Skip to Main Content

Finding Measurement Tools: Home


What are measurement tools?
Measurement tools are instruments like surveys, questionnaires, or scales to help collect data from a population—whether patients, students, clients, or subjects. They help quantify variables that are not normally quantifiable with technology and equipment. For example, we can draw blood and run a lipid panel to measure cholesterol levels. However, concepts like anxiety or pain or satisfaction cannot be measured by any equipment or technology so we must rely on measurement tools.

Do note that many measurement tools are protected by copyright. If planning to use a tool for research or practice, you may need to get copyright permission or pay for a license. Talk to your librarian for further information.

Terms to know:

  • Reliability: The extent to which a measurement is free from error. The result for a person who has not changed also doesn’t change when retested at different intervals, by different people, or in different situations.
  • Validity: the degree to which an instrument is measuring the thing it claims to measure. For example, does a test for student engagement actually measure that, or is it measuring something else, like extroversion or intelligence?

Measurement Tools: Health and Psychosocial Instruments / Mental Measurements Yearbook

Instructions: Health and Psychosocial Instruments / Mental Measurements Yearbook

Contains records and reviews of thousands of measurement tools used in disciplines like psychology, education, and business. The tools found in this database are commercially available products and usually require purchase from a publisher.

What is MeSH?

There are many other ways and places to find measurement tools. One good option is using keyword searching in subject databases. Simply do a keyword search as you would normally, but add terms that indicate you are searching for a measurement tool, such as the following:

  • Reliability
  • Validity
  • Test
  • Measure
  • Survey
  • Questionnaire
  • Scale
  • Inventory
  • Instrument


  • "test anxiety" AND ("oral interview" OR questionnaire)
  • "website usability" AND (validity OR reliability) AND (test OR survey OR instrument OR measurement)

Further Databases for Finding Measurement Tools

Books and articles about measurement tools:

Library Reference Staff

Profile Photo
Library Reference
Main Library