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Surveys, Questionnaires, and Other Research Instruments  

Guide to finding the full text of questionnaires, surveys, and related research instruments.
Last Updated: May 22, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Find full text of a specific research instrument

If you want a specific research instrument...

Type the title and author into Google

  1. If you're lucky, the full text will be available for free online. At least you'll see a citation to a specific article or book that provides the instrument.
  2. If you're somewhat lucky, you'll discover that a company is selling it (hey, at least you'd know)
  3. Or you could find that there are different authors, different versions, and no way to tell whether a journal article or book is providing the instrument - in that case, use the "finding research instruments" searches to the right

You are responsible for contacting the author or publisher of the research instrument to ensure that you have permission to use the research instrument (and to reproduce it if you plan to share a copy with others). 

Find Surveys & Other Research Instruments On Your Topic

Some research instruments are only be available for purchase from a publisher.

Some research instruments are made available by the authors upon request, or shared in a journal article or book.

If you're looking for a research instrument on your topic, start by searching one of these sources.

  • Mental Measurements Yearbook (EBSCO)
    Descriptions and reviews of standardized educational, personality, aptitude, intelligence, and achievement tests. Includes "publisher information" (sources for purchasing tests), not the full text of tests.
  • CINAHL (Nursing and Allied Health) (EBSCO)
    Guide to nursing and allied health literature. Type a very simple version of your topic, one word. Under Search Options, limit the Publication Type to Research Instrument. Search.

    You might need to follow a "check for full text" link to see your result. The result should describe a research instrument. And either provide the full version or give a reference to another source that might or might not contain the full version.

    At this point, you can search for the reference given or try searching Google for the name of the instrument.

    If you identify an instrument that you would like to use but can't find the full text freely online or in articles or books, there is a strong chance that the authors aren't making it widely available. Contact them to ask for it.
  • PsycInfo
    Guide to psyc literature. Some results include description of whether the item has full text of a test or measure. Type your search topic in the top box. Then in the next search box, type appended and set the search field to TM Tests and Measures.
  • ERIC (Education)
    Guide to education literature. Some results include description of whether the item has full text of a test or measure. Type your topic (a broad search such as communication or language will get many more results than a narrow search such as aphasia). Then, under the Refine Search tab, set Publication type to Tests. If you get plenty of results from this search, you may want to filter results even more. It is possible to set Education Level to Early Childhood Education, Preschool, etc. For each
  • Rand Health
    "All of the surveys from RAND Health are public documents, available without charge. "
  • Atlas of Integrated Behavioral Health Care Quality Measures
    Assessments of patient experiences from the AHRQ

Books with Research Instruments

Here are some the books in our collection that contain research instruments.

Google Books offers previews of some books, which can be helpful if you're trying to decide whether to walk to the library and check out the print.

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Measures for Clinical Practice and Research
Corcoran & Fischer, 2013. Print not online

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Measuring Health
McDowell, 2006. Reviews and copies of 50 instruments. Print, not online.

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Outcome Measures for Health Education and Other Health Care Interventions
Lorig, 1996. Online. Self-administered scales for measuring health behaviours, health status, self-efficiency and health care utilization.

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Primary Care Tools for Clinicians
Loretz, 2005. Print, not online.

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Measurement in Nursing and Health Research
Waltz et al, 2010. Print, not online.

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Measurement of Nursing Outcomes
Waltz et al, 2001-2003. Print, not online

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Quality of life : assessment, analysis, and interpretation
Fayers & Machin, 2000. Print not online.

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Handbook of Geriatric Assessment
Gallo et al, 2005. Print not online.

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The Sourcebook of Nonverbal Measures
Manusov (Ed), 2004. Online

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Assessing Children's Well-being: A Handbook of Measures
Naar-King, Ellis & Frey, 2003. Online. Provides availability and contact info for obtaining research instruments.

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Handbook of Psychiatric Measures
First, Blacker, Rush (Eds), 2008. CD rom contains > 100 measures discussed in the text.

Health Sciences Librarian

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Lea Leininger

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