From the Deck of . . . The ALA Midwinter 2017 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 our SlideShare account.

We recently presented our Lunch & Learn training session at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting & Exhibition. During the session, we reviewed PsycTESTS®, an extensive collection of psychological tests, measures, scales, surveys, and other instruments. Over 42,000 tests are represented in the database, and a full or partial version of the measure is available for about 50% of them.

PsycTESTS is a wonderful resource for students learning to conduct measures, or researchers developing their own tests. In addition, many of the tests included can be used for non-commercial research and educational purposes, which includes general clinical use. (For more information, see our post How Permissions Work in PsycTESTS.)

During our session at ALA Midwinter, we reviewed the record structure of PsycTESTS, which is very different from a database like PsycINFO®. In PsycINFO, one article is represented by one record, which contains information about the article, taken from the article itself. In PsycTESTS, a test can be represented by multiple records, which contain information about the test, taken from a source document. A source document is typically a journal article, book chapter, technical report, or dissertation.

Visual representation of PsycTESTS record structure at http://www.apa.org/pubs/databases/psyctests

A visual representation of the record structure for PsycTESTS.

 

Every test in PsycTESTS is represented by a Test Master Record, which displays basic information about the test. You’ll also see either a Test Development Record or a Test Primary Data Record, which provide additional information about the test.

  • The Test Master Record provides basic information about the instrument and links to other records, which contain information from source documents, such as a journal article or book chapter:
    • Test Development Record: provides information describing the development of the measure
    • A Primary Data Record is provided for commercial tests, or tests with no source document (for example, a historical test)

A small number of tests will have an additional record or records:

    • Test Use Record: provides information describing a new use of the measure (for example, an article that reports on using a test developed for adults with children)
    • Test Review Record: provides information about an evaluation of the measure

The way these records are connected, and how they interact with one another, varies widely depending on how you access PsycTESTS: via APA PsycNET®, EBSCOhost, Ovid, or ProQuest. To see what a PsycTESTS record looks like on your platform, take a look at the slides from our Lunch & Learn. You’ll also find some sample search scenarios for PsycTESTS.

The presentation also included an overview of incorporating APA Style CENTRAL® into your teaching, and a look at some new and forthcoming publications.

Related Resources:

A “Getting Started with PsycTESTS” guide is available for each of the major vendor platforms. This handout demonstrates the various fields and features in PsycTESTS. To download or link to this resource, visit our Search Guides page.

How Permissions Work in PsycTESTS

PsycTESTS® is a research database that provides information on tests that originated in the scholarly literature. Tests are mined from the journals currently covered in the PsycINFO database.

PsycTESTS records include citations and links to articles that discuss the development of the test and how it can be used. Each PsycTESTS record includes a Permissions field with information about how the test can be used in your research or clinical work.

Currently, over 24,000 PsycTESTS records (almost 60%) grant the permission “May use for Research / Teaching.”

The test PDF has a cover sheet with a longer description of Research / Teaching use:

Test content may be reproduced and used for non-commercial research and educational purposes without seeking written permission. Distribution must be controlled, meaning only to the participants engaged in the research or enrolled in the educational activity. Any other type of reproduction or distribution of test content is not authorized without written permission from the author and publisher. Always include a credit line that contains the source citation and copyright owner when writing about or using any test.

Examples of permitted use include:

  • Using the test for educational purposes, for example in a school project
  • Publishing the results of research using the test, as well as the test itself, with a copyright notice giving credit to the original test authors
  • General use in a clinical setting

Examples of nonpermitted use include:

  • Posting the test online
  • Implying or stating that the test is your original work
  • Publishing the test or selling the test to a commercial publisher
  • Using the test in research intended to support commercial gain

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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.

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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.

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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
Autism
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.

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