PsycTESTS® celebrated its third anniversary in November 2014, and researchers of all kinds have now had ample time to use the database and provide us with feedback. In response to that feedback, we’ve enhanced it with a number of new features you suggested in a recent reload (or major update) of the database. We think you’ll be pleased with the results!
Let’s take a look at several of the newly available search features that will streamline finding tests and ancillary information that is essential to test research.
Selected New Limits
This database update included the development of a new APA-designed classification code system that was applied to every PsycTESTS record to show what general area of psychology the test is designed to assess. The new PsycTESTS Classification System includes both a four-digit code and an associated description and has been mapped to all previously released PsycTESTS records. This is an especially useful tool for users who set search alerts for tests in certain research areas.
The new instrument type limit captures the primary testing category of the assessment tool. We’ve provided 15 new categories, including interviews, checklists, and surveys, in addition to those that had previously been available. Instrument Type is also provided as a limit for a search query and has been mapped to previously released PsycTESTS records. If a student is doing an overview of test measures, this is a great way to quickly review specific types of tests.
The existing supporting documentation limit has also been expanded to include additional kinds of supporting documents used by the authors of tests. Researchers can find scoring sheets, administration instructions, and sample test profiles.
The new test available check box also allows you to limit your results to records that have a test or partial test included.
You’ll find the features in the limit area on APA PsycNET® and EBSCOhost® and the field dropdown lists for OvidSP® and ProQuest®.
Other Additions Available With the Reload
A new test location element provides information on the location of the test in the source document (i.e., table or appendix and page number). Researchers won’t have to pull up the entire original document and search through table and figure and appendix downloads — they can go straight to the source. We began indexing this data in spring of 2014.
Interested in comparing different uses of a test? Other versions uses APA-assigned unique identifiers (UIDs) to link translations, short forms, and long forms of a test with the original version of a test. The UIDs for other versions of a test are hyperlinked, making tracing the history of a test a seamless process. This is going to be a great tool for any faculty member who is teaching a testing course. They can now easily trace the course of a concept and of an individual test over time. A researcher can also use it to easily find other language versions of a test. These have been mapped back to all applicable records.
A new feature unique to PsycTESTS is factor analysis. It’s a free-text element that offers a searchable detailed description of the statistical measure of variance used by test authors in the construction of a test that is pulled directly from the source document. Like reliability and validity information, this is data that will help researchers easily assess how well the test performed for its intended purpose. These have been mapped back.
New features are often generated from suggestions that we receive directly from our customers, so tell us what you think of the new PsycTESTS. PsycTESTS feedback is welcome via email or by phone at 800-374-2722.
And There’s More to Come
Interested in tracking an author’s work throughout APA databases and beyond? The new AuthorID element, drawn from ORCID, VIVO, or OpenID data, is designed to allow just that. AuthorID has been built into the structure of PsycTESTS, but the data will not be added to records until late 2015. Once that step is complete, the ID will link to a main page showing a full list of that author’s publications.