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Education Research Tutorial

Step-by-step guide to conducting research in education

Finding and Using Instruments

Many tests and other instruments are used in the fields of education and psychology. "Published" tests are available from commercial publishers and are typically subject to various restrictions. Using them normally requires contacting the author or publisher to request a copy of the instrument or permission to use it. There is often a cost associated with use.

"Unpublished tests" are not commercially available for purchase.  Some are difficult to locate, while others are found in journal articles or books.  Sometimes, the author gives permission to reproduce or use the instrument.   It may be unclear if use is permitted or not; in that case, you should assume that you do not have permission to use the instrument.  You may decide to contact the author for permission to use or modify the instrument.  It is the user’s responsibility when using any test to adhere to copyright requirements.

Selected Web Resources

APA's Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment

Buros Center for Testing

Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education

ETS:  Educational Testing Service

FAQ: Finding Information about Psychological Tests

National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing

Tests and Measures:  This site, maintained by the library at St. Louis University, is useful for anyone wanting to identify instruments on a topic, find information about specific instruments, or locate instruments.

Online Databases

Find the following databases in the list of library databases.


Mental Measurements Yearbook: 

Produced by the Buros Institute at the University of Nebraska, the Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY) provides users with a comprehensive guide to over 2,000 contemporary testing instruments.  MMY contains information needed to evaluate tests in psychology, education, and business.  Entries contain information such as test purpose, publishers, and price, as well as edited reviews written by content area experts.  To be included, a test must be commercially available, be published in the English langauge, and be new or revised since it last appeared in the series.  The database provides coverage from Volume 9 to date; use the print set (described below) for earlier entries.

ERIC and PsycInfo

Both ERIC, an important education database, and PsycInfo, the major psychology database, include information about tests and instruments.  In some cases, the full content of the instrument itself is included.  Both databases note the institutional affiliation of article authors, valuable information if you decide to contact a test author to request permission to use or modify an instrument.  


PsycTESTS is an APA (American Psychological Association) database that offers psychological tests and measures, including thousands of actual test instruments and test items that are available for immediate download and use in research and teaching. 

Selected Print Resources

Mental Measurements Yearbook Ref BF176 B932
MMY contains the most extensive coverage of published standardized tests commercially available in English. The print version includes reviews and descriptions of new or substantially revised tests since the previous edition. MMY contains many indexes in the back of each volume, including a title and subject index. See online database description above for further information, including criteria for test selection.

Test Critiques  Ref BF176 T419
The indexing in this set of test reviews is not as extensive as that in Mental Measurements Yearbook. To ensure complete coverage of any one test, consult both sources. Use the subject index or title index in the back of the book.

Tests in Print Ref BF176 B8
TIP is a bibliography of commercially available tests that are in print and available for purchase. It serves as an index to MMY. TIP attempts to list every commercially available test. Consult the subject and title indexes at the back of the book.

Your Librarian

Alice Ruleman's picture
Alice Ruleman
Chair, Library Services
Associate Professor of Library Services
Liaison - College of Education
JCK Library
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
JCKL Rm 2452