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Public Health - Surveys & Measures: Home


This libguide was created by Prof. Deborah Dolan.
Prof. Dolan will be retired as of 8/31/2022.
If you have questions about the content of this guide, please contact Annmarie Boyle at

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Why Use This Guide?

You are in a course or working on your thesis or dissertation, and you need to identify existing measures which have reliability and validity data available.

There are two major classes of such measures - "Commercial" and "Research"

Commercial measures are not better than Research measures - they measure constructs that have commercial viability (i.e., the developers can earn money from them). 

Some examples of commercial tests are

  • tests that you are probably familiar with, such as the SAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT ...
  • tests used in clinical settings -  the MMPI-, WAIS-, WISC-, Beck Depression Inventory ...
  • Employment screening tests

Research tests often have a lot of reliability and validity data, but do not have an identified commercial viability.

Some examples of research tests are

  • the Crowne-Marlowe scale of social desirability
  • ATDP (Attitudes toward Disabled Persons scale)


All tests are covered by copyright law.

Users of commercial tests must pay for the test material itself as well as all "consumables" (e.g., answer sheets, scoring sheets).  Occasionally the publisher will allow a commercial test to be used at no cost or a discounted rate for research purposes.  You MUST get written permission from the publisher.

Research tests, although free to use, are still the intellectual property of the publisher/author. 

Users of research tests should contact the publisher/author and advise that they will be using their test in a particular research project, unless the publisher/author has indicated otherwise in writing (on their webpage, in the front matter of a book, etc.)  It is particularly important to advise them if you are modifying their intellectual property. 

And you should, of course, credit the author(s)/publisher(s) in your work!!


Please click on the blue tabs above for specifics about identifying and accessing commercial and research tests and measures.



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