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

Getting Started with PsycTESTS: What Is It, and How Can It Help Me?

This is the first post in a series for anyone wanting to become familiar with PsycTESTS. Today we’ll cover what you’ll find in PsycTESTS, how to begin your search for a test, and resources to learn more about searching PsycTESTS. Future posts will cover how you can use a test that you find, and tips for navigating the platform.


Are you looking for a test to use in your research, or planning to develop your own? We have a database that can help!

PsycTESTS provides detailed information about the use of thousands of tests, scales, and measures reported in the behavioral sciences literature. Designed to connect researchers, students, educators, librarians, and practitioners with assessment tools, PsycTESTS is an ideal starting point for a new research project, helping you to avoid “reinventing the wheel” as you’re considering your metrics.

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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.

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.

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