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Research Tools & Instruments Guide

Choosing a validated instrument for your capstone or final project

Finding Reviews and Validation Sources

1. In the Library

Option 1: Research instrument records

These are NOT scholarly articles, but describe standardized research instruments by providing:

  • a description
  • validation information
  • directions on how to obtain a copy of the instrument 

On the advanced search page

  • Scroll down to Publication Type (under limit your results)
  • Select Research Instrument
  • Hit Search to retrieve ALL research instruments documents in the CINAHL database


  • Scroll down to Publication Type (under limit your results)
  • Select Research Instrument
  • Do a keyword search on your topic in the search boxes, to retrieve research instrument documents 

Option 2: Projects that use instruments

  • Use the IN (Instrumentation) limiter (by choosing it from the dropdown menu next to the search boxes)
  • searches the database for statistical instruments that are discussed in  a scholarly journal article or used for the research instrument
  • IN must be chosen in order to be searched – otherwise only content that cites or mentions an instrument will be returned in results 
  • Select a Field searching will NOT search for instruments used in the article

Dissertations and theses often include copies and details of the instruments  in the appendices

  • the dissertation will not indicate the copyright status of the instrument. 
  • you will need to independently determine copyright status and obtain permission to use the instrument. 
  • the appendices often contain contact information for the copyright holders.

 On the advanced search page

  • Do a keyword search on your topic
  • Open the dissertation(s) full text and scroll to the table of contents and locate the Appendices section for information about the research instrument 

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