I would like to use the items from a standardized test in a research study. I would like to know whether I need to pay to use the items for this purpose? Or are the items alone potentially free, whereas one must pay to use specialized administration and/or scoring methods?

If it matters, the specific test I am interested in is the Woodcock-Johnson III Math Fluency subtest.

I often read papers in which researchers used the items from this test and report analyses using number or proportion correct answers, i.e., not norm-referenced scores. I am wondering whether they needed to pay to do so.

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    $\begingroup$ My guess it will depend on the test, so I would focus this question entirely on the Woodcock-Johnson III Math Fluency subtest. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 9:16

1 Answer 1


If the test/questionnaire is proprietary, one way to use the items would be to pay. Another way would be to ask the authors for permission to use the items for your project free of charge (which they might actually give you).

Simply using the items without paying or asking is likely copyright infringement (for proprietary tests). It usually does not make a difference what you use the items for or how you analyze results.

Best way to handle proprietary tests/questionnaires is to not use them at all and look for free alternatives. If there are none, make your own, validate it and make it freely available :).


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