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Health Sciences Tests & Measures : Home

This resource guide is designed to help users find health sciences tests and measures.

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.

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Basics

Definition

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.

Published vs. Unpublished

Tests and measures generally fall into 2 categories: Published (commercial) and Unpublished (non-commercial).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Unpublished (non-commercial) tests and measures are not published and sold by a publisher or company. Unpublished measures will appear in journal articles and books and are often found in the appendices or supplemental materials.

Permission

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!

Databases

CINAHL Search Tip:
In CINAHL, you can do an advanced search for tests and measures by choosing to limit the publication type to "research instrument". This will help narrow down the size of your results.

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.

 

ERIC Search Tip:
Choose the Advanced Search. Enter the name of the test in the search box, putting the title in quotes if you are sure of the name. In the Publication Type box, select Tests/Questionnaires, then run your search. This will look specifically for tests and questionnaires.
PsycINFO Search Tip: To limit your search to Tests & Measures, select Advanced Search, enter the name of the test e.g. "rosenberg self esteem scale," de-select Map Term to Subject Heading under main search bar, and run search. Select Additional Limits, and check the Tests & Measures box and then clicking Limit a Search will run the search. This helps locate articles that include or discuss tests and measures in a significant way.
Search with the term "measurement" in the PsycINFO thesaurus (Search Tools-->Tool Type: Thesaurus) to browse various subsets of tests and measures terms to use for your search.

Websites

Print & Digital Resources

Ethics & Responsible Use of Tests

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.

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