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Psychology: Using a Test / Seeking Permission

Using Tests Ethically

“If find a copy of a test, can I just go ahead and use it?”

"No, some tests can only be purchased, administered, or interpreted by a licensed or certified professional.

Even if you are qualified to administer the test, there are a lot of other things you may need to do first. These include, but are not limited to:

•Talking with your professor about whether the instrument is appropriate for your project.
•Approval from [USask Research Ethics Board] for your project.
•Getting the author’s/publisher’s permission to use the test.
•Getting any training or certification that is required to administer the test properly.
•Recruiting test subjects in a proper and ethical manner.
•Finding an appropriate environment to test them.
•Making arrangements for storing and analyzing your data.
•And more!!" 

Seeking Permission to Use Non-Commercial Tests

PsycTests database has a Permissions field for each record which clearly outlines what you can do with a specific test. 
The Permissions field will state one of these:
  • May use for Research/Teaching
  • Contact Corresponding Author
  • Contact Publisher
  • Contact Publisher and Corresponding Author
  • Not Specified

If the field states May use for Research/Teaching you do not need to seek permission to use this test, provided you are only using the test for non-commercial (i.e. teaching and research) purposes. The cover sheet of the pdf test will include more permission information specific to the test.

Watch this video for more information.

Seeking Permission to Use Commercial Tests

A commercial test publisher can provide important information for your research design, such as licensing to use the test (often involves a fee), test manuals with instructions on properly administering the test, preview copies of the test, and any special licensing requirements.
Option #1: Check if the test is indexed in the Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY) using this website. If yes, search by test name in the MMY-TIP database and look for the publisher contact information in the test record.
Option #2: For tests not reviewed in MMY, Google works well to locate the publisher. This is because it’s in the publisher’s commercial interest to make the purchasing options visible through a Google search.
(Adapted from Capella University)

Summary Video