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Tests, Instruments & Measurement Tools

Use this guide to gather information and critiques of various tests in psychology, counseling, education or human relations.

The Basics

What are Tests or Instruments? How are they used for research? And how can you find them in order to use them for your own research?

Test and Instruments are types of Measurement tools, and they are used by researchers and practitioners to aid in the assessment or evaluation of research participants, clients, or patients. The tools are used to measure or collect data on a variety of variables, depending on the research questions. Measurement tools include scales, indexes, surveys, interviews, observations, and more.

Below are steps to get you started with finding, obtaining, and using measurement tools in your own research. This list is by no means exhaustive, and should you have more specific questions, you will want to reach out to your liaison librarian. Not sure who that is? Use the link below to find out which librarian works with your program.

*This guide has reused material, with permission, from the University of Washington, Health Sciences Library Measurements Tools/Research Instruments guide:, maintained by Ann Madhavan.

Researching a tool

Researching and Selecting Measurement Tools

  • Databases: Lavery Library has a number of databases that specialize in measurement tools. In the Databases section of this guide, you will be introduced to these resources and see example searches.
  • Books: Lavery Library has books in our Collection where you can find reviews of measurement tools, and also full versions of measurement tools. In the Books section of this guide, you will see a list of these titles, and examples of what types of tools are available from these resources.
  • K-12 Resource Center: The K-12 Resource Center has a selection of Formal Assessments available, these can be checked out for one week. In the K-12 Resource Center section you will learn how to search for these educational test kits.

Accessing a tool

Obtaining and Accessing Measurement Tools

There's no one way to retrieve a measurement tool, sometimes the Library will have full versions available in our collection (in-print or online); sometimes you might need to request a copy through Interlibrary Loan, and sometimes using Google (gasp) is the best method.

  • Online: Sometimes tools will be available as an appendix to an article or dissertation, printed in a book with other tools, or even available freely online. Having the creator and title of a measurement tool in hand before searching for full versions will always make it easier.
  • Interlibrary Loan: You can always submit an ILL request for a measurement tool, and we will do our best to try and find a copy for you. Sometimes we need extra information from you to complete these requests, so make sure you respond promptly to emails asking for additional information.
  • K-12 Resource Center: Look for Formal Assessment kits in the K-12 Resource Center's collection.

Permissions for a tool

Permissions for Measurement Tools

Similar to how you would cite someone when referring to their research in your own, there are typically permissions that need to be given before using any measurement tool for your own purposes.

  • Copyright and obtaining permissions