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Research Guides

Getting Started

There are thousands of psychological assessment tests and measures available to students, researchers, and practitioners. Some of these measures need to be requested directly from the authors, others are commercially available only from the test publisher, while some are available on the web or found in a variety of sources such as databases, articles, dissertations, or books.

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 both published and unpublished, that measure a certain trait or aptitude, how to find reviews of the tests, and how to track down copies of the instruments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Unpublished tests or measurements are not available commercially but may be included in articles, studies and dissertations.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

Use the tabs on the left to find more info on:


Information on the Use of Tests

Testing And Assessment
From the American Psychological Association Science Directorate

FAQ: Finding Information About Psychological Tests
APA neither sells nor endorses testing instruments, but it does provide guidance in using available resources to find psychological tests.

Statement on the Use of Secure Psychological Tests in the Education of Graduate and Undergraduate Psychology Students
The Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment (CPTA) encourages the education of undergraduate and graduate psychology students in the appropriate and ethical use of psychological tests and assessment instruments.

Obtaining Permissions

In general, the permissions process involves the following steps:

  1. Is usage information available?

All instruments are copyrighted. Sometimes you will see clear instructions to obtain permission to use the instrument.

Example:  In the PsycTESTS database, you'll find this under Permissions in the Abstract/Details: 

(Click here to view in PsycTESTS)

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. 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.

  1. Who is the copyright holder? 
  • 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. Often the publisher of commercially published tests will include information on the permissions process for the use of tests/ assessments on their website, along with any potential discounts they may extend to student researchers to purchase items. 

  • In each case, you will need to locate the person/entity holding the copyright in order to ask for the permissions you need.

  1. 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. 

  1. How do you contact the copyright holder?

Email the company, individual, or organization that owns the copyright for the instrument.  For commercially published tests, some publishers provide a website form to fill out to obtain permissions. 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.

  1. How do you document received permissions?

Ask for permissions in writing; save copies of the emails and granted permissions.

Citing Tests and Measures

To cite a test or measure:

  1. Look up the assessment's author and the date of publication for the version you consulted. This can be found on the assessment itself or on the page on the publisher's website where the test is sold. 

    For example, the WMS-IV has David Wechsler listed as the author and 2009 as the publication date. Some publishers don't put the publication date on the item page, so it might require some extra digging. Typically just googling the name of the test and "date published" will find a page with the answer.

  2. Look up the official name for the assessment. This can be found on the assessment itself or on the page on the publisher's website where the test is sold. Do not use just the acronym for the test (i.e. WAIS-IV, WISC-V) . Spell out all the words.

    For example, the WMS-IV only has the acronym on the assessment material itself, but the full name is spelled out on the website for the publisher (Pearson) as Wechsler Memory Scale® Fourth Edition (you do not need to include the ® or ™ symbols).

  3. Look up the publisher's name and location like you would for citing a book.
    Some common assessment publishers information:

    1. North Tonawanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems.
    2. Lutz, FL: PAR. [formerly Psychological Assessment Resources]
    3. San Antonio, TX: Pearson.
    4. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.
    5. Rolling Meadows, IL: Riverside.
    6. Torrance, CA: Western Psychological Services.

Building the citation: 

Last name, First initial. (Publication year). Full title of the assessment without acronyms. Publisher location: Publisher. 

Wechsler, D. (2009). Wechsler Memory Scale fourth edition. San Antonio, TX: Pearson.


McAdoo, T. (2014). How to Cite a Psychological Test in APA Style. APA Style Blog.