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Library Research Guides

Finding Tests & Measurement Instruments

Resources, tips and tricks for finding tests or measurements in either the health or behavioral sciences.

Search terms to find tests

In some databases, it's helpful to search for the concept of tests in the full text or abstract to identify articles that may discuss or contain tests. 

Here is a list of terms you can copy and paste into one of the search boxes in a database:

test* or measure* or survey* or questionnaire* or scale* or batter* or inventor* or checklist* or instrument* or pretest* or posttest*

Need a Test on a Topic? Search Options:

How can I identify a test that meets my criteria?

 

Step 1: Consult an index of tests categorized by topic

The library subscribes to two databases that provide information about tests.  Both include indexing by subject and population, and both point to sources of more information.  PsycTESTS usually includes the full text of the test, as well.

- Search the PsycTESTS database  [Go to: Resource  |  Instructions ]
- Search the Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HaPI) database. [Go to: Resource | Instructions]

Step 2: Find an article or research study similar to your study that uses or describes a test on your topic

Find a research study that uses a measurement instrument to answer similar questions to yours; this will help you to identify specific test names.

- PsycINFO, for content in psychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, and related fields [ Resource | Instructions ]
- CINAHL, for content in the health sciences [ Resource | Instructions ]
- ERIC, for content in education [ Resource | Instructions ]
- ProQuest Dissertations and Theses [ Resource | Instructions ]

Step 3: Consult a reference work that describes tests categorized by topic

The library owns several core reference works that organize tests by subject.  Some reference books describe the tests, and others provide the text of the test as well as a description.

  • Consult Tests and Measures in the Social Sciences, a website that provides tables of contents of books containing multiple tests.  Includes many tests in the health sciences as well as the social sciences. [ Resource | Instructions ]
  • Major reference books/sets [Instructions and call numbers]

Using PsycTESTS

PsycTESTS (APA)

PsycTESTS, produced by the APA, provides detailed information about psychological tests and measurement instruments.  Most of the entries contain the full text of the test itself.  For the most part, the tests in PsycTESTS are "unpublished" tests that originally appeared in journal articles and were never released commercially.

You can search PsycTESTS by keyword, by test title or author, among many other options.  If you'd like to find a test on a topic, simply type your topic terms in the search box and leave the dropbox at "Select a field (optional)".  This will conduct the broadest search, including test title, subject, construct, and more.  (If you would prefer a more focused initial search, change the drop-down to SU Subject or CB Construct.)  You can add limits by Age Group, Permissions, and more. 

image showing search for "test anxiety"

While the majority of the entries in PsycTESTS include the full text of the test, not all do so. To limit to entries that include the test select "full text" as an option on either your search screen or on your list of results. The entries also include the affiliation and address for the author(s) so you might be able to get a copy of the test by contacting the author(s).

For more information on PsycTESTS, consult the APA's product site, download this useful handout, or watch this video introduction to PsycTESTS.

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Using HaPI

Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HaPI)

HaPI indexes journal articles, reference book chapters, and other sources that refer to tests and measurement instruments.  For most entries, information is given on the variables the test addresses, the demographics of the populations the test has been used with, sample items, and more.

HaPI includes several kinds of documents. "Primary Source" documents are usually articles describing the test itself and its development or validation. 

"Secondary source" articles are brief records of published studies that made use of a named test. HaPI's secondary source articles list the article using the test under "Source" and the original reference for the test itself under "References".  The title, acronym, and authors given all refer to the test itself.

To find tests on a subject, enter your topic terms in the top box.  Change the drop-down menu to SU Subject.  Select Primary Source fromm the Source Code selection box.  Click Search.

image - HAPI subject search for "obsessive compulsive disorder"

image - HAPI source code drop down menu with primary source highlighted

HaPI provides notations in each record describing the kind of sample studied. Categories include age group, mental or physical diagnosis, gender, ethnicity and/or nationality.  If you'd like to limit to tests that have been used with a certain type of sample, enter the appropriate term in one of the boxes and change the drop-down to SA Sample

If you don't get results, please consult the Index for sample terms to make sure your term is used in the database.  Click Index at the top of the screen, then type a term (e.g, children, adolescents, african-american, epilepsy) to make sure the term is used in the database.  Try different synonyms until you find one that has multiple entries.  (Note that other types of information are mixed into the "sample" index.)

image - screenshot of index search using sample index and browsing "children"

Once you find some test names that interest you, click MGetIt to access or request the article that includes the test.  MGetIt does not always work properly with HaPI, so you may need to re-search for the actual article title (rather than the test name) as listed in Source or References.  

