Published means that it is commercially available. Typically the publisher rather than the author will hold copyright, or distribution rights. This is why you usually need to purchase a copy or obtain permission from the publisher. Some tests require professional credentials or oversight to administer. All testing tools are considered copyrighted. Copies of published tests can sometimes be found in books, journal articles or other collections and can be reproduced for student use under Fair Use, but typically not for research that will be published. The four factor fair use considerations are:
the purpose and character of your use
the nature of the copyrighted work
the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and
the effect of the use upon the potential market.
Test publishers have a significant market, from the test instrument itself to scoring kits. This makes it difficult for libraries to purchase individual tests. It is more efficient for libraries to subscribe for access to test databases, but due to their cost, not all libraries can. However, if the development of a test has been funded by a government agency, it may be a requirement that the test be publicly accessible for a specified time. Also some published tests fall into the public domain after time.
Unpublished tests are still copyrighted, but the rights are held by the creator rather than the publisher, and it is sometimes easier to get permission or a copy of test. Although, it some cases, it can be difficult to find access once a test creator has died.
Check government agency websites that make tests and research available. (ex: CDC)
Boolean searching using the operators AND, OR, NOT. (See below)
PsycINFO - Tests and measures field
Databases in general - Field searching in ABSTRACT
You can combine AND, OR, and NOT to build very complex searches. Group each concept in parentheses.
Let's say that we only want to look at topics for college testing, not K-12. We need to include college results and exclude earlier grades:
(test or assessment or examination) AND (college or university) NOT (elementary or "middle school" or "high school").
Search Strategy Builder
Search Strategy Builder
The Search Strategy Builder is a tool designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean logic. While it is not a database and is not designed to input a search, you should be able to cut and paste the results into most databases' search boxes.