Validating research instruments

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Information about the validation of study tools assists the IRB in its deliberations about the scientific validity of the proposed study.

Study instruments that include sensitive information - questions about alcohol/illicit drug use, aggressive/violent behavior and/or illegal behavior - can place subjects at risk.

This can be an arduous task because operationalizing a variable does not automatically indicate good measurement and therefore the researcher must review multiple literatures to determine an accurate and meaningful construct.

From this information, the researcher should develop open ended questions to present to a sample that is representative of the target group.

The IRB will usually require that investigators obtain a Certificate of Confidentiality to ensure that risks to subjects are minimized for the following instruments: To minimize effort and to avoid duplication, the IRB provides a listing of study measures that are considered validated.

RIS3CAT communities are groups of companies that drive plans performance R D and innovation in the identified sectoral areas.Several areas to look for existing instruments include the ERIC website (, Mental Measurements Yearbook (Impara & Plake, 1999), and Tests in Print (Murphy, Impara, & Plake, 1999).Once the researcher is certain no other instruments exist, the researcher should review the literature to determine the operational definitions of the constructs that are to be measured.In the specification process, each variable should be associated with a concept and an overarching theme (Ford, - Survey Specifications Mgmt at Stats Canada.pdf).Once the table of specification is completed, the researcher can write the items in the instrument.

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