Reviewer FAQ

What's your question?

Under what circumstances will Buros permit me to have a co-author?
Joint authorship requires advance permission from the Buros Center. The invited author retains full responsibility for the content and quality of the review and must be first author. Undergraduate students may not serve as co-authors. Only one Mental Measurements Yearbook is provided to joint authors. Note that only sole authors are eligible to claim APA continuing education credit for reviews.
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Is it acceptable to use language directly from the test manual or other test materials in my review?
Test manuals are copyrighted works. Therefore, when words from a test manual are incorporated in a test review, proper credit must be given. In particular, any text taken from test manuals or other sources must be presented using quotation marks and correct page numbers must be given. It is rare for test reviews to contain more than two brief quotations; many excellent reviews use no quotations from their respective test manuals. (For further information, please refer to the APA Publication Manual, 6th ed., Section 1.10 Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism, Section 6.03 Direct Quotation of Sources, Section 6.04 Paraphrasing Material, and Section 6.06 Accuracy of Quotations.)
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I think my review is going to run beyond the 1,500-word limit. Will Buros increase the word limit for me?
We can accommodate modest overages, particularly for complex tests with considerable technical information or those that function as a battery of tests. Exceptionally long reviews may be edited by Buros or returned to the review author with a request to reduce the length.
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The test I am reviewing seems to have a lot wrong with it, so I plan to discuss its flaws throughout the review. Is that tactic OK?
The sections of a test review are described in the document Organization of Test Reviews for the Mental Measurements Yearbook Series (available at buros.org/organization-test-reviews-mental-measurements-yearbook-series). As noted in this document, the Commentary section is used to address strengths and weaknesses of a test, as well as the adequacy of the theoretical model supporting test use. Reviewers also may wish to summarize the impact of current research on the test's assumptions in this section. Consolidating evaluative statements in the Commentary section makes it easier for the reader to understand the reviewer's overall assessment of the test.
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I often develop PowerPoint presentations with "bulleted" lists. Will this format work for the test review I am about to write?
Bulleted lists create problems for database management and exporting. We do not use them in our publications. Please write your review in prose.
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Must I say something nice about the test I am reviewing?
It is not a "requirement" to make positive statements in a test review. However, a balanced review addresses both strengths and weaknesses of a test because both types of information are helpful to prospective test users. As noted in the document Reviewer's Guide for the Mental Measurements Yearbook Series (available at buros.org/reviewers-guide-mental-measurements-yearbook-series), "reviews should be evaluative, giving credit where credit is due, and describing weaknesses with careful attention to their likely implications and effects."
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The manual for the test I was asked to review includes only limited information about the test's psychometric properties. In writing the Technical section of my review, how should I proceed?
Typically, test publishers send all relevant test materials and documentation to Buros for review purposes. Test manuals vary widely in the depth of information provided. Some tests offer a "test manual" that is labeled as a User's Guide or Manual for Administration and Scoring and may package technical information separately (e.g., as a Technical Manual). Reviewers faced with minimal technical information should check all the test materials for additional information and may wish to contact the test publisher directly to inquire about additional documentation that bears on the test's psychometric properties. Evidence from other sources may be identified through a search of empirical literature.
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Who is the intended audience for my test review?
Reviews are written for the rank and file of test users, which includes professionals (e.g., psychologists, educators, speech-language pathologists, lawyers, business personnel, counselors) as well as graduate students and others seeking information about the existence and/or quality of tests to use for specific applications.
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In order to better describe the test I am reviewing, I would like to include some sample items from the test in my test review. Is it OK to do so?
It is our policy to avoid disclosing actual test items in the test reviews published by the Buros Center. Doing so would jeopardize the security of the tests.
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Am I entitled to submit my test review to another publication outlet?
No. The Buros Center secures the exclusive copyright from each reviewer at the time an invitation to review is extended. Authors seeking to reprint any portion of an entry appearing in any of our reference works must secure permission to use this material (for further information, consult our webpage (buros.org/copyright-and-permissions).
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Is it permissible to share the review I wrote for Buros with my students and colleagues by posting the manuscript I submitted on my faculty webpage?
No. Copyright protection extends to all works published by Buros and includes manuscripts that are in development, under review, or in press. Posting a work for public view for which you do not hold the copyright or have not secured permission from the copyright holder (in this case, Buros) infringes on that copyright. For further information consult the APA Publication Manual (6th ed.), Section 8.05 Publisher Policy Requirements (regarding transfer of copyright) and/or contact the U.S. Copyright Office (lcweb.loc.gov/copyright).

