There are thousands of psychological assessment tools available to students, researchers, and practitioners. Some of these tools are available free to the general public, some need to be requested directly from the authors, while others are commercially available only from the test publisher.
This guide will help you understand how to find tests. both published and unpublished, that measure a certain trait or aptitude, how to find reviews of the tests, and how to track down copies of the instruments
Published tests or measurements are available for purchase from the test publisher. Certification or permission from the publisher and author(s) may be required to administer these tests.
Unpublished tests or measurements are not available commercially but may be included in articles, studies and dissertations. These tests are also under copyright and may require requesting permission to use these tests
In general, the permissions process involves the following steps:
Is usage information available?
All instruments are copyrighted. Sometimes you will see clear instructions to obtain permission to use the instrument. For example, the image below shows that in the PsycTESTS database the instructions are found under "Permissions."
Other instruments are licensed and the license accompanying the instrument will indicate the manner in which the instrument may be used. Some instruments do not clearly state usage permissions.
Who is the copyright holder?
If no information about usage is available, then identify the copyright holder. This could be an individual, a company, or an organization. Locating the copyright holder can sometimes be difficult.
If you located the instrument in a database such as PsycTests, check the permissions section for each instrument. Some options include: Contact Publisher, May use for Research/Teaching, and Contact Publisher and Corresponding Author.
If you located the instrument on a company website, contact the company.
In each case, you will need to locate the person/entity holding the copyright in order to ask for the permissions you need.
What rights do you need for your project?
Identify the rights that you will be asking for from the copyright holder.
Do you want to duplicate and distribute the survey?
Do you want to add additional questions to a survey or change some of the questions (e.g., create a derivative work)?
Do you want to publish the survey in your dissertation?
Be specific about what you will be doing with the copyright holder's work. The answers to these questions will determine the rights for which you will want to obtain permission.
How do you contact the copyright holder?
Email the company, individual, or organization that owns the copyright for the instrument. Be specific in your request. In some cases, authors or publishers may either not respond to requests or refuse to grant permission to use their work. Therefore, it is important to select a few potential tests or measurements. The TCSPP Librarians can certainly assist with searching for alternate test instruments.
How do you document received permissions?
Ask for permissions in writing; save copies of the emails and granted permissions.