Answered By: Jillian Silverberg
Last Updated: Jul 20, 2021     Views: 3

Locating questionnaires, surveys, or validated instruments can be a bit challenging. Below are some suggested methods for locating these instruments. Please note that not all survey instruments and tests can be found for free - sometimes validated instruments are copyrighted and permission to use the instrument is sold. 

 

1. Database searching

The Netter Library has a handful of databases with features that will allow you to focus your search for questionnaires, surveys, or other instruments. 

 

CINAHL -- Cumulative Index for Nursing and Allied Health Literature 

  • Filters are found on the left side of the page; use the "more" link under the date scroll bar to see a full list. 
  • Strategies for finding instruments:

    • There are two relevant filters under Publication Type: Questionnaires/Scale and Research Instrument. Use one or both along with your regular keyword search. 

    • Alternatively, you may search using a keyword, then append the type of measure you are looking for as a keyword (ex: "scale"). 

    • To find reviews of tests, search by the instrument name and then use an additional keyword such as, "test validity," "content validity," "construct validity," "inter-rater reliability," "test reliability," "test review," etc. in the descriptor field.  

 

PubMed

  • Strategies for finding instruments:

    •  Use MeSH terms or keywords that describe the type of instrument you are looking for  in conjunction with your topic. Examples: "Surveys and Questionnaires"[MeSH], "Psychological Tests"[MeSH]. If using one of the MeSH terms in this example, make sure to copy it exactly, including the bracketed text and quotation marks. 

    •  Conduct a simple search by instrument name or acronym

    • To find test reviews, use keywords such as validity or reliability in conjunction with your topic, or use MeSH terms such as "validation studies"[pt], "validation studies as topic"[mh], or "reproducibility of results"[mh]. If using one of the MeSH terms in this example, make sure to copy it exactly, including the bracketed text and quotation marks. 

 

ERIC Resources in Education (Federal Government version)

  • A comprehensive database of education research and information. Includes indexing of ERIC documents and over 600 education journals.

  • Filters are found on the left side of the page. 

  • Strategies for finding instruments:

    • To find a specific test, search by instrument name or acronym and limit to Publication Type: Tests/Questionnaires [articles where an instrument is included]

    • To find tests, search by keyword and limit results to Publication Type: Test/Questionnaires

    • To find reviews of tests, search by instrument name and additional keyword or terms such as test validity, content validity, construct validity, inter-rater reliability, test reliability, test reviews, etc. in the Descriptor field

PsychInfo

  • Strategies for finding instruments:

    • To find a specific test, search by instrument name or acronym in the first search box; in the search box below the first, type in the word appended. To the right of that box, use the drop-down menu to select the Tests and Measures field.

    • To find a test for a variable, enter your search keyword in any search box; to the right of that box, use the drop-down menu to select the Tests and Measures field.

    • To find reviews of tests, search by instrument name; to the right of that box, use the drop-down menu to select the Tests and Measures field. In a second search box, add additional terms such as Test Validity or Test Reliability. You will not need to change the field to the right of the box for this line. 

 

SocIndex

  • Filters are found on the left side of the page. 
  • Strategies for finding instruments:

    • To find tests or instruments, search by keyword, then append the type of measure you are looking for as a keyword (ex: scale) to the search. Example: Happiness AND questionnaire. 

    •  ADVANCED OPTION: Perform the search above, then use a filter on the left side to further narrow your results. The most useful filter is Limit by Subject.

    • To find reviews of tests, search by instrument name and add additional terms such as Test Validity or Test Reliability.

 

AHRQ National Quality Measures Clearinghouse

  • NQMC is a public resource for evidence-based quality measures and measure sets. NQMC also hosts the HHS Measure Inventory

 

ETS Test Collection

  • Search this database for instruments; once you find one that looks promising, search one of our databases for the article title. Alternatively, if you have a full citation, you may also look for the journal through the journal finder.

 

2. Contact the authors

This is one of the best methods for finding specific questionnaires or surveys. Although it may be intimidating, there is nothing wrong with reaching out the authors of a study and asking if they would be willing to share the tool that they used or created (with proper credit, of course!). 

 

3. Instrument Design/Creation 

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