Library Tips: Finding Tests & Measurements

Posted by Carolyn Caffrey Gardner and Rebecca Halpern

Tests and measurements are important tools used by educators, researchers, and practitioners to assess outcomes, but they can be tricky to track down and use in your own research. Many tests are proprietary and therefore not freely available as full-text. Unfortunately, because of the very high costs of these tests and measurements, our Interlibrary Loan team cannot request them for you. The following information and tools can help you become a test-finding expert.

Psychometric Tests and Measurements

These tools measure psychological dimensions like depression, anxiety, job satisfaction, or self-esteem. They are typically developed by mental and behavioral health researchers. USC subscribes to a database, PsycTESTS, that provides full-text access to some tests and measurements. PsycTESTS can be searched by keyword, test name, or topic. Your results can then be narrowed by age group, instrument type (scale, survey, etc.), and other refinements. In your list of results some will have full-text PDFs on the tests while others will only provide summaries and additional information on ordering the test, contacting the publisher, or contacting the author for additional information.

Similarly, Mental Measurements Yearbook is a service that provides reviews of the tests and measurements, but not the test/measurement itself. Use it to research important traits of a test/measurement, like its Crohnbach’s alpha and other measures of reliability and validity.

You can find other helpful information on psychometic tests and measurements for social work and psychology in the Tests and Measurements section of this library research guide: http://libguides.usc.edu/socialwork/measurements

Education Tests and Measurements

You'll find many educational tests and measurements within PsycTESTS and Mental Measurements Yearbook; however, an additional place to search is ERIC, a core database in Education that covers research literature and contains some instruments. To find a test, use the advanced search option and narrow "Publication Type" to "Tests/Questionnaires." This will find many journal articles that include the test instrument in the appendix of the article, as well as standalone tests and measurements.

Health Tests and Measurements

CINAHL features a similar advanced search option as ERIC to find tests within the body of journal article or appendices. Here, use the advanced search option and narrow Publication Type to Questionnaire/Scale. HAPI, which stands for Health & Psychosocial Instruments, is another health focused test database. Access is provided through OVID—so after clicking on HAPI you will have to check one more box specifying Health & Psychosocial Instruments.

Finally, if you're still on the hunt for that perfect test or measurement, we suggest searching journal articles or dissertations in the database of your choosing using these keywords in combination with your topic: scale, instrument, measurement, questionnaire, assessment, or appended. If the instrument you're interested in is unpublished, your best bet is to contact the author directly and ask permission to use the measurement.