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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: Sep 13, 2013 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 very lucky, the full text will be available for free online or in a book
  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

Always contact the author of the instrument for permission to use it.

Find Surveys & Other Research Instruments On Your Topic

The full version of research instruments can *sometimes* be found in journal articles reporting research study results or in books compiling research study instruments.  Sometimes a research instrument will only be available for sale from a publisher. 

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

    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.
  • PubMed
    Guide to medical and health literature 1950s-present. Some articles indexed in this database will include the full text of tests and measures. Type your topic, then add a subject heading such as MeSH terms such as "Questionnaires"[Mesh] or "Reproducibility of Results"[Mesh]. Your search might look something like this: communication and "Questionnaires"[Mesh]
  • Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print
    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.
  • 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 (a broad search such as communication or language will get many more results than a narrow search such as aphasia). Then in the next search box, type appended and set the search field to TM Tests and Measures.
  • ERIC
    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

Books with Full Version of Research Instruments

Here are a few of the books in our collection that contain research instruments. Scroll down the record to the table of contents to determine if the book offers the kinds of instrument that you need. 

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.

Handbook of Community-Based and Home Health Nursing Practice: Tools for assessment, intervention, and education. RT98 .S782   2000
Provides 295 tools and reference documents, including assessment tools for different developmental stages, nutrition guides, cultural assessment instruments and clinical decision-making guides

Measurement of Nursing Outcomes. RT85.5 .M434 2001
Compendium of over 30 tools for the measurement of professional and educational outcomes in nursing. Presented with attention to purpose and utility, conceptual basis, development, testing, and reliability and validity.

Measuring health : A Guide to rating scales and questionnaires. RA408.5.M38 2006
In-depth reviews of over 100 of the leading health measurement tools. Chapters cover measurements of physical disability, social health, psychological well-being, anxiety, depression, mental status testing, pain, general health status and quality of life. Shows reliability and validity and, where possible, a copy of the actual scale 

Handbook of Tests and Measurements for Black Populations. BF176 .H37 1996
About 40 tests and measures. Entire test may not be included

Primary Care Tools for Clinicians : A Compendium of Forms, Questionnaires, and Rating Scales for Everyday Practice RC65 .L680 2005

Over 230 forms, scales, and inventories to use or adapt for routine or specialized exams to assess and document a patient's condition

Health Sciences Librarian

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Lea Leininger

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