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Tests and measurements in the social sciences are instruments used to measure or assess an attitude, behavior, or other attribute. They include surveys, scales, and diagnostic instruments for clinical purposes.

Finding the full text of tests and measurements can be a complicated process. This guide describes tools and search strategies to simplify it. For assistance, please contact the OU Libraries.

Basic Information

Tests in the social sciences fall into two categories:

  • Published or commercially available tests are published by commercial test publishers. While you will be able to find reviews and descriptions of these tests - and sometimes sample items - the full tests are only available by direct purchase. Publishers often require purchasers to meet certain qualification standards or to receive training on test administration and scoring before permitting them to purchase certain tests. (See, for example, the Clinical Psychology Qualification Levels at Pearson Assessments.) The OU Libraries does not collect commercial tests. While it is sometimes possible to obtain these measures through interlibrary loan, students and faculty are encouraged to contact test publishers.
  • Unpublished or noncommercial tests are not published and sold by commerical test publishers. Rather, they usually appear in books or journal articles.

This guide describes both commercial and noncommercial tests. Generally speaking, commercially published tests are more likely to have detailed evaluative reviews available, but it is possible to find evaluations of both kinds.

Both published and unpublished tests are subject to copyright unless otherwise noted. The test developer should be contacted for permission before a test is used.

Further Reading

Subject Librarian

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David Rankin
Bizzell Memorial Library
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Room 149
Subjects: Education