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Finding and Evaluating Tests and Measures

Searching using Source Type and Instrumentation field

What is a research instrument source type?

Research instrument source types in CINAHL are records created by CINAHL staff that give us a thorough summary of the test or measure, including its purpose, population, variables measured and the name of the original study where it first appeared.

What is field searching?

Field searching allows you to designate one specific field in the CINAHL record within which your term will be searched. These fields include (but are not limited to) Article Title (TI), Author (AU), Author Affiliation (AF), Abstract (AB), Pagination (PG), and Source (SO). For the purpose of this exercise, we will be using Instrumentation (IN),

Step by Step: Source Type and Instrumentation Field searching

Keyword Search

  1. We will begin by searching for a topic and refining using the Source Type and selecting Research Instruments.
    • Type our keyword: pain into the search box. Click Search
      • In this example, make sure the Suggested Search Terms button is not selected
    • In this example the basic search will give us a lot of results, but we are looking only for Research Instruments
      • Scroll down until you see Source Types on the left side
    • Show more if necessary. Select Research Instruments
      • Selecting Research Instruments will give us all the instrument records about pain
Video Demo: Source Type

Instrumentation Field

The next strategy is to change the search dropdown to Instrumentation (IN) field.

  • Instrumentation (IN) field contains the names of tests that are used in a study;
  • Instrumentation (IN) field also can give clues of tests that might be appropriate for your work and how they have been used in previous studies.

To search by an instrument, navigate to CINAHL and in the search box click the "Select a Field (optional)" space and scroll to select Instrumentation (IN).

  • Type APGAR into the search box and click search.
    • Results will have used or assessed the APGAR test
    • Results may include only APGAR test or additional tests alongside the APGAR test.

When you are searching for scales that may have different spellings or codes, try to use the most generic spelling and use a wildcard search

Video Demo: Instrumentation Field