Introduction to this guide
This guide is specifically to help students in CNL 608 find reviews and evaluations of tests and measurements, specifically on how to use the Ebscohost database Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print. This guide will give some information about the database, and some tips and tricks on how to use it. Also, there are some links so you can get help with your citations.
Additionally, you will find links to some information from organizational Web sites, so you can understand the various Codes of Ethics, standards of practice, and other information about assessment and testing of clients.
What is Buros? What can it do for me?
Who is Buros? Why do I need the Mental Measurements Yearbook?
Oscar Buros was the first editor of the Mental Measurements Yearbook. This resource is published by the Buros Institute at the University of Nebraska. Sometimes, you might hear it referred to simply as "Buros" or "Mental Measurements". This is the gold standard for finding information about testing instruments, and also a standard research tool used by students and professionals. According to the publisher, this is a "comprehensive guide to over 2,000 contemporary testing instruments" that is designed for use by all levels of expertise. The mission of the Buros Institute is to provide test descriptions, references, and reviews of commercially available tests for potential test users. The Mental Measurements Yearbook is where you find information about tests.
Why a database? I thought these were books!
Many years ago, before we had electroinic databases, this was only available in books that were published in irregular intervals. Now, you can use one of the library databases to search. While some libraries still keep the physical books on hand, more and more libraries are using the online database exclusively.
Important! Don't pay for this content!
If you do a Web search for this content, you'll be prompted to pay for the individual entries (particularly from the Buros Web site). This is why it's important to understand how to access the library's databases for this content. You'll never be asked to pay a fee to use the library resources, and you can even use them from off campus.
What isn't in the Mental Measurements Yearbook?
The actual tests!
The tests themselves come from many different publishers, and are copyright protected so they can't legally be distributed anywhere and everywhere. If you would like to get copies of the actual tests, you'll need to contact the publisher directly.
The Mental Measurements Yearbook contains reviews and evaluations of testing instruments, which will help you with your quest to gather information about the test, appropriate use, validity and reliability.
How to use MMY/TIP
Once you figure out how to use this database, it can be very useful. However, it is a little different from other databases that you might have used. Let's look at some different ways you might find information in this database. One thing to keep in mind is that these databases only know what you type in, they do not know what you mean, or the context in which you intend your search. If at first you strike out, talk to your instructor or a librarian about how to make your search successful.
You know the exact name of a test
One caveat with this strategy is that if you do not know exactly the name of the test, you might not have a successful search. Let's say you were looking for the test "Postpartum Depression Screening Scale". In order to search for this as a title, you'd need to add the limiter TI before your search, like this:
You've chosen a topic, but you do not know the name of a test
For people who aren't very familar with test names, but who have a topic they'd like to explore, you can either use no limiters and do a keyword search, or you can search through all the text for specific text. One thing that can go wrong here is that there might be more than one way to express a condition or topic, so if you get zero results, you might want to consider if there is a different way to express your topic. Let's say that I know I want a test about postpartum depression, but I don't know the exact name. I can search through all text by using the limiter TX before my search, like this:
You know an official Test Category, and would like to browse within that category
This works great provided you know what the official categories are. These categories are determined by the folks at Buros and might not be the exact categories you would choose, so it's good to see the list. They are:
- Behavior Assessment
- English and Language
- Fine Arts
- Foreign Languages
- Intelligence and General Aptitude
- Social Studies
- Speech and Hearing
To do a search in one of these categories, use the limiter SU before your search: