Measurement of nursing phenomena involves locating and obtaining instruments that are reliable, valid, and feasible for use with an intended sample. Beginning with a clear conceptualization of the problem and delineation of the measurement framework, the process of finding and legally obtaining and using appropriate instruments can proceed. Resources for instruments are so numerous today that it is especially important to insure that valuable resources are not overlooked. Computerized resources offer comprehensive and efficient searches at low cost. The persistent nurse researcher who is aware of how to find and use the many resources available can select from among the numerous alternatives to measure nursing phenomena. The U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 has been shaped over the years by court cases and committee work to protect original work, including nursing research instruments. Knowledge of the provisions of copyright law may minimize the danger of unintentional violation while obtaining research instruments.
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