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

About this section

This section will help you find and discover tests and measures in your discipline. 


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

Use one or more classification codes combined with subject of measure (available from "Search Tools")


optimism and "Clinical Psychological Testing ".cc.

self esteem and "Developmental Scales & Schedules".cc.

More codes:
Tests & Testing
Personality Scales & Inventories
Sensory & Motor Testing
Neuropsychological Assessment
Health Psychology Testing
Educational Measurement
Occupational & Employment Testing
Consumer Opinion & Attitude Testing


  • HaPI (Health & Psychosocial Instruments) -1985-present, with many earlier measures. “Source” is often publisher contact information rather than a journal or book citation.
  • Search using keywords on the topic
  • Combine synonyms with OR and truncate



cope or coping


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

Use one or more MeSH terms combined (using AND) with the topic.

MEDLINE on Ovid:

exp Psychological tests/
exp Aptitude tests/
Language tests/
exp Neuropsychological tests/
exp Personality tests/
exp Psychiatric status rating scales/
exp “surveys and questionnaires”/

Or, cut and paste the following search string, and then combine (using AND) with the topic.

((screen* or evaluat* or assess* or diagnos* or rating or rate or measur* or case finding) adj5 (index or test* or instrument* or inventor* or battery or batteries or tool* or scale* or checklist* or check list* or schedule*)).ti,ab.

Apraxia/ AND Language Tests/
Nursing/ AND Aptitude Tests/


/ = [mesh], e.g., exp Aptitude tests/ = Aptitude tests[Mesh] in PubMed

.ti,ab = [tiab], e.g., instrument*.ti,ab = instrument*[tiab] in PubMed

See also: Terwee C, Jansma E, Riphagen I, Vet HW. Development of a methodological PubMed search filter for finding studies on measurement properties of measurement instruments. Qual Life Res. 2009.


  • Mental Measurements Yearbook - Includes information about tests, how to purchase, a complete description, and references to reviews of the test. Search terms on the topic of interest, or the name of the tool


  • 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.

Search terms on the topic of interest 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.

In the Advanced Search screen enter "testing" or "evaluation" or "measurement" and choose "Descriptor" from the drop-down menu or choose "tests/questionnaires" from the "Publication Type" limit list. Combine with terms on the topic of interest.


Quality of life studies

Searching for quality of life studies? Try these tips for searching for health-related quality of life studies.

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