If you see a notation that the test is available from BRMS, you can request that they send you a free copy.  Contact information appears in the HaPI record.

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Searching PsycINFO for tests

PsycINFO (Psychology and related fields)

Research studies utilizing tests


PsycINFO provides information on many thousands of published research studies which have utilized testing instruments.  Each PsycINFO record includes a list of tests mentioned in the article, indicating which instruments are included in the text of the article.  Here's an example:

image - list of test names.

You can search PsycINFO to identify studies that investigate similar topics to yours; the list of tests utilized may help you to pinpoint appropriate instruments for your study or proposal.

To find studies that utilize tests, enter your topic or keywords in the top box.  Type test* or measure* or survey* or questionnaire* or scale* in the second box, and change the drop-down to AB Abstract.  You can use other limiters, such as Age Group or Population Group from the bottom portion of the Advanced Search screen.  (To make your search more precise, use the PsycINFO Thesaurus to find the best subject terms, and search them using the SU Subjects dropdown.)

 image - "posttraumatic stress disorder" in SU Subjects and test* or measure* or survey or questionnaire or scale* in AB Abstract and earthquake* or hurricane* in select a field (optional)

Click the title of any interesting article to see the full abstract and the list of tests used in the study. 

image example of an article listing

list of tests example

Click the MGetIt button to access or request the article.  To find more articles that use that test, search the test's title in the TM Tests & Measures field in PsycINFO, or search for the test in HaPI (above).

Development and validation of tests


PsycINFO includes many thousands of articles reporting on the development and validation of tests and measurement instruments.  These articles are given four-digit Classification Codes starting with 222 (e.g., 2220=Tests & Testing; 2223=Personality Scales & Inventories).  If you limit your search to articles with that classification, the resulting articles will focus on the tests themselves (rather than a particular research study).

To find articles describing test in development, or validation studies, enter your topic or keywords in the top box.  Type 22* in the second box, and change the drop-down to CC Classification Code.  You can use other limiters, such as Age Group or Population Group from the bottom portion of the Advanced Search screen.  (To make your search more precise, use the PsycINFO Thesaurus to find the best subject terms, and search them using the SU Subjects dropdown.)


Finding appended tests

PsycINFO indicates that for more than 2500 journal articles, the actual tests and measurement instruments are appended.  These may be articles that describe the development or validation of the test, or they may be studies in which a test or measure was employed. Caveats: the "appended" notation was implemented in 2004, so very few earlier articles have that notation.  Also, the "appended" notation is sometimes applied when only sample items are included, but the full test is not reproduced in the article.

To find an article with a testing instrument appended, try the following.  Enter your topic or keywords in the top box.  Enter the term appended in the next box, and change the drop-down to TM Tests & Measures.  You can use other limiters, such as Age Group or Population Group from the bottom portion of the Advanced Search screen.

image- "anxiety" in select a field (optional) and "appended" in TM Tests & Measures

When you view a the full record for one of the results, you will see the list of tests utilized in the study listed in the TM Tests & Measures field.  Look for the items that are appended, then get the full article by clicking the MGetIt button.

image of article: Hoarding among patients seeking treatment for anxiety disorders

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Searching for tests in CINAHL

CINAHL (Health-related topics, including mental health)

Researchers often utilize tests, questionnaires, and other research instruments during their studies.  You can find studies with instruments measuring many topics of physical and mental health in CINAHL.  In many cases, the instruments used will be listed in the Instrumentation field.

To find studies that utilize tests, enter your topic or keywords in the top box.  Type test* or measure* or survey* or questionnaire* or scale* in the second box, and change the drop-down to AB Abstract

You can add additional keywords to the third box, or use other limiters, such as Age Group or Sex from the bottom portion of the Advanced Search screen.  (To make your search more precise, use the CINAHL Headings to find the best subject terms, and search them using the SU Subjects dropdown.)  Example:

image of cinahl search: dementia in SU Subject and test* or scale* or questionnaire* or survey* or measure* in AB Abstract and caregivers in Select a Field (optional)

Click the title of any interesting article to see the full abstract and the list of tests used in the study.

image of example article: Marital satisfaction and resilience in caregivers of spouses with dementia

image: closeup of Instrumentation list in article listing

Click the MGetIt button to access or request the article.  To find more articles that use that test, search the test's title in the IN Instrumentation field in CINAHL, or search for the test in HaPI (above).

Finding appended instruments

To find studies in which the test instrument is included, type your keywords in one box.  Type "questionnaire/scale" in one box, and change the dropdown to PT Publication Type.  Click Search

image of search: insomnia in search a field and questionnaire/scale in PT Publication Type with list of results

In some cases, the full CINAHL record will list the tests included in the article:

list of scales

In other cases, it will not.  In all cases, click the MGetIt button to access or request the article.

