Access to Tests & Measures
Before using this guide, you should know that tests, surveys, and other measuresment tools (like indexes, inventories, questionnaires, scales, etc.) fall into two categories, and these categories have implications for who has access to them - and- for how they may be used.
Published tests (also referred to as “commercially available” or “proprietary”) are well-known standardized tests that have been rigorously evaluated, are under copyright, and must be purchased through a test publisher. Purchase is restricted to advanced degree holders and/or qualified professionals for use in research, teaching, and clinical practice.
Unpublished tests (also referred to as “experimental”) have been used by other researchers but are not yet commercially available. These are typically available free of charge and can be found in books like test compilation volumes, in journal articles, and in dissertations. They may also be available from the author.
The resources in this guide cover both “published” and “unpublished” tests and measures and are organized to help you:
- Identify tests by subject and/or name, find critical reviews of well-known tests, and identify studies that have used specific tests and measures.
- Find Books (handbooks, guides, test compilation volumes) that identify measures used in specific disciplines or areas. The selected resources also include some instruments.
- Locate Journal articles describing the use of specific instruments, and that may include the full text of instruments.
- Find Dissertations describing the use of specific instruments, and that may include the full text of instruments.
- Locate Websites that provide instruments free of change for research and educational purposes.
Ethical Use of Tests & Measures
Tests and measures are the intellectual property of authors or publishers. The unauthorized modification of a published or unpublished test for a research project is a violation of the publisher’s or author’s copyright, and is thus both unethical and illegal.
It is usually o.k. to make a copy for personal use, to show a class, or to include in a paper which will be read and used in a classroom environment.
It is not o.k. to use an instrument in research, particularly if the research will be published or distributed outside a single classroom or course, unless permission has been given. Users have ethical responsibilities to: (a) contact the test author and request permission to use their test; (b) secure their permission in writing if the material is copyrighted.
Source: Helen Hough, Health Sciences Librarian, Central Library, University of Texas at Arlington
Social & Behavioral Sciences Liaison
James Branch Cabell Library, Rm 111a