If you are doing dissertation level research, you will also be collecting your own data using a test or measure designed to address the variables present in your research. Finding the right test or measure can sometimes be difficult. In some cases, tests are copyrighted and must be purchased from commercial publishers. In other cases instruments can be obtained for free directly from the authors or can be found within published articles (in the methods section or as an appendix). The Library can help you with obtaining publisher or author information along with test reviews, if they are available.
One important decision you will eventually face in the dissertation process is whether to use an existing instrument, to modify an instrument, or to create your own instrument from scratch. The latter two will require extensive testing and are not generally recommended. Whichever decision you make should be thought over carefully and discussed with your mentor or dissertation chair committee.
You will need to either purchase the test from a publisher or contact author(s) to obtain the test along with copyright permissions to use it in your research. When contacting an author for copyright permissions you will often send a permission letter. Examples of permission letters are included in the Permission Letters section below.
For a video introduction, see the the Introduction to Tests and Measurements Workshop below.
This workshop provides an introduction to library resources which can be used to locate tests and measurements for dissertation research.
When conducting a search, remember that different keywords yield different results. Consider these terms and add them to your search string when trying to locate tests or measurements:
Searching in Roadrunner
The simplest way to discover instruments relevant to your dissertation research is to carefully read the "Methods" section in peer-reviewed journal articles. A dissertation will build on a field of study and you will be well served by understanding how the constructs you are interested in have been measured. For example, while exploring the topic of depression, read articles and take note of which depression inventories are used and why.
Searching in CINAHL
To search for tests or measurements in CINAHL, follow the below steps:
Additional Search Strategies for Locating Tests and Measurements in CINAHL
Searching in ERIC
To search for tests or measurements in ERIC, follow the below steps:
In addition, the ERIC thesaurus entries list descriptors of tests and scales which may be used to construct a search. Select a broad category and continue narrowing down to your desired term. Click on Search collection using this descriptor to begin your search, as shown below.
For additional information, see our ERIC Quick Tutorial Video.
Searching in ETS TestLink
To locate tests and measurements in ETS TestLink, follow the below steps:
For additional information, see our ETS TestLink Quick Tutorial Video.
Searching in Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HAPI)
To locate tests and measurements in HAPI, follow the below steps:
Searching in Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print
Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print (MMY with TiP) offers test reviews that are written by experts and contain descriptions of tests and commentary on their psychometric adequacy (Cone & Foster, 2006, pg. 170). You can use MMY with TiP to (1) obtain contact information for an author or publisher, and (2) read descriptive information on the measure of interest. Note that you will need to either purchase the test from the publisher directly, or contact author(s) to obtain the test along with copyright permissions to use it in your research.
To locate tests and measurements in Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print, follow the below steps:
Searching in PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES
To locate tests and measurements in PsycINFO or PsycARTICLES, follow the below steps:
Searching in PsycTESTS
To locate tests and measurements in PsycTESTS, follow the below steps:
Searching in PubMed
To locate tests and measurements in PubMed, use the following strategies:
Below are example search strings incorporating the use of these MESH subject headings:
For additional information, see the PubMed Quick Tours Videos.
Searching in ScienceDirect
Use ScienceDirect to locate tests and measurements used in studies and published articles relevant to your topic. Add any of the following keywords to your search string:
For additional information, see our ScienceDirect Quick Tutorial Video.
Searching in Web of Knowledge
Use Web of Knowledge to locate tests and measurements used in studies and published articles relevant to your topic. Add any of the following keywords to your search string:
For additional information, see the Web of Science Training Portal.
Searching in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
Locate tests and measurements in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses by using the following strategies:
Search for related graduate and doctoral-level research that has already been conducted on your topic. Similar studies may have employed a relevant test or measurement.
Check a dissertation's Abstract to see if the author mentions administering or designing a measurement tool. If a measurement is mentioned, it is likely that a reprint of the measure will appear in the appendix of the dissertation. This example shows that the author references a test or measurement in the Abstract:
For additional information, see our ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Quick Tutorial Video.
Lastly, you might try searching for a test or measurement or information about them on the Internet. Google is an excellent search engine for finding information on test instruments. To find information about a particular test or measurement on Google, type the name of the test or measurement into the empty search field and place it in quotes: