Setting up a PsycTESTS Search

topPsycTESTS® is a research database that provides information on tests mined from the scholarly literature in PsycINFO®. Nearly 40,000 unique tests are represented in PsycTESTS, organized into 15 instrument types and 30 classifications.

There are a number of ways to search for a test, including the author name, keywords, test name, or test construct. (A construct is the concept the test is measuring, such as Confidence or Anxiety.)

PsycTESTS also includes limits, or controlled lists of values, that can be set before you run the search, toward the bottom of the advanced search page, or after you run the search, along the side of the search results page. These limits include:

  • Administration Method – how the test is given to participants, such as Paper or Interview.
  • Fee – indicates whether or not there is a fee for test use.
  • Instrument Type – the primary testing category of the instrument, such as Checklist or Task.
  • Permissions – the level of permissions needed in order to use a test. The Permissions statement may grant use for non-commercial research and teaching, or it may specify who to contact to obtain these permissions.
  • Supporting Documentation – supporting documentation types, such as instructor guide or answer sheet.

These next three limits may seem familiar from PsycINFO:

  • Age Group – specific population age groups that were the focus of the test.
  • Population Group – populations to which the test was administered. Possible values are Human, Animal, Male, Female, Inpatient and Outpatient.
  • PsycTESTS Classification – the general area of psychology that the measure is designed to assess, such as Human-Computer Interaction or Personality. (The PsycTESTS Classification system was created using the same principles behind the PsycINFO Classification Codes, but the codes and descriptors are different for these databases.)

There is also a Full Text Test Available checkbox that limits your search to records that have the PDF of the test attached to the descriptive record.


Opening a record from the search results takes you to the Test Master Record, which provides a profile and descriptive summary of the test.

Test Master Records have one or more Test Child Records that include information related to the test’s development, use, or review.

Child records may be:

  • Test Development: discusses the development of the test. You’ll see this for most of the tests in the database.
  • Test Review: reviews the test – this is available for a small percentage of the tests.
  • Test Use: reports on a new use of the test – for example, a researcher may have taken a test designed for adults and administered it to teenagers. This is also available for a small percentage of tests.

For more detailed information for your platform – APA PsycNET®, EBSCOhost, Ovid or ProQuest – please view our presentation on SlideShare.


In Case You Missed It: New Terms Added to the PsycINFO Thesaurus

In November 2015, we released an update to The Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, the source of the controlled vocabulary used in indexing PsycINFO® and the other APA databases. This particular update was significantly larger than previous vocabulary updates, containing 227 new Index Terms.

In December, we shared the details of the update, highlighting some of the new terms and other changes that were incorporated. We also provided a document with the full list of Index Terms included in the update.

Did you miss that post? Take a look! It explains several important points about the new terminology, including a change to the language used to tag research on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Related Resources

Changes to the Thesaurus sometimes impact search alerts and saved searches. For example, when a new term replaces an older term, saved searches and search alerts created with the older term will no longer generate updates. In this update, 5 terms were changed such that any saved searches or search alerts that use them will no longer retrieve the desired results.

Here are the terms that were changed, along with the new Index Terms that have taken their places:

Terms that are now Use references New Index Terms to search
Aspergers Syndrome
Pervasive Developmental Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Complications (Disorders) Sequelae
Q Sort Testing Technique Q-Sort


For assistance in updating your search alerts, please see our post PsycINFO Expert Tip: Updating Search Alerts When a Thesaurus Term Changes.

New Terms Added to the PsycINFO Thesaurus

By Ian Galloway, Senior Vocabulary Development Specialist

We recently released an update to The Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, the source of the controlled vocabulary used in indexing PsycINFO and the other APA databases. All of the items included in APA databases – journal articles, books and book chapters, dissertations, and more – are represented by a record that is indexed, or tagged, with Index Terms from the Thesaurus. This allows someone searching a database to quickly find all of the items about a particular concept, such as Affirmative Therapy, Playfulness, or Transactional Leadership, no matter what terminology the authors used.

Keywords, Index Terms, and PsycINFO Classification Codes from a record in the PsycARTICLES database.

Keywords, Index Terms, and PsycINFO Classification Codes from a record in the PsycARTICLES database.

Continue reading

What’s New in PsycTESTS®?

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.
Continue reading