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HOW to Find Research Instruments

The research process

Subject Librarian Dubai

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Judith Mavodza
Office number: 04L1-105 First floor
Phone number: 04 402 1501

What are Research Instruments?

Research instruments are tools used to collect, measure, and analyze data related to your subject.

Research instruments can be testssurveysscalesquestionnaires, or even checklists.

To assure the strength of your study, it is important to use previously validated instruments!

Finding Research Instruments

Sage Research Methods

This database contains information suited to all levels of researchers, from undergrads starting their first projects to the most senior faculty. It contains books, reference works, case studies, sample datasets, and videos. There is everything a researcher needs to design and execute a research project. 

You can explore the Methods Map in this database for guidance on:

  • Designing a research project
  • Quantitative methods design
  • Qualitative methods design
  • The practice of data analysis
  • and more...

PsycINFO 1887-Current (EbscoHost) 

  • This APA database contains useful information on Tests & Measures.                                                                     
  • In searching, opt for the Tests & Measures selection to retrieve articles with relevant tests and measures
  • Also refer to this LINK for more details about using PsycInfo


BOOKS from the ZU Library

Developing Research Instruments

Suggested sources of information:

Assessing the Reliability and Validity of Research Instruments

It is important to assess an instrument's validity and reliability before you try to obtain its full text.

Where you find that data depends on whether the instrument is "published" or "unpublished." 

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 

Unpublished Instruments
Unpublished means that the instrument has not been commercially published. If the instrument is unpublished, contact the author directly.
  • You may be able to find the full text of unpublished instruments using the library's databases.
  • If you find the full text, read the permission terms to determine if it is available for reuse or if you will need to contact the author/publisher.
  • If you have to contact the publisher or author for the full text of an instrument or permission, try these suggestions below:
    • Look for the author's email address or phone number to contact them, also letting them know that you are a student.
    • If the email bounces back or phone number doesn't work, search for their institution affiliation as this may lead to their contact information. 
    • Ask your professor or a librarian for help! They might be able to help. 
    • If you have tried all of the above and still cannot locate the author, see if the author has any co-authors (in other papers) that you can contact.
    • Contact authors of articles that mention the instrument you are looking for, and ask them how they obtained permission.