If you have a citation that only tells you where and when an instrument was published, the most efficient method for obtaining it will depend on whether it was published within a journal article, a book, or in some other way. Below are recommended steps for each type of publication.
If your test was published in a journal article, there are several options for finding it:
If your test was published in a book, there are several options for finding it:
Some instruments, especially ones that are created/used by government agencies or universities, can be found with Google or other search engines.
CAUTION: Anyone can post something on a website, so there are many unofficial, altered, and incomplete instruments online. For professional and research purposes, you should use versions posted by the correct authors and publishers. Here are some tips for finding them:
If you aren't able to obtain an instrument by other means, you can sometimes get it directly from the author or publisher.
First, find the instrument author's current "institutional affiliation":
When contact information isn't available or it is outdated, use Google or another search engine to locate the author.
For commercially-distributed tests, the best alternative is to contact the publisher. Here are some of the largest test publishers in the U.S.: