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Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy

About Research Instruments

  • Research instruments are measurement tools, such as questionnaires, scales, and surveys, that researchers use to measure variables in research studies.  
  • In most cases, it is better to use a previously validated instrument rather than create one from scratch.
  • Always evaluate instruments for relevancy, validity, and reliability. 
  • Many older yet relevant, valid and reliable instruments are still popular today. It is time consuming and costly to validate instruments, so re-using instruments is common and helpful for connecting your study with an existing body of research.
  • Although you can conduct an internet search to find research instruments on publisher and organization websites, library databases are usually the best resources for identifying relevant, validated and reliable research instruments. 
  • Locating instruments takes time and requires you to follow multiple references until you reach the source. 
  • Databases provide information about instruments, but they do not provide access to the instruments themselves. 
  • In most cases, to access and use the actual instruments, you must contact the author or purchase the instrument from the publisher. 
  • In many cases, you will have to pay a fee to use the instrument.
  • Even if the full instrument is freely available, you should contact the owner for permission to use and for any instructions and training necessary to use the instrument properly. 

 

Databases for Finding Research Instruments

Find Research Instruments in Instrument Databases

Find Research Instruments in Literature Databases