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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.

Test Collections

The University Library does not collect stand alone commercial tests since these tests are usually only accessible for a restricted population of users who are qualified to use the tests. No department on campus has a test collection either.

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District has a test collection. To access their catalog go to the WISD website and use the Quick Links pull down menu to go to Online Catalog. You can search their catalog for a specific test or you can browse through the Test Collection. Some tests are restricted in terms of who can view them and this will be listed in the title of the test (ex. Cognitive Assessment System (CAS) Restricted Psychological Test.) To view a test, go back to the catalog home page and click on Request an account. Fill out the application (choosing Other School Not Listed) for the school name. It might take a few days to establish the account and you will be asked if you are a teacher or a parent. Only educators and parents can set up an account. Once you have the account, you can use the directions you'll find here to reserve the test so that you can go to the WISD and view the test.

Some libraries at other academic institutions have test collections but, in general, they do not send these tests through Interlibrary Loan. You must go to the library that has the test to take a look at it. If you wish to do this, please contact one of the authors of this guide to check to see whether an academic institution in the state might have the test in which you are interested.

Steps to find a known test

If you are looking for a specific test and have some idea of the name of the test, here are some ways to search for the test:

Step 1: Check for the test in PsycTESTS, a database that describes and provides access to a great variety of psychological tests. [Go to: Resource | Instructions]

 

Step 2: Consult Mental Measurements Yearbook. [Go to: Resource | Instructions]

 

Step 3: Consult a guide put together by Helen Hough at the University of Texas at Arlington that indexes tests that appear in books that are compendia of tests. The guide includes tests outside of the social sciences. [Go to: Resource | Instructions]

 

Step 4: Check for the test in dissertations. [Go to: Resource | Instructions]

 

Step 5: Check for test in PsycINFO, a psychology database. [Go to: Resource | Instructions]

 

Step 6: Check for test in ERIC, an education database. [Go to: Resource | Instructions]

 

Step 7: Check for test in CINAHL, a nursing and allied health database. [Go to: Resource | Instructions]

Step 8: Consult ETS Test Link Database, listing more than 25,000 tests and measurement instruments on a wide variety of topics. [Go to: Resource | Instructions]

 

Step 9: Consult Health and Psychosocial Instruments. [Go to: Resource | Instructions]

 

Step 10: Try Google. [Go to: Resource | Instructions]

 

Step 11: Try Google Books. [Go to: Resource | Instructions]

Searching for parts of a test

If you are searching for a manual or scoring information or some other part of a test, follow the steps listed to above but note any entries that look promising to see if there is any mention of the part of the test that interests you. Mental Measurements Yearbook, for instance, will include information in the price field on the price of the individual pieces of the test including the manual. ETS has a "materials notes field" that specifies what parts of the test are available.

There is a useful series of books put out by Wiley whose titles all begin with "Essentials of..." These books have much useful information on scoring, interpreting, and reporting of various tests. You can search for these books by doing a search in Library Catalog Search (or more widely in WorldCat) of Wiley as a publisher and "essentials of" in the title and assessment* OR test* in the subject field. You might also run a search in WorldCat of the title of the test and a relevant keyword such as manual to see if there are any potentially promising entries. Keep in mind, however, that if you find a library that has the test and/or the manual that most libraries will not send their tests to other libraries via Interlibrary Loan and the use of the their tests at their institution may be restricted. Contact the library ahead of time to see if you will be able to have access to the test or a piece of the test.

PsycTESTS

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 know the name of the test, enter it in the search box with quotes around the name if it is longer than one word. Change the search field to Title.

While the majority of the entries in PsycTests include the full text of the test, not all do so. 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).

WARNING: The MGetIt icon does not work correctly in PsycTESTS. To find the article related to the test follow the citation listed as the Source on the Test Child Records field. 

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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PsycTESTS: additional information

For additional information on PsycTESTS including how to get permission to use the test and more about finding the full text of the test, please view the following video:

Mental Measurements Yearbook

Go to Mental Measurements Yearbook. Enter the name of the test in the search box. Change the field to TI Test Name (if you are using an acronym change the field to AC Acronym). Run your search.

enter woodcock johnson & choose TI test name

If you are not sure of the name, choose Indexes on the top left of the page.

index link

Use the Browse an Index dropdown menu to choose Test Name and put what you think are the first words of the title in the browse box.

image - select test catagory from dropdown and enter test name

Browse through the results to see if you can find a more complete or accurate entry for the test you want. If you find one or more entries, click the box next to the entry and click on Add to add this name to your search box at the top of the screen. Then hit the Search button.

Mental Measurements Yearbook includes many commercial or published tests. If you find an entry for your test in MMY, click on one of the entries to find publisher contact information so that you can purchase the test.

UTA/Helen Hough Test Guide

Go to the Helen Hough Test Guide and select the link for UT Arlington (host) web site.

Image of link to click

On the UT Arlington search page enter your concept or concepts and make sure to include the letters TMdb (this stands for tests and measures database). See the example of a search below. 

 

seach shown - exposure violence tmdb

Each item in the search results will provide the title of a book which includes measurements on the topic you entered.

