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Research Instruments (Tests & Scales): Research Instruments used in Articles

Finding information and obtaining tests, scales, questionnaires and other research instruments.

CINAHL

CINAHL is best known as a tool to identify articles in the nursing and allied health literature, but it can also be used to find information on instruments used in nursing and allied health research.

To find articles that use a particular instrument, CINAHL includes a field named Instrumentation in the Select a Field drop down menu. This field lists the names of research instruments and abbreviations of instruments used in research studies. Although names of clinical assessment tools also appear in this field, instrument names do not include subscales, revision numbers, edition numbers, etc. To search the instrumentation field, enter the search in this manner: IN affect balance scale. When searching by name, it is most effective to use a unique term or phrase from the name of the instrument.

Note, however that an instrument mentioned in the Instrumentation field is used in the course of the study reported in the article, but may not be reproduced in the article itself.  On the initial search screen, you can use the Publication Type menu to limit your search to the publication type Questionnaire/Scale to retrieve only articles where the entire questionnaire or scale is included in the article (often as an appendix).

For more information about searching CINAHL, see these resources.

ERIC

ERIC is a database of articles and other materials relevant to educational research.  To find materials in ERIC that deal with specific tests or research instruments, you can search in the Identifier field.  Note: the Identifier contains the names of programs, keywords, etc. so it is best to search for the entire name of the test.  Depending on the version of ERIC you are using this is accomplished in different ways.

To find articles that contain tests or questionnaires, or the tests themselves, ERIC uses a publication type of Test/Questionnaire to designate "questionnaires, tests, examinations, evaluation and measurement devices, test specifications, compilations of tests, opinion polls (instruments), assessment tools, reporting booklets, rating scales, test manuals, etc."  You can perform a search on a topic and then Limit your results to this publication type to limit to articles containing tests or examples of testing instruments, etc.

PsycINFO

PsycINFO the psychology database, can be used to find information on tests and instruments as well as research using particular instruments.  PsycINFO has an instrumentation field too, but it is searched with a slightly different format. To search the instrumentation field to find research studies that used a particular instrument, enter the name of the instrument on the Advanced Search Screen, and change 'Select a Field' to 'TM Tests & Measures".  When searching by name, it is most effective to use a unique term or phrase from the name of the instrument.

A subject heading search for the name of the instrument will result in articles about the instrument: psychometric properties, analysis, evaluation, etc. There are also limits for tests and measures (look in Classification Codes limits).

For more information about searching PsycINFO, see this guide:

CINAHL Search by Name of Instrument mentioned in Article

Type words from the instrument's name after 'IN'

CINAHL Search for Articles with included Instruments

CINAHL Search for Articles with included Questionnaires/Scales

ERIC Search by Name of Instrument mentioned in Article

Type words from the instrument's name after 'KW'

ERIC Search for Included Instruments

ERIC Search for Articles with included Tests/Questionnaires