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 

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.
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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.

Related Resources:

New Terms & Other Updates to the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms®

We recently released an update to the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms. The Thesaurus provides precise and consistent terminology for searching all APA research databases. We added 305 new “preferred” Index Terms and approximately 70 new non-postable or “use” references*.

Each item in the APA databases – journal articles, books and book chapters, dissertations, and more – is represented by a record that is indexed, or tagged, with Index Terms from the Thesaurus. The use of a controlled vocabulary allows someone searching a database to quickly find all items about a specific concept — such as Animal Behavior, Marginalized Groups, or Prescription Drug Misuse — no matter what terminology or keywords the authors used. 

Reflecting emerging areas, technologies, and social issues as well as changing nomenclature, this updated vocabulary will provide users with more targeted and efficient search and discovery. Additionally, we added new terminology in the expanding areas of psychological assessment, psychometrics, and research methods. You can view more details on our web page, What’s New in the 2019 Update, including a link to the full list of new and updated Index Terms (PDF, 135KB).

Continue reading

HTTPS Support for APA PsycNET beginning January 17

On January 17, 2019, the APA PsycNET platform will be upgraded to HTTPS. This enhancement provides our customers with improved security, and current platform users should not see any changes in functionality.

Although APA will implement a permanent redirect from HTTP to HTTPS, institutional subscribers using a proxy solution may need to adjust their configurations to ensure continued access to the APA PsycNET platform. All users should update links or shortcuts to reflect the HTTPS protocol.

What You Need to Know
The move to HTTPS will require about an hour of downtime on January 17, 2019 during which the APA PsycNET platform will be unavailable. Details about this maintenance window will be posted on the platform approximately one week ahead of the release.

To transition your institutional logos for co-branding, move the files for your institutional logo, link resolver, and/or ILL icons to a secure server and then update these image URLs in the APA PsycNET Admin Center (admincenter.apa.org).

The stanza for EZproxy and information about WAM configuration are included below. If you need additional assistance, please visit the Proxy Server Configuration page on the APA PsycNET Help site or contact us.

EZProxy Configuration
If your library uses EZProxy for authentication, it will require an SSL Configuration. Below is the updated stanza for APA PsycNET:

Title APA PsycNET (updated 20190117)
URL https://psycnet.apa.org
HJ content.apa.org
HJ doi.apa.org
HJ my.apa.org
HJ proxies.apa.org
HJ psycinfo.com
HJ psycnet.apa.org
HJ psyctherapy.apa.org
HJ psyctherapyalpha.apa.org
HJ search.apa.org
HJ www.apa.org
HJ www.psycinfo.com
HJ https://psyctherapy.apa.org
HJ https://psyctherapyalpha.apa.org/
DJ apa.org
DJ psycinfo.com

Configuring Web Access Management (WAM)
If your library uses WAM, please  coordinate with your campus IT department to ensure your proxy has access to a security certificate. Note that your security certificate must include your proxy URL, which may be different from your campus website address. For WAM configuration, please use the following APA PsycNET URL: https://psycnet.apa.org.