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Finding Tools

What does this guide contain?

  • Guide on how to find specific tests
  • Provide information on how to search for test information within different databases
  • Copyright information on obtaining and using tools
  • Print books and websites on test information

Some Tips on Tests and Instruments:

  • Finding these resources can be irritating.
  • Look in the appendix of an article to find the test.
  • You can find the original publication of the test listed in the references
  • Most tests are not easily accessible or free.  Look up the info the publisher and/or author for permission to use.

Additional Tips:

Knowing your instrument: When you know the name of your instrument go to a database and look it up by its title.

Not knowing:  If you don't know the name of an instrument trying referencing the Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY).  This book will provide you with information on instrument titles and information on the instrument. (Please note the MMY is a reference book and can not be checked out of the IHS library)


The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) database is one way to find a particular test.  You can search CINAHL by:

  • Test Name
  • Type 
  • Subject

Research instruments can also be found using specific keywords such:

  • Research Instruments
  • Research Measurement,
  • Questionnaire,
  • Survey, Screening,
  • Survey Research,
  • Evaluation, 
  • Scale

However, searching CINAHL by keywords is not the best way to locate instrument references.  Below are some other strategies to use.

Other ways of conducting a search in CINAHL for tests include:

Advanced Search - (IN) Instrumentation 

In the Advanced Search section of CINAHL use the drop down field menu to select IN for Instrumentation.  Searching this index field ensures retrieval of a small but topically relevant set of titled instrument references.


Searching using truncation which is a searching technique used in databases in which a word ending is replace by a symbol such as an asterisk *

  • To use truncation, enter the root of a word and put the truncation symbol (*) at the end.
  • The database will return results that include any ending of that root word.
  • Example: Child
    • child* = childs, children, childrens, childhood
    • Test* = tests, testing

Boolean Operators

Using the boolean operator "AND" is not necessary, but it may help you organize your research process.  To learn more about Boolean Operators refer to the Evidence-Based Research section of this toolkit.



Try using CINAHL INDEXES when you are trying to find tests.  The Indexes are located under the "More" option.  

Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HaPI)

The HaPI database contains information on research instruments, (survey, interviews, rating scales, questionnaires, etc.)

While this database contains a wealth of information on research instruments, you will not find the actual instrument in HaPI. You will be able to:

  • Find information on an instrument
  • Determine the availability of reliability and validity evidence 
  • Discover the history of an instrument 
  • locate ordering information for a particular known instrument 

Like CINAHL, when you do a search, you will generate a very similar looking results page.  However, there are some difference to consider:

  • The titles generate in blue are the titles of the Test Instrument(s)
  • Each item in your results are tied with an article that uses that instrument
    • The title of the article is displayed under the title of the test in blue, and the journal title is listed as "Source".
  • To find an article on the instrument use the, Find@SHU Libraries 

If you find a citation to a study referencing or using an instrument of interest to you, you will have to track down the full text citation provided in the record.

Some Helpful Searching Tips

To help narrow down your search, the following are the most helpful indexes when focusing on a search.

  • ME Measure - indexes terms describing the variable the instrument is intended to measure.
  • ST Subscale - indexes terms describing the variable measured by an instruments's sub-scales.
    • This is included in they keyword searching, meaning a keyword search will automatically search this field
  • AC Acronym - helpful if you know the acronym of a specific instrument you are interested in findings.


Searching Instruments in PubMed

PubMed is the Interface for searching MEDLINE, the online index of biomedical journal article citations from 1950 to present. Premiere database of medical literature.

Searching by test title is easy in PubMed.  If you want to browse tests, these MeSH Terms & Subheadings may help:

Add you area of study to these headings:

  • Questionnaires
  • Surveys or Health Surveys or Health Care Surveys
  • Data Collection
  • Health Impact Assessment
  • Test Anxiety Scale
  • Diet Surveys
  • Statistics and numerical data
  • Self Report
  • Research Design

For Info on how to use PubMed use the PubMed toolkit guide:


Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)

PROMIS is a set of person-centered measures that evaluates and monitors physical, mental, and social health in adults and children.

To use PROMIS you need to register

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Centers of Disease Control

Journals on Testing

  • Applied Psychological Measurement
  • Educational Measurement: Issues & Practice
  • Educational & Psychological Measurement
  • Journal of Educational Measurement
  • Physiological Measurement
  • Psychological Test & Assessment Modeling