Getting Started with APA PsycTests: FAQ’s – Using a Test You’ve Found

APA PsycTests An unparalleled resource for psychological tests and measures

Intended for users who want to become familiar with APA PsycTests®, this post is the second in a short series, covering how to find important information about a test you’ve found.

You’ve found a test in the APA PsycTests database that you’d like to use in your research and are maybe wondering, “Now what?”

The FAQ below explains how to use the APA PsycTests database record (“test record”) to find important information and related clues to help identify your next steps. The test record includes two separate but related tabs: Test Profile and Source Citations.  

  • The Test Profile tab displays the subset of fields used to describe the test (note that not all fields will appear for every test).
  • The Source Citations tab displays reference information for research related to the test, including any available links to the publication sources.

How am I allowed to use a test I find in APA PsycTests?

Many tests are freely available for research and educational purposes. This is indicated whenever the Permissions field in the test record states, “May use for Research/Teaching.” If you have any doubt about whether your intended use would be appropriate, contact the test publisher.

To see a brief indication of acceptable test use, find the Permissions field in the test record. If the full content of the test is available as a PDF – as it is for approximately half of the tests indexed – it will contain the comprehensive Permissions statement on the first page. Review all permissions information carefully for important details about appropriate use.

The Permissions field follows the Source Used field in the test record’s Test Profile tab.

The Permissions field follows the Source Used field in the test record’s Test Profile tab.

I have a question about using the test. Who should I contact?

It depends on the type of question!

For test administration questions (e.g., availability of scoring rubric or supplemental materials, interpreting results, etc.), contact the corresponding author listed in the test record. In addition to any names in the Author field, you can check the Author Identifier field for any ORCID author links; and the Affiliation, Email, and Correspondence Address fields will contain information about the corresponding author.

Tracking down the author may require extra effort if the email address at the time of publication is no longer valid.  In that case, try following the author’s research trail for clues about current affiliation or contact information from more recent publications.

For any questions about whether your intended use of the test is permissible — including possible changes to test format — you’ll need to contact the test publisher. This is true even if the Permissions field indicates “May use for Research/Teaching”.

Examples of when you’d need to request permissions from the test publisher include  

  • Modifying a test;
  • Using a test for any purpose not stated in the APA PsycTests record;
  • Republishing a test, including reproducing it online; and
  • Using a test for research within a commercial/for-profit context.

How do I find out who published a test?

Information about who published a test is presented in different ways, depending on whether the test record describes a non-commercial research instrument or a commercial one.

Non-commercial measures, which were used in research published in a journal article or other scholarly resource, are often freely available for use within a research or educational context. In contrast, commercial tests can be obtained for a fee and are usually available only to qualified professionals.

You can quickly identify whether you’re looking at a non-commercial or commercial/fee-based test by looking at the test record’s Commercial field.

The Commercial field follows the Test Year field in the APA PsycTests record.

The Commercial field follows the Test Year field in the APA PsycTests record.

Most tests indexed in APA PsycTests are non-commercial, and the publisher of a non-commercial test is typically the publisher of the journal in which the test appeared.

To identify the publisher of a non-commercial measure, go to the Source Used field in the test record and select the Source Reference link to view the research citation. If it includes a link, you can use it to quickly access the publisher’s web site. If not, make note of the journal or publication title and try searching online for its publisher.

The Source Used field for a non-commercial test contains the reference citation. The Source Reference for this example has a DOI link to the research article on the publisher’s web site.

The Source Used field for a non-commercial test contains the reference citation. The Source Reference for this example has a DOI link to the research article on the publisher’s web site.

A relatively small percentage of APA PsycTests records describe commercial measures that were referenced in the academic literature. For a commercial test available for purchase through a scholarly or specialty publisher, you’ll see the name in the Publisher field.

The Publisher field contains the publisher’s name for a commercially available test.

The Publisher field contains the publisher’s name for a commercially available test.

What’s the best way to contact APA for permissions questions?

If the test was published in an APA journal or other APA publication, contact APA Publishing’s Permissions team at for questions about acceptable use. If the test was published in a non-APA resource or is commercially available, you’ll need to visit the external publisher’s web site to find contact information.  

If you’ve reviewed the full test record but still aren’t sure who published it, send the complete test name to APA Publishing’s Permissions team will review the test and let you know whether it was published by APA. Including the APA PsycTests Unique Identifier number displayed near the end of the test record will help us to identify the test in question and respond more quickly.

Will the full-text file for the test contain everything I need to use it?

Most test files in the database do not include everything you’ll need for administering and scoring the test and interpreting its results (e.g., instructor guide, answer sheet, etc.). Contact the corresponding author listed in the test record to request these additional types of information. A small percentage of test files do include some type(s) of Supporting Documentation, and you’ll see the corresponding link when this extra content is available.

Can I administer a test to patients or study participants?

Many tests in APA PsycTests can be used within an educational context or for non-commercial research. The statement “May use for Research/Teaching” in the Permissions field also allows for general use in a clinical setting.

To use a test you’ve found in APA PsycTests for commercial purposes — or to reproduce it for any use not explicitly covered in the Permissions information — you must first contact the test publisher.

How can I learn more about using APA PsycTests?

In addition to the two related posts in the Getting Started with APA PsycTests series (What is APA PsycTests, and How Can It Help Me? and Search Smarter, Not Harder!), we recommend the following APA PsycTests resources.

Other questions?

For specific questions about searching or how to use the APA PsycTests database, contact your institutional librarian or email us at

COUNTER 5 Statistics Available for APA PsycNet

APA PsycNet librarians and administrators can now access COUNTER 5 compliant usage statistics beginning with data for February 2019. You can view and download these COUNTER 5 reports on our new COUNTER 5 usage statistics portal.

What’s changed for COUNTER 5?

APA now provides usage data for the APA PsycNet platform according to COUNTER 5’s defined reports. This new reporting framework provides a variety of metrics measuring usage at the platform, database, and title or item level (item level includes video title). The metrics include full-text usage, searches, investigations, and requests.

For more information about report types and metrics, please see COUNTER’s Friendly Guide to Release 5 for Librarians.

In addition to the COUNTER 5 defined reports, APA still provides the DD1 report to show downloads for APA PsycExtra and APA PsycTests, and video views for APA PsycTherapy.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Existing SUSHI credentials issued for COUNTER 4 will not work with COUNTER 5; you must re-register for SUSHI login credentials.

How do I get to the new usage portal?

There are two ways an institution’s admin can access the APA PsycNet usage portal:

Your APA PsycNet admin login username and password did not change with the COUNTER 5 release.

If you have trouble reaching the usage statistics portal and think you should have access, please email us at APA

How can I set up SUSHI?

Follow the instructions provided on the SUSHI APA PsycNet Admin Center Help page to generate your SUSHI credentials through the APA PsycNET usage portal.

Once you’ve received your login credentials, point your SUSHI client or access software to the following service URL:

Can I still get COUNTER 4 usage stats?

You can access COUNTER 4 reports alongside COUNTER 5 reports in the new usage statistics portal, using the Report Sidebar. 

Need more assistance?

Webinar Alert: APA PsycInfo® Basic and Advanced Search for Students & Faculty (3/26, 4/2)

Research APA PsycInfo like a pro!

Interested in strengthening your APA database searching skills? Join us for the next round of APA PsycInfo webinars designed for students, faculty, and anyone else who wants to learn more about how to search APA PsycInfo more effectively!

The 30-minute APA PsycInfo – Basic Search session includes live search demos and provides search tips and strategies to help you locate more relevant results in less time.

The 30-minute APA PsycInfo – Advanced Search session explores a few of the added-value fields in APA PsycInfo and using them to uncover much more than journal articles. Search demos will demonstrate how to identify what research is happening at which institutions; finding new journals in which to publish your work; information about tests used in related research; and potential funding opportunities for your project.

Search tips and strategies covered in both sessions are relevant to all search platforms — APA PsycNet®, EBSCOhost, Ovid, and ProQuest.

The sessions may be attended separately, but we encourage you to take both if you are interested!

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

These webinars are an ideal way for students to get a refresher on APA PsycInfo if they have had a previous training session. Please help us spread the word to interested students and faculty!

Can’t attend a scheduled session?

Apply by 3/31 for the APA Librarian Conference Travel Award

Do you work in an academic or health sciences library in the United States? Are you an early- or mid-career librarian? Are you looking for sources of funding for a conference you’d like to attend this spring/summer?

If the answer to all of those questions is yes, please consider applying for an APA Librarian Conference Travel Award! Through March 31, 2020, we are accepting applications for conferences taking place from May to August 2020. This includes – but is not limited toLOEX 2020, the Medical Library Association Conference 2020, ALA Annual 2020, the ACRL Immersion Program, and the APA Annual Convention.

The award is intended to help defray conference-related expenses for librarians with less than 15 years of experience after receiving their MLS/MLIS degree. One cash award is distributed three times each calendar year, and the application cycle opens and closes on a rolling basis.

At this time, we are not limiting the conferences that are eligible for travel award funding. Applicants should identify the conference that best meets their professional needs, and explain how attendance will support their current duties and future goals.

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Webinar Alert: Spring APA PsycInfo® Sessions for Librarians (2/26, 3/27, 4/28)

Research APA PsycInfo like a pro!

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

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

Learn how to use APA 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, on tests and measures, and we’ll highlight our Record Structure and Field Guide — tools that can help you become your library’s APA PsycInfo expert.

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

  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 2:00 PM EDT
  • Friday, March 27, 2020 at 11:00 AM EDT
  • Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST

Can’t join us at the times listed?