PsycTESTS Expert Tip: Finding Supporting Documentation

PsycTESTS is APA’s database that provides descriptive summaries, full text, and relevant citations on the development and assessment of tests and measures that can be used in research and teaching.

Every PsycTESTS record includes a test profile with dozens of descriptive fields such as test name, summary, construct measured, permission, and reliability.

The full-text test can be found as a linked PDF in about half of PsycTESTS records.

Some PsycTESTS records also include an additional link for supporting documentation.

These are a few of the types of Supporting Documentation that can help you administer a test or analyze the data gathered:

  • Answer Sheet
  • Directions/Instructions
  • Instructor/Test Manual/Guide
  • Norms/Analyses

When searching PsycTESTS on its own, you will see an option on the advanced search page to limit your results to a particular type of Supporting Documentation.

When the original test author and publisher have granted APA permission, the supporting documentation will be included with the full text of the test as part of the PsycTESTS record.

If you have questions about supporting documentation that aren’t answered in the PsycTESTS record, you can always:

  • check the Correspondence field for author contact information or
  • check the Source Used field for a doi link to the original full-text publication that developed the test.

The screenshots above show how these fields appear in the APA PsycNET version of PsycTESTS.  

You can see how this looks on EBSCOhost, Ovid, or ProQuest in this step-by-step guide

PsycTESTS Expert Tip: Finding Psychometric Information about a Test

PsycTESTS can help you find an existing test that you can reuse in your own research. In doing so, you may want to evaluate the psychometric data that were reported by the original test developer.  

Psychometrics is the branch of psychology that studies the quantification and measurement of mental attributes, behavior, and performance, as well as the design, analysis, and improvement of the tests and other instruments used in such measurement.  

You will find three types of psychometrics included in a PsycTESTS record, when the information is provided by the original author and publisher of the test.  

  • Reliability describes the consistency of scores across contexts (e.g., different times, items, or raters), and provides an estimate of the amount of score variance that is due to true variance between subjects rather than to error.  
  • Validity is the degree to which a test or instrument is capable of measuring the stated construct, rather than some other trait or concept.   
  • Factor Analysis is a broad family of mathematical procedures that reduce a set of interrelations among stated factors to a smaller set of unobserved latent factors.  
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Webinar Alert: Fall Sessions for PsycINFO & PsycTESTS

Beyond Subject Searching

Join us this fall for a Beyond Subject Searching webinar – designed for librarians and other expert users of PsycINFO. If you’re looking to expand your search skills, or just need a PsycINFO refresher, we hope you’ll join us!

This 45 minute session includes a behind the scenes look at the PsycINFO record structure and live search demos.

Learn how to use PsycINFO for more than just locating articles, such as identifying the types of research being done at a particular institution and finding journals in which to publish new work.

We’ll also search for information on grants and sponsorships, and on tests and measures and will highlight our Record Structure and Field Guide — tools that can help you become your library’s PsycINFO expert.

You can register with GoTo Webinar for one of the following times.

  • Thursday, Sep 12, 2019 2:00 PM EDT
  • Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 1:00 PM EDT
  • Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 2:00 PM EST

Can’t join us at the times listed?

New Features on PsycTESTS

PsycTESTS is APA’s research database that provides access to psychological tests, measures, scales, surveys, and other assessments as well as descriptive information about each test and its development and administration.

In May 2019, APA released a major update for PsycTESTS, which restructured how records display and added new searchable and descriptive fields.

If you use PsycTESTS on EBSCOhost, you can register for a webinar scheduled for Wednesday, September 25, to learn more about the new features.

If you use PsycTESTS on ProQuest, keep an eye on our Vendor Reload Status page or ask your vendor when these changes will go live. A training from APA will be coming soon!

If you use PsycTESTS on APA PsycNET or on Ovid, please see the recordings of these trainings on our YouTube channel.

Want to learn more? Read our blog post New Features Added to PsycTESTS.

From the Deck of… ACRL 2019 Lunch & Learn

Welcome to “From the Deck of . . .” an irregular series in which we highlight search demos and other information from the slide decks we create for our live training sessions. You can view and download these materials from the APA Publishing Training SlideShare account.
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At the ACRL meeting this month, we presented a Lunch & Learn training session covering updates and search tips for APA’s databases.

The presentation covered the recent thesaurus update, upcoming changes to the PsycTESTS database, and features of the My PsycNET platform manager.

Live demos included the following example searches:

  • using thesaurus terms
  • updating a saved search with the new thesaurus terms
  • using PsycINFO’s tests & measures field to find a known test
  • searching for appended tests
  • PsycTESTS example search

You can review the slides from our ACRL 2019 Lunch & Learn on our SlideShare account.

Related Resources:

New Terms & Other Updates to the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms®

We recently released an update to the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms. The Thesaurus provides precise and consistent terminology for searching all APA research databases. We added 305 new “preferred” Index Terms and approximately 70 new non-postable or “use” references*.

Each item in the APA databases – journal articles, books and book chapters, dissertations, and more – is represented by a record that is indexed, or tagged, with Index Terms from the Thesaurus. The use of a controlled vocabulary allows someone searching a database to quickly find all items about a specific concept — such as Animal Behavior, Marginalized Groups, or Prescription Drug Misuse — no matter what terminology or keywords the authors used. 

Reflecting emerging areas, technologies, and social issues as well as changing nomenclature, this updated vocabulary will provide users with more targeted and efficient search and discovery. Additionally, we added new terminology in the expanding areas of psychological assessment, psychometrics, and research methods. You can view more details on our web page, What’s New in the 2019 Update, including a link to the full list of new and updated Index Terms (PDF, 135KB).

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