Test and Measurement Resources Research Guide
Introduction to Finding and Using Measurement Instruments
Consider whether you need a specific test that has been used before with your population. Do you have flexibility in your choice, as there are many different tests that measure the same constructs such as stress, anxiety, pain and you may want to compare various factors of the test to make a selection.
Test Characteristics to Consider:
These characteristics would be addressed in a test review resource or in the literature describing the development of the test. For a overview, see the American Psychological Association's FAQ on "Finding Information about Psychological Tests."
As a researcher who may potentially publish your findings, you are responsible for ensuring that you have permission to use a test for your research. You will need to contact the author or publisher, identifying yourself and how you plan to use the test. While some tests may be used with permission at no charge, most psychological and educational tests must be purchased directly from the publisher -- in part this is so the publisher can first determine if the purchaser is qualified and competent to administer and interpret the test. If you have questions about permissions and copyright on instruments, contact the NCSU Libraries' Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center.
I need to know if there is an existing test for a particular issue I want to study.
A starting place is the online and print resource Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print (MMY).
Another searchable online resource is Test Link: the Test Collection of the Educational Testing Service.
You may visit other Triangle Research Libraries Network libraries to use subject-specific test identification databases such as Health and Psychosocial Instruments (1985-present) available at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Health Sciences Library.
Searching the research literature of your discipline or the PsycINFO database and/or the ERIC database. These databases include references to journal articles in psychological measurement and education that touch many disciplines, and an article on your topic might refer you to a particular test. Access these databases through the NCSU Libraries Database list. Journal articles may include the actual test instrument being discussed, particularly the article in which the initial creation and validation of the instrument is reported. Other articles in which use of the instrument is reported will likely only reference the test, but that can lead you to the test source or publication.
Databases WITH Test Limit:
Databases WITHOUT Test Limit:
Because instruments are challenging to find and compare, there are books compiling instruments in certain disciplines. In other cases, individual instruments are included in books and dissertations.
If you are planning to develop your own instrument, search the NCSU Libraries catalog or the literature for resources. NCSU offers courses on psychometrics. There is also the NCSU Psychometrics Lab.
Those taking courses in educational psychology may wish to consult the College of Education Media Center at Poe Hall. This media center has a collection of about 650 full-length tests (in the areas of education and psychology - i.e. intelligence, personality, memory, skill mastery, etc.). Items from this test collection are now listed in the online catalog, and have the location "Learning Resources Library - Test Collection." For a known item, try searching by Title Keyword. For topic/subject searching, try a Keywords search and limit the location to the LRL. You can also add in the word 'test' to the search and that should help focus the results as well. Due to publisher restrictions, tests in the Media Center collection are not available for anyone to use to administer, to assess, or to provide feedback to anyone. For additional information about this collection, contact the Media Center.
There are also many helpful university-based websites on instruments.
If you would like assistance searching for relevant instruments, request a consultation with a subject specialist librarian.
Librarian Contact Information