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Special Education

Subject guide for the discipline and field of special education.

Finding Tests in Databases

APA PsycInfo (ERIC)

Sometimes copies of tests or measurements can be found using the ERIC database.  One caveat--many of the citations you locate will be for ERIC Documents, and many of the ERIC Documents have been temporarily taken down due to privacy concerns.

  1. To use the EBSCO ERIC interface for finding measures or descriptions of measures, enter your keyword(s) in the first search box, e.g., reading, and leave the pull-down menu to the right  as is.
  2. In the next search box type, (test* or measure* or questionnaire* or scale* or survey* or assessment*) and select. Abstract from the pull-down menu to the right.
  3. In the third search box, type and appended and select Abstract from the pull-down menu to the right.
  4. Now execute the search by clicking the Search button. A specific test name can be substituted for keywords in the first search box as well.

Dissertations and Theses

Doctoral students often create instruments for their own research. Use the Digital Dissertations database to search for tests that may be contained in the appendices of dissertations.

Check the abstracts to see if a test or measurement is mentioned. Remember that the writer of the dissertation holds copyright and will need to be contacted for permission.  Also, keep in mind issues of reliability and validity.

  1. Type your topic in the first search box (e.g., video games)
  2. Type any additional topics in the second search box.
  3. In the third search box, type in a combination of terms such as test OR measure OR instrument OR survey


Beginning in 1994, CINAHL began indexing research instruments as a publication type. However, other CINAHL records may also include information about research instruments.

To find a work that is a published research instrument, search for the Publication Type RESEARCH INSTRUMENT. This indicates the work indexed is actually a research instrument.

Some of the instruments are included full text, others are not.  If the test is not available full text, ordering and copyright information are included.

  1. In the first search box, type in the term for your topic, for example self esteem, and the the drop-box to the right as is.
  2. In the next search box, type Research Instrument and use the drop box to select PT Publication Type.
  3. Now execute the search by clicking on the Search button.