Tests are intellectual property and are therefore subject to copyright restrictions. The American Psychological Association offers these guidelines and tips for using test materials (see link below):
Users of unpublished tests have certain ethical responsibilities. Users must (a) contact the test author and request permission to use their test, and (b) secure their permission in writing if the material is copyrighted. Locating the author may be a difficult process, particularly if the measure is several years old, but try the following steps:
- Journal articles list the authors organizational affiliation (or university) with a mailing address on the first page of the article. If the publication is fairly recent, this method is almost always successful.
- If this fails, directories published by scientific and professional associations like APA could provide you with a more current address and phone number for the author. This is useful if the article is several years old and the author has moved since the article was published.
- If these attempts to locate the author fail, contact the publisher holding the copyright to the original material and request permission from the publisher. Remember that APA holds the copyright to all material published in APA journals.
No matter how difficult this process may seem, you should make every effort to contact an author or copyright holder to secure permission before using any test or other instrument.
For additional guidance on getting permission to use tests and measures, see Helen Hough's page from the University of Texas, Austin.