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Research Instruments (Tests & Scales): Descriptions of Research Instruments

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

Mental Measurements Yearbook and Tests in Print

The Mental Measurements Yearbook contains reviews of English-language tests and instruments that are commercially published. MMY reviews usually provide descriptive information about the test, psychometric properties, test development and norming, and a summary including recommended uses.  Carlson Library has Yearbooks 2-16.  Use the Buros Institute test finder below to identify tests included in the yearbook and which edition of the yearbook they were most recently reviewed in.

Tests in Print includes information on test purpose, test publisher, in-print status, price, test acronym, intended test population, administration times, publication date(s), and test author(s).

These resources are produced by the Buros Institute, which maintains its own website useful for identifying tests included in these book series.

CINAHL: Instrument Descriptions

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.

Beginning in 1994, CINAHL began indexing research instruments. (NOTE: The indexing is retrospective; many of the indexed instruments were developed before 1994; there don’t appear to be any new entries after 2005). Each instrument record includes

  • developers' names,
  • title,
  • abstract,
  • and details about the instrument which may include all or some of the following:
    • year developed,
    • purpose,
    • variables of interest,
    • original population,
    • question format,
    • administration,
    • scoring,
    • psychometrics,
    • copyright holders,
    • modifications, and
    • ordering address.

To identify instruments for a given condition or situation, do a search for the topic of interest, then limit the search to the publication type Research Instrument.  To see the full listing of instruments indexed in CINAHL, type PT research instrument in the Find box and hit search.  The PT (Publication Type) convention tells CINAHL to search for "research instrument" in the publication type field.

For more information about searching CINAHL, see these resources.

CINAHL Search for Instrument Descriptions

CINAHL Search for Instrument Descriptions

Other Online Resources for Tests and Instrument Information

Print Resources for Test and Instrument Information