In addition to a potential copyright infraction, one must bear in mind that manuscripts undergo a rigorous review process at Buros that ensures accuracy and consistency of information presented in the review. As a result, the published version of a review differs, sometimes substantially, from the manuscript that was submitted initially.
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Will I receive feedback from Buros about my review? If so, when should I expect to hear from you?
Yes. Depending on where we are in our publication cycle and whether we have received a review from the other invited reviewer, you may hear from Buros in as little as two months. Unfortunately, there are a number of factors beyond our control that affect the timing of our feedback, which can extend to a year or, rarely, more.
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Now that I have completed my review, should I return the test materials to Buros?
Typically it is not necessary to return the test materials we sent you. However, materials from secure tests must be returned to the test publisher; we will provide you with instructions for doing so. On rare occasions when we have a limited number of copies of the test materials, we may ask you to return them so that we can archive them in our test library.
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What is the relationship between the Mental Measurements Yearbook and Test Reviews Online?
Reviews available through Test Reviews Online are the same as those published in a corresponding Mental Measurements Yearbook volume. Online reviews are offered for sale on a per-test-title basis, with most test titles having two reviews. Once a test has been revised, only the reviews of the most recently published version of the test are available for purchase from Test Reviews Online.
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When will my review be published?
Mental Measurements Yearbooks are published approximately every three years. However, most completed reviews become available electronically prior to the publication of a printed volume. Specifically, we send updates to electronic subscription services (EBSCO and Ovid) every six months and we update our own online source for reviews (Test Reviews Online) as soon as reviews are finalized. Most tests are reviewed by two independent reviewers, whose reviews undergo several stages of editorial review together and then are uploaded or published as pairs.
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The information for reviewers posted online says "typically, reviewers are asked to review two tests," but I was only asked to review one. Why?
New reviewers often are invited to review only one test. Experienced reviewers may be invited to review only one test when we find only one test that is a good match for their areas of expertise. Although test acquisition is ongoing, we try to avoid bottlenecks by finding appropriate reviewers soon after we receive the test materials.
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I was invited to review two tests, but my schedule is very tight right now. Can I accept one test and decline the other?
Yes, you may accept one invitation and decline the other (although we much prefer that both invitations are accepted).
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I have begun working on my review, but it is taking me longer to complete it than I thought it would. What if I can't complete it by the deadline?
We count on receiving reviews steadily throughout the yearbook compilation process. Depending on where we are in the publication schedule, a brief extension (of two weeks or so) may be possible without too much disruption for us. However, please bear in mind that, because pairs of reviews go through the editorial process together, a delay from one reviewer often causes a delay for the other reviewer who was invited to review the test.
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How does Buros decide which reviewers should review a specific test?
In selecting reviewers we consider many factors, including preferences and the "areas of expertise" that reviewers specify at the time of application, degree field, field of specialization, history of previous reviews (if any), quality of previous reviews (if any), absence of known or suspected conflicts of interest, and other information gleaned from university, professional, personal, and other websites.
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Is it possible that my review will be rejected?
Yes, it is possible. However, with the task being a circumscribed one that is well described in our descriptive materials and with examples easily at hand (buros.org/review-samples), an outright rejection is rare. You may be asked to revise the review and resubmit it, or you may be queried on some point(s) or asked to clarify a sentence or two prior to publication.
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How do I receive APA Continuing Education (CE) credit for my test reviews?
Reviewers are eligible to receive 2 hours of APA CE credit after: (a) responding to editors’ queries (if any) and/or approving edited proofs, and (b) completing a CE evaluation form within 14 days of approving proofs. Completion of the CE evaluation form will notify Buros of a reviewer’s interest in receiving APA CE credit. CE certificates will be sent via email quarterly (first business day of the month in March, June, September, and December) to all reviewers who have completed these requirements in the previous quarter. Reviewers may earn two CE credits for each test they review (provided they are the sole author of each review); credits should be claimed as each review is completed.
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Does Buros provide continuing education for professions other than psychology?
At this time, Buros is approved as a continuing education provider for APA, which primarily serves psychologists. Buros Center for Testing continues to explore continuing education options within other professional organizations and hopes to secure additional approval(s). This program qualifies for 2 continuing education clock hours as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your program description and certification of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.
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