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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.

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