There is a variety of tools you can use to locate possible instruments (surveys, questionnaires, scales, interview questions, etc.) for data collection. Some of these tools include research journal articles, dissertations, data collection repositories, databases, and books. Instruments that are mentioned in the Methods section of research articles are sometimes added as an appendix at the end of the article. Other times, you may have to contact the author of the article to find out if they will share a copy of the instrument with you. NOTE: Make sure to also ask for permission to adapt the instrument, as necessary, to fit your specific research needs.
If your project or assignment requires that you find a simple assessment instrument, survey, or evaluation tool, Measures for Clinical Practice and Research (see below) are a great resource. The assessment appears in full in these volumes.
A literature review is an overview of the scholarly literature (books, journal articles) on a given topic. This part of your dissertation or thesis provides the reader with a sense that you have done a thorough survey of the literature to identify the key ideas and concepts central to your topic. The literature review is a mix of summary and critique. The following resources will help you navigate the process of developing a literature review.
There is a process by which the literature review is completed. The elements of the process include: 1) pre-search, 2) research, 3) writing, and 4) refining.
The pre-search process helps you get an idea of possible topics to explore.
The writing process comes when you have collected the sources you have identified as being central to your thesis/hypothesis. This gives you time to read and re-read the sources to gain a deeper understanding of the content and how it applies to your thesis.
The refining process comes after you have written your draft and have read (or have had someone else read) your draft. This provides you with the opportunity to clarify your thesis and/or locate additional sources to help provide the foundation for your thesis.
The following three videos provide an overview of the literature review process. The second video addresses some common misconceptions and errors to avoid.
Zotero is a free, web-based citation management system. It will allow you to sync between devices, and to coordinate with your primary web browser so that you can add citations for sources from a variety of locations. The video playlist below will walk you through the download, installation, setup, and use of Zotero.
If you have questions about using Zotero, or getting Zotero to work on your device, please contact a librarian.