Skip to Main Content

Research Instruments: Overview

About This Guide

This guide shows users how to identify, assess, and obtain research instruments for reuse. 

A research instrument is the tool or method a researcher uses to collect, measure, and analyze data related to the subject or participant, and can be:

  • tests, surveys, scales, questionnaires, checklists
  • and more!

Already Know Your Instrument's Name?

If you already:

  • Know the full name of your instrument OR
  • Have a citation for the instrument  AND
  • Have assessed the instrument for quality, applicability, and something else

you can go straight the section on obtaining the instrument.

Research Tip: Talk to your faculty. They may have expertise in working with research instruments and can offer pointers on the process, or even recommend an instrument by name.

The Process

Finding a research instrument can be time consuming!

There are 3 concrete steps in the process:

  1. Identify an appropriate tool or instrument for your research
  2. Assess whether the instrument is valid and reliable
  3. Obtain permission and get the full text

Be aware  - published papers and other sources often do not provide access to the full instrument.

Look for a citation and expect to contact the publisher for access.

Have patience and follow the process. You will get there!

The process: