self-report questionnaire that is free to download and use!

The manual which contains more detailed information, can be purchased for a nominal fee that is listed on their website. 

Directory of Unpublished Experimental Mental Measures



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. 

When searching ERIC for instruments, you will find articles that discuss using instruments. 

  • After you complete your search, you will need to check the abstract or the full text article for more information about the specific instrument.
  • For detailed information regarding the instrument, find the instrument cited in the reference list and copy & paste the reference into Google Scholar to find the article examining the instrument.

There are a few different ways to search in ERIC:

Option 1

1. Click Advanced Search.

2. Scroll down to publication type and select Tests/Questionnaires, 

3. Then enter your topic keyword in the search box and click Search. 

Limit results in ERIC

Option 2

1. Enter your topic keyword in the first box.

2. Then enter test* or survey* into the next box and select the field AB (abstract) in the green box.

3. Click Search. 

Option 3

1. Enter your topic keyword in the first box.

2. Enter tests/questionnaires in the next box and select the field PU (publication type) in the green box.

3. Click Search.

ETS Test Link


ETS has a large database of instruments that are available for purchase.

  • For instruments that are not available for purchase, ETS provides citation information to help you find the instrument.

ETS allows you to limit your searches so that you only find instruments they have available for download.

  • Note: there is a fee associated with the download

Option 1

To search for downloadable instruments:

1. Click the Advanced Search Box. 

2. For the first box, select Order Information.

3. Enter the keyword downloadable.

4. Enter your topic in the second box, under all fields. Click Search.

ETS Advanced Search Box

Option 2

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 the enter key.

ETS Advanced Search

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



Health and Psychosocial Instruments includes journal articles that discuss measurement instruments in the health, psychosocial, organizational behavior, and library and information science fields. 

Some HaPI records include information about finding specific instruments as well as their reliability. Check the full text of articles for more information about specific instruments.

To search for an instrument in HaPI:

1. Click Advanced Search and enter your keyword(s) in the search box.

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


Note: Sometimes you may find the full text for an instrument. Be sure to read about the instruments permissions.

Mental Measurements Yearbook

Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests In Print

Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests In Print database contains information about a wide range of instruments for a variety of disciplines. 

You can access the Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests In Print database online through Gumberg library.

There are two ways to use this resource:

1. Enter a keyword related to your topic 


2. Search the name of an already known assessment

This online database contains an abundance of information related to each instrument. You can find the test category, population, and purpose of the test, as well as identify the author(s), time, and price.

Note: this database does not include copies of the actual instrument, but it is a great resource to identify information when asking for permission!

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global contains the full text of a large number of dissertations and theses. Some of the dissertations and theses include entire research instruments. 

To search the database: 

1. Click Advanced Search, enter your topic in the top box and change the search field to Anywhere.

2. In the second box, input survey, scale, assessment, etc, also changing the search field to Anywhere.

Note: Make sure you contact the instrument author for permission before using the instrument.

  • Keep in mind that the dissertation author might not be the instrument author. 


APA PsycTests

APA PsycTests is a database containing a collection of psychological measures, scales, surveys, and other essential instruments across the behavioral and social sciences.

To search for research instruments in APA PsycTests, enter a keyword related to your topic and click search.


Once you've completed your search and click a resource on the result list, you will see information related to the instrument.

  • This includes format, permission, feed, age group, reliability, validity, and instrument citation source.

Note: Many PsycTests records include instruments. Be sure to read about an instrument's permissions!

For more info on the APA PsycTests database, see our guide!



RAND (Research ANd Development) provides downloadable surveys to use free of charge!

RAND requires an appropriate citation when using their products. Occasionally, some materials are not from RAND, but the link will take you to another website with instructions.

Survey topics include:

  • Aging and Health
  • Health Economics
  • HIV, STDs, and Sexual Behavior
  • Mental Health
  • Quality of Life

To view the full list of free and downloadable surveys, click here!

Additional Resources

Additional Resources Available

We recommend using the resources listed above to try and identify a research instrument. If you still haven't found an instrument, feel free to try these resources below.

Tests and Measures in the Social Sciences (TMSS) is an archived index that is being updated based on an older version known as, TMdb. These databases contain books with tests and measurement tools used in psychology, sociology, health, marketing, management, and many more disciplines.

TMdb and TMSS are finding aids that will help you identify books that contain the full text of instrument's.

  • If you find a book you’re interested, click the WorldCat link to get more information on the book and then request it through ILLiad.
  • If you're feeling confused and need help, ask a librarian!