Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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: