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.  

Please note these fields are free-text and include information verbatim as the author reported it in their publication.  
 
In the PsycTESTS record, you may also notice the related psychometric field Test Methodology.  

Added in 2019, this new field Test Methodology allows you to limit a search based on a particular type of reliability, validity or factor analysis.  

You can add Test Methodology to your search on the advanced search page.  

Our website includes a list of the values and definitions included in Test Methodology.  

If you need more information about the psychometrics of a test found in PsycTESTS, 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. ProQuest has not yet released their updated version of PsycTESTS. We will update this post and the linked guide when they have.  

Related Resource: How Permissions Work in PsycTESTS 

APA Librarian Conference Travel Award: Reflections from the Spring 2019 Recipient on the International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries

Photo of HyunSeung Koh

HyunSeung Koh, PhD of the University of Northern Iowa received the APA Librarian Conference Travel Award in the spring of 2019. She used the award to defray the cost of attendance at the International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries (LibPMC) annual conference in Aberystwyth, Wales in July. In support of her research involving the first year experience of international students, APA was pleased to help HyunSeung pursue this especially valuable opportunity for professional development, networking, and serving the field of librarianship.  

Patti Avellanet of the Customer Engagement team for APA Publishing recently talked with HyunSeung about her conference experience. The following transcript of their conversation has been lightly edited for clarity and context. 

Patti: Hi, HyunSeung! We’re pleased that we were able to support your conference travel this past summer. What is your overall impression of the International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries (LibPMC)? 

HyunSeung: It’s small but mighty! With 121 attendees from 21 countries, it included a wide range of current and key topics in relation to library assessment. It was also a great venue for obtaining useful and practical insights from presenters with diverse cultural backgrounds, including non-American cultures. 

Patti: It sounds like an impressive opportunity to exchange ideas, especially given your research interests involving the first year experience of international students. Were there any particularly noteworthy events that come to mind? 

HyunSeung: Speaking of impressive, that’s exactly the word that came to mind when I heard the “Pacman” metaphor in the opening remarks! It’s a powerful analogy that explicitly shows participants what a small group of people talking in a closed circle could do to foster non-verbal welcoming behaviors and environments. I also enjoyed presentations from two keynote speakers from non-library disciplines, who did their best in delivering their different but controversial viewpoints in respectful ways. There was also a panel discussion consisting of members with diverse backgrounds in positions and cultures, which was organized according to up-to-date and controversial topics. 

Patti: I think Pacman, differing viewpoints, and diverse professions all lend themselves well to memorable and lively discussions – especially when happening under the same umbrella! Was the rest of the conference as valuable as you had hoped?  

HyunSeung: It was not an easy commitment for me to decide to attend this conference, requiring lots of planning ahead for a long international trip to a small city in Wales, UK, from a small city in Iowa. But I’m so glad I did! In the past, I spent most of my time and effort presenting my research work and attending sessions at a conference venue. This time, though, I also got to visit a university campus in the conference venue that has a main library and an arts center, and a culturally-rich city with historical buildings and sites such as the National Library of Wales. In particular, I really enjoyed exploring the main library in a non-American country, looking around each floor and collecting small paper pamphlets. 

Patti: Visiting the National Library of Wales and taking in nearby cultural attractions sounds like a fantastic opportunity, especially after you’ve traveled so far! 

HyunSeung: It really was! Attending this conference provided me with such a unique experience – not only the serious learning from the conference itself, but also authentic learning from the conference venue’s location and surroundings. Individual presentations, especially from non-American presenters, were useful and insightful. They helped me to learn practical knowledge within unique contexts, and to remember that cultures and contexts are such critical factors. As an assessment librarian, I really appreciated this explicit reminder to challenge my own assumptions and not take them for granted. 

Patti: “Aha!” moments like that often seem simple but no less profound. Did you leave with any useful takeaways you felt could be put into practice immediately? 

HyunSeung: A free workshop I attended, “Data Librarianship,” turned out to be a hidden gem. It helped me learn not only about practical skills but also about a global community of “library carpentry.” There’s a website full of resources that I can use right away for a project that a colleague and I recently received a federal grant for. (Editor’s note: Library Carpentry is a volunteer effort working to build software and data skills within library and information-related communities.) 

Patti: What a serendipitous and timely discovery for you and your grant-funded colleague! Would you recommend this conference to others? 

HyunSeung: This would be a great conference for assessment librarians who want to get immediate help with any “burning questions” and practical insights from other assessment librarians within other institutions and cultures. I would also recommend it to those in administrative or leadership positions, playing such a critical role in the context of library assessment – and anyone else who wants to learn about practical knowledge and skills in terms of library assessment. 

Patti: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? 

HyunSeung: I want to encourage librarians at early career stages to apply for this APA Librarian Conference Travel Award. In addition to the possibility of financial support, the application process provides a good opportunity to consider your career trajectory while writing the application letter; to plan ahead for what you want to learn from a conference even before travel starts; and to reflect again afterward upon what you actually learned from the conference [through this Q & A]. 

Patti: We appreciate that you’ve called out how even the application process can benefit your early-career colleagues, and we’re pleased to have played a role in supporting your professional development. Best wishes to you, and thanks so much for talking with me today.   


Would you or a librarian you know benefit from receiving an APA Librarian Conference Travel Award?

Now through November 30, 2019, the APA Librarian Conference Travel Award program is accepting applications for conferences taking place from January to April 2020.

The award is intended to help defray conference-related expenses for librarians with less than 15 years of experience after receiving their MLS / MLIS. One cash award is distributed three times each calendar year, and the application cycle opens and closes on a rolling basis. We are not currently 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.

Please see the website for more details on eligibility, deadlines, and application materials. Questions about the APA Librarian Conference Travel Award should be directed to librariantravel@apa.org. Please help us spread the word by sharing this information with colleagues and friends who may be eligible!

Tutorial Thursday – How to Find Preprint Articles in PsycINFO through EBSCOhost

It’s Tutorial Thursday! In this series, we explore APA’s library of video tutorials available on the APA Publishing Training YouTube channel. Please feel free to link to or embed our videos in your library websites or LibGuides, course management systems, or other locations where students, faculty, and researchers will find them.

A new version of the tutorial How to Find Preprint Articles in PsycINFO through EBSCOhost is available.

In this short video you’ll learn how to find preprint articles in PsycINFO when you are accessing it through the EBSCOhost platform. We’ll start with a brief description of preprint articles including why they matter. Next, we’ll demonstrate how to access them and how to create an alert to stay current on upcoming preprints in your research area.

By the end of this video you will be able to:

  • Recognize the value of preprint articles.
  • Identify several ways preprint articles are referred to by databases and publishers.
  • Access preprint articles in EBSCOhost.
  • Create an alert in EBSCOhost to access forthcoming preprint articles.

Tutorial Thursday – Searching PsycINFO’s Tests and Measurements Field on EBSCOhost

It’s Tutorial Thursday! In this series, we explore APA’s library of video tutorials available on the APA Publishing Training YouTube channel. Please feel free to link to or embed our videos in your library websites or LibGuides, course management systems, or other locations where students, faculty, and researchers will find them.

A new version of the tutorial Searching PsycINFO’s Tests and Measurements Field on the EBSCOhost platform is available.

This short video shows how to use the Tests & Measures field in PsycINFO to look up information related to psychological tests and measures. While we’ll show how to use PsycINFO from the EBSCOhost platform, the strategies introduced here are applicable for any version of PsycINFO. First, we’ll demonstrate how to use the Tests & Measures field to identify research instruments on a particular topic. Next, we’ll show how to locate research that uses specific psychological tests or measures. By the end of this video, you’ll know when and how to use PsycINFO to access tests and measures information.

By the end of this video you will be able to:

  • Identify tests and measures on a specific topic
  • Locate research that uses a particular test or measure

Sarah Johnson Receives a 2019 APA Librarian Conference Travel Award

Photo of Sarah Johnson

We are pleased to announce that Sarah Johnson, Assistant Professor and Reference & Instruction Librarian at CUNY Hunter College, was recently selected to receive an APA Librarian Conference Travel Award. Ms. Johnson will use the award to attend annual meeting of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in Denver in October.

As both a librarian and a Licensed Master Social Worker, the award selection committee noted that Ms. Johnson’s application demonstrated her strong commitment to a multi-faceted research agenda that will simultaneously benefit the fields of social work and librarianship. Ms. Johnson is scheduled to present her research involving two separate projects that have explored the ways in which social work students and educators experience public libraries as field placements.

Thank you to all who took time to apply – librarians working in a wide variety of institutions and positions. The applicant pool is always strong, and the committee encourages previous applicants to apply again when they are next in need of conference funding.

The next award cycle is currently underway! Is there a conference happening sometime between January and April 2020 you’d like to attend for professional development as an academic or health sciences librarian? Please visit our website for details on eligibility, required application materials, and rolling deadlines. Current deadline: November 30, 2019.