Book title example: Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes, Beliefs and Behaviors among Youths: A Compendium of Assessment Tools

 

 

Below the book title and citation you should find a list of instruments available within this book. Go to Library Catalog Search nd enter the title of the book.  To locate the book make sure you have the call number and which library has the book. 

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Go to ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Put the name of the test in the search box in quotes and include NEAR/3 appendi*. NEAR is a proximity operator which looks for words on either side of the other word and with a specified maximum number of words between them. That number (3 in the example below) can be whatever you choose.

 

This search will look for any dissertations that have the name of the test within three words of the word appendix or appendices. Often you can go right to the Table of Contents of the dissertation to check and see if the test you want is included in an appendix.

PsycINFO

Go to PsycINFO. Enter the name of the test in the search box, putting the title in quotes if you are sure of the name. Change the field to TM Tests & Measures. In the second search box put in the word "appended."

enter "rosenberg self-esteem scale" and "appended" then select TM Tests & Measures

Run your search. Look at the resulting entries carefully since the study might have used more than one test and might not have appended all of them to the article.

See link in the following box if you would like to view a video giving you additional information on searching for tests and measurement instruments in PsycInfo.

PsycINFO Video

ERIC

Go to ERIC. 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 next search box put in the number 160 and then change the field to Publication Type. This publication type will look specifically for tests and questionnaires.

 

Check the search results carefully to make sure that the appended documents include the specific test you want.

CINAHL

Enter the name of the test, putting the title in quotes if you are sure of the name, and specify IN for the field.

image - cinahl screen shot drop down menu option IN instrumentation is selected

NOTE: This will bring up entries that use the test in the research but the entries do not necessarily include the test itself. Limiting the search to Questionnaire/Scale as a Publication Type will increase the likelihood that a test is included in the article. However, this also limits your search to instruments that include a series of questions or that require marking of a rating along a set scale. Please note: limiting the publication type to Research Instruments does not bring up records with the actual test included.

image of screenshot. Search option for publication types.

ETS Test Link Database

 

According to the ETS website:

 

ETS Test Link is a database of more than 25,000 tests and other measurement devices, most of which were created by authors outside ETS. It makes information on standardized tests and research instruments available to researchers, graduate students and teachers. With information about tests from the early 1900s to the present, the Test Collection at ETS is the largest compilation of such materials in the world.

The tests in this collection were acquired from a variety of U.S. publishers and individual test authors. Foreign tests are also included in the collection, including some from Canada, Great Britain and Australia.

 

Please note that many of the tests described in the collection are not freely or easily available! However, 1,260 of them are available through the ETS Tests in Microfiche Collection which the University Library owns in part. If you completed Step 2 above, you have already searched the microfiche collection since these tests are listed individually in the Hough guide. Do not purchase a downloadable copy of the test through the ETS website without checking first to see if we own the test on microfiche. If you are interested, however, in searching through the other tests to see if there is additional information on how to access the test you want, please continue reading these instructions.

You will find more detailed instructions on searching this database here. Note that the database uses ERIC subject headings or descriptors to describe the subjects covered in the tests. Please consult with the education subject specialist if you need help in identifying the appropriate subject headings to use in your search.

Once you have found a test that is of interest, check the Availability field for contact information that might be of use in accessing the test. In some cases, the Availability field will cite a publication. There is no guarantee that the publication will include the actual test but it is worth checking to see.

image - screenshot showing availability field in ETS Tests database

Those tests that are listed in the availability field as being available through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service are either available online full text through the ERIC database or, if not, are available on microfiche in Serials/Microforms on the second floor of the Graduate Library. Let the person there know that you are looking for an ERIC document and specify the ED number for the specific document.

image example showing availability from ERIC on ETS record

Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HAPI)

Go to Health and Psychosocial Instruments. Enter the name of the test in the search box and change the Field to TI Title. If you are using an acronym, change the field to AC Acronym.

image - HAPI database with title search "rosenberg self esteem scale"

Once you have run the search, some of the individual result entries will say:

image - availability field with phone number and email information

You can obtain the measurement instrument at no charge from Behavioral Measurement Database Services using the listed contact information when you see this note. If there is no such note then use the MGetIt button to navigate to the full text of the article to check and see if the measurement instrument is included. Those entries that are listed as "primary source" are more likely to contain the actual test since primary sources are the original sources where the test was first mentioned.

image - listing of rosenberg self-esteem scale with source notes: primary source highlighted.

You can search specifically for primary source documents by including the word primary in the search box and limiting the field to TC Source Code.

image - HAPI search, "social communication assessment tool" in TI Title and "primary source" in TC Source Code

To obtain a measurement instrument listed in Health and Psychosocial Instruments that is not included in the article and does not indicate that it is available from Behavioral Measurement Data Services, you could try contacting the author. Otherwise you would follow the steps listed above and below.

Google

Some tests are freely available on the Internet so it's worth a try to look for the test online. Google has a few pointers on how to run an advanced search. You can use those same pointers for a Google Books search. Google Books does a keyword search of all the books that Google has digitized. This collection includes many full text journals as well.