APA establishes test database

Just got the following email:

Dear Dr. Srivastava,

APA invites you to be a part of this exciting new database.  Based on the records we have for your work in PsycINFO, we believe you may have developed tests or measures for your research.  You can showcase your test development work by contributing any tests or scales you have created to the PsycTESTS database.

PsycTESTS, a database published by the American Psychological Association, will serve as a repository for the full text of unpublished tests and measures. APA has developed this new database in response to requests for help in finding tests and measures. It has been widely anticipated in the library community, and we expect it to be very well used.

By publishing in PsycTESTS, you can bring wider attention to your test development work. Both your tests and the literature describing them will be readily discovered through this database. Users will link from PsycTESTS directly to PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, PsycEXTRA, and other full-text sources. This findability will increase the possibility for more citations to your research and expand your professional reach.

A more detailed description of PsycTESTS is available here: www.apa.org/pubs/databases/psyctests/index.aspx , and information for test authors is here: www.apa.org/pubs/databases/psyctests/call-for-tests.aspx.  You must own the rights to the test.  We will ask you to sign a non-exclusive transfer allowing us to include the test(s) in PsycTESTS, while you retain full ownership. You’ll find the transfer on the page with information for test authors. You can email your test(s) to tests@apa.org.  As soon as we receive your non-exclusive agreement authorizing APA to include your work, we will put it into production. It would also be helpful if you would include the citation for the article about the test.

We’re interested, too, in hearing about other tests you have used.  This is a grand puzzle that we are trying to put together.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.


Lynn Willis
Content Development Manager

Sounds like an interesting idea. The license/transfer doesn’t sound too draconian — the author retains the copyright, and can specify whether your measure is fully in the public domain or only for noncommercial use. The license to the APA is irrevocable, so if they end up doing something you don’t like you cannot stop them. But that doesn’t seem too worrisome, because you could always distribute it through another channel too.

A small quibble I have would be with the word “test,” which is usually associated with methods where the measured behavior is not fully under control of the subject (for example, contrast an IQ test with a self-report inventory). I’d rather call it a database of “measures” or “instruments.”