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Finding research instruments and tests can be a challenging and not-so-straightforward process.
The purpose of this guide is to help make this process easier by providing information about where and how to find tests. You will likely need to consult several different resources, online databases and books--but don't give up! The resources in this guide are meant to guide you through this process. If you need additional help please contact the MCW Libraries.
Health professionals use a variety of measurement and assessment tools in their research. Examples of tests and measures include surveys, scales, assessments, diagnostic tools, and other instruments used to assess or evaluate a variety of attributes.
Tests and measures generally fall into 2 categories: Published (commercial) and Unpublished (non-commercial).
Published (commercial) tests and measures are typically purchased directly from a test publisher or commercial vendor. In many cases, you must qualify as an administrator of the test before your purchase will be approved. Every publisher is different. For example, if you are a graduate student and don’t qualify as an administrator, you may have to work with an advisor to secure a copy or get permission from an advisor to view a copy of the test.
Unpublished (non-commercial) tests and measures are not published and sold by a publisher or company. Unpublished measures will appear in journal articles and books and are often found in the appendices or supplemental materials.
Always seek permission from a test's author before using the test unless it is stated explicitly that permission is not required. All testing tools are considered copyrighted. You are legally bound to follow copyright law and, at a minimum, must cite the test and test developer. Some tests are in the public domain, available online, and indicate they may be freely used--but you HAVE to cite!
PubMed Search Tip:
PubMed is most useful for tests and measures if looking for articles that discuss the use of certain measurement instruments. Occasionally, articles will include full copies of tests as an appendix. While this is okay for your personal use, obtaining permission for widespread use is needed.
APA Joint Committee on Testing Practice
While this committee was disbanded in 2007, the American Psychological Association offers a number of useful information and publications developed by this group.
Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education
This is a 13-page .PDF document, developed by the Joint Committee on Testing Practices.
The International Test Commission
International Test Commission (ITC) (2000). International Guidelines for Test Use.
Rights and Responsibilities of Test Takers - American Psychological Association
This statement outlines the expectations that test takers may reasonably have about the testing process, and the expectations that those who develop, administer, and use tests may have of test takers.