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: Assessing

Reliability and Validity

Validity The degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful.
Reliability The degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure.

Published Instruments

Published means commercially published, and that the instrument is typically available for sale. You can find reviews of many published instruments, including validity and reliability data, in Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print Database.

Example:


The MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) is a published instrument.

 

Unpublished Instruments

Unpublished means that the instrument has not been commercially published. You can find reviews of unpublished instruments in many of the Resources for Identifying Instruments. If you are not sure where to start, try HaPI.

Example:


The LANSS (Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs Pain Scale) is an unpublished instrument.

  •     You can find journal articles that review the LANSS Pain Scale in HaPI and other databases.
  •     You can find the full text instrument in ScienceDirect.

 

Search Examples

You can search for reviews of instruments by using almost any library database, including those named in this guide.

To search for a review, look for the instrument by name and add the words review, reliability or validity to your search. See examples below:

CINAHL Image showing search for a test review in CINAHL.
PubMed An image showing a search in PubMed for manuscripts describing the validation of a known instrument.
Scopus An image showing a search in the Scopus database for the validation of a known research instrument.