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Social Work: Assessment Instruments: Home

A University of Lethbridge Library guide to assessment instruments in the context of Social Work.

Guide Overview

This guide is a short introduction to resources pertaining to assessment instruments in social work available through the University of Lethbridge and University of Calgary libraries. It is intended for use by social work students, though content may be relevant to researchers in a variety of fields.

Assessment and clinical evaluation is essential to social work practice. It is needed to develop an accurate understanding of clients and their needs, to identify problems, and to serve as a basis for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. Assessment consists of data collection, followed by an appraisal of that data as a basis for developing a plan of action.  

In order to assist with assessment of various social situations, standardized assessment tools, or instruments, have been developed. These instruments, which often exist in the form of tests, scales, or questionnaires, are widely used in many disciplines in the social sciences.  

The U of L and U of C libraries have a number of print and online resources that deal almost exclusively with assessment tools. While a few of the resources provide the actual instrument, most offer a description of the scale along with reviews and references to its usage.

Scroll through this page for guidance on finding resources pertaining to assessment instruments in social work. For information on finding social work resources more generally, visit our Social Work: General Resources guide.

Handbooks & Guides

Mental Measurements Yearbook and Tests in Print (Online)

Produced by the Buros Center for Testing at the University of Nebraska, the Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY) is an essential resource for evaluating and selecting contemporary testing instruments. Designed for novices and professionals alike, it contains full-text reviews for more than 3000 test products in psychology, education, business and leadership. Typical MMY test entries include descriptive information, two professional reviews, and reviewer references.

Tests in Print (TIP) serves as a comprehensive bibliography to commercially available tests that are currently in print in the English language. Now in its Ninth Edition, TIP provides vital information about tests to test users including test purpose, intended test population, administration times, scores generated, price, test publisher, in-print status, test acronym, publication date(s), and test author(s).

Note that these resources do not provide the assessment instruments themselves. To access the combined MMY and TIP online database, follow the link below:


If you're interested in finding examples of studies that used a particular assessment instrument, look for journal articles by searching one of the databases listed below. Hover over the information icon () to read the description of each database and a search tip. Note that different databases focus on different subject areas.

Books & e-Books

To find books on assessment and assessment tools and instruments, search our library catalogue using the basic search box below or our advanced search page.


You may also want to search the U of C Library for e-books on your topic. Be sure to limit the content type to "book/eBook."

If you are looking for a particular book in the catalogue, search by Title or Author. When searching by author, enter the author's last name first (e.g., "Smith, John" rather than "John Smith").

If you are looking for books on a particular topic (e.g., psychological tests), search by Keyword or Subject Heading. While keyword searches may return relevant results, searching by subject heading is often more effective. Subject headings are terms that are assigned to each item in the Library catalogue in a standard, consistent manner. They define the subject of each book. Below is a list of examples of general assessment-related subject headings:

Ability Testing

Behavioral Assessment

Educational Tests and Measurements


Psychological Tests

Psychological Tests for Children


For more information on finding books and e-books, visit our help guide or watch our help video.