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APA 7th Edition - University of Lincoln

Tests, scales and inventories

The best way to references tests, scales or inventories is to cite the supporting literature. This could be the manual for the test or the journal article in which it was published. 

If supporting literature is not available, cite the test itself or a database record for the test. 

The title of a test or scale should be capitalised using title case capitalisation when it is mentioned in your assignment. 

Manual for a test or scale

Parenthetical citation

(Beck et al., 1996)

Narrative citation 

Beck et al. (1996) 

Reference List 

Beck, A. T., Brown, G. K., & Steer, R. A. (1996). Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II): Technical manual. Pearson. 


Author Surname(s), Initial(s). (Date). Title of manual. Publisher. 

Test, scale or inventory itself


Only cite the test itself if no supporting literature (manual or journal article which published the test) is available. 

Parenthetical citation 

(Weathers et al., 2013) 

Narrative citation

Weathers et al. (2013)


Reference list

Weathers, F. W., Litz, B. T., Keane, T. M., Palmieri, P. A., Marx, B. P., & Schnurr, P. P. (2013.). The PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-



Author Surname(s), Initial(s). OR Group Author. (Date). Title of test. URL 

Database record for a test


Database records (e.g. PsycTESTS) usually provide descriptive and administrative information about the test. If you include this information, cite the database record. Otherwise, cite the test’s supporting literature (e.g the manual or journal article in which it was published) if this is available. 

Parenthetical citation

(Levin et al., 2019)

Narrative citation 

Levin et al. (2019) 


Reference list 

Levin, M. E., Krafft, J., Pistorello, J., & Seeley, J. R. (2019). Acceptance and Action Questionnaire for University Students (AAQ-US)

        [Database record]. PsycTESTS. 


1. Test author surname(s), comma, Initial(s) with a full stop after each initial (and a comma if more than one author) 

2. Year published in round brackets followed by a full stop 

3. Title of test, scale or inventory italicised with acronym in round brackets 

4. Database record in square brackets followed by a full stop 

5. Test database name followed by a full stop 

6. DOI or URL