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Finding instruments, measures, scales and tests in education, health, psychology, and social work: Finding articles on a test or measure

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Finding research studies that used the instrument, or report its validity, reliability, or psychometric properties (i.e., when you know the instrument, and want to find out more about it)


  • PsycINFO - Key database for psychology. Occasionally, the full measure is included with an article as a an appendix.

Tip: Use the name, or part of the name in the search box, and limit to “tests and measures” (or type the suffix .tm.)



  • HaPI (Health & Psychosocial Instruments) - 1985-present, with many earlier measures. “Source” is often publisher contact information rather than a journal or book citation.

Tip: Limit to Primary Source to get only articles containing the measure or discussing its development

depressi*, limit to "Primary Source"


  • CINAHL - Offers extensive coverage of the nursing and allied health disciplines. 

Tip: For searching the reliability or validity of an assessment tool.

Use one or more of the following Subject Headings, and combine using AND with the name of the assessment tool:
Instrument validation/
Occupational therapy assessment/
Patient assessment/
Physical therapy assessment/
Test-retest reliability/


  • MEDLINE - Contains journal citations and abstracts for biomedical literature from around the world.

MEDLINE on Ovid:

Tip: Use the name of the instrument in combination with one or more of the MeSH terms below.

Reproducibility of results/
Observer variation/

Or, cut and paste the following search string and combine (using AND) with the name of the instrument.

(reliability or reproducib* or inter rate or interrater or valid* or test retest or predictive or psychometric*).mp.

Example: AND Observer variation/


  • Mental Measurements Yearbook - Includes information about tests, how to purchase, a complete description, and references to reviews of the test.


  • Health Services and Sciences Research Resources - Database designed for health care researchers and health sciences librarians seeking data resources used in health services research, the behavioral and social sciences and public health.

Tip: Search words from the name of the measure and select "Search Instruments/Indices only"


  • ERIC - Online library of education research and information, sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Tip: Search words from the name of the measure with the term "test validity" and choose "Descriptor" from the drop-down menu.

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