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Searching for tests in ERIC

ERIC (Education)

 

To find articles and other materials describing research that uses tests, go to the Advanced Search in ERIC.  Type your subject terms in one box.  (You may wish to use the ERIC Thesaurus to identify the best terms; click Search Tools, then Thesaurus to access this tool.) 

Under More search options, scroll down and check the box for 160 Tests/questionnaires

You may limit your results to the level of education or even specific grade level of interest; use the Education Level menu below the search boxes.

In most cases, the name of the test or tests included will not be provided in the ERIC record.  Read the abstract, and then click MGetIt to retrieve or request the item. 

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Searching for tests in dissertations

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

If the author of a dissertation has used a test in their research, they will usually include the text of the test as an appendix to the dissertation.  Dissertation writers sometimes use existing tests created by others, and in other cases develop original tests.

To search for tests within dissertations, go to ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.  Select Advanced Search.  In the top box, you have to search for the "test" concept to see if it appears in the appendix of the dissertation.  (Otherwise, you would get many false hits by just searching for the test concept in the full text of the dissertation.)  To do this search, type the following string in the next box, making sure that you are searching "All fields + text":

(test or measure or survey or questionnaire or scale) near/5 appendix* 

Enter your topic terms in the second box.  Change the drop-down to Abstract - AB to focus your results.

image of dissertation search "((test OR measure OR scale OR questionnaire OR survey) NEAR/5 appendi*)

Next, check the tables of contents of the dissertations to see which tests were used.  Most dissertations written since 1997 will be available to you in full text.

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Searching compendia of tests

Tests & Measures in the Social Sciences

 

Tests & Measures in the Social Sciences is an index of all of the full-text tests included in more than 100 compendia (mostly books) containing tests.  Topics covered include the social and health sciences.  It was created by Helen Hough, librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Use the 

One approach: browse the list of books to see if there's a book that deals with your general topic (e.g., quality of life, sexuality, psychopathology, geriatrics).  Browse the table of contents of that book to see the tests included. To see a list of all books included in this database simply search for the term TMdb and select the link for TMdb volume list.

Another approach: search across all of the tests in these books.  Type your topic and the term TMdb into the search box. TBdb is an abbreviation for tests and measures database. See the example screenshots below.

 

  1. Use the link for UT Arlington (host) web site to get to a customized Google search box. 


  2. Enter the the name of the test or evaluation along with the letters TMdb (this stands for tests and measures database).

    search = caregiver strain tmdb


  3. Links listed will list the book or resource where you can find the test title you entered. In this example the Caregiver strain index is available in many resources. The first example is the library database CINAHL. The second and third citations are from books which include multiple tests and meausrement instruments. Clicking on the second link will show you the title of one of the book where you will find the Caregiver strain index,  Assessing older persons: Measures, meaning, and practical applications. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2004. 

    title of the book = Assessing Older Persons, 2004

  4. You can click on the link shown to be taken to WorldCat.org which will provide you with a link to the library catalog record for this book, if the library owns a copy. Note the call number and location to find this book to find this test. 

    image of book listed in Mirlyn catalog

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Major reference works on tests

There are several classic reference works that contain information on tests, organized by the topics or variables tested.  These sets do not contain the full text of the tests, but they help you identify the test's name, intended population, method of administration, purpose and features, and author/publisher.

Tests: A comprehensive reference for assessments in psychology, education, and business (Pro-Ed) Vol. 1-8, 1983-2008

Directory of 2000+ commerical tests from over 150 publishers. Noncritically annotations include information on purpose, use, cost, availability, and intended audience. Older editions can be consulted for out-of-print tests.

Tests in Print (Buros Institute of Mental Measures) Vol. 2-7, 1974-2006

Directory of commercially published tests that are in print in English and available for purchase or use. Annotations are not critical and do not include any psychometric information. Includes a publishers directory, an index of names, a score index, an index of acronyms, a classified subject index, and an index of recently out-of-print tests. TIP serves as a comprehensive index to tests reviewed in all editions of the Mental Measurements Yearbook.

Directory of Unpublished Experimental Mental Measures  (American Psychological Association) Vol. 1-8, 1974-2003

Multi-volume guide to copies of unpublished experimental mental measures that are found in approximately 35 important psychology journals. Instruments are not evaluated; but a brief description, reliability and validity data, the source, and related research information are provided. Measures are grouped in 23 categories. Includes cumulative title and subject indexes.

(These descriptions come from the Humboldt State Unversity Library's guide to Finding Psychological Tests and Measures.)