Direitos de autor, investigação, ciência e políticas de copyright: o exemplo dos testes psicométricos

As políticas de direitos de autor são, hoje em dia, uma das maiores preocupações na área dos testes psicológicos. Devido às várias implicações do não cumprimento destas políticas, este assunto tem sido fortemente trabalhado no âmbito do ETPG (European Test Publishers Group).
Partilhamos hoje convosco um texto publicado pelo ETPG na revista The Parliament, editada pelo Parlamento Europeu, em que esta temática é explorada.

Copyright, research, science and policy: the psychometric testing exemple.

Psychometric testing highlights key issues for copyright policy and its impact on European science, research, social and economic policies.

  • The importance of testing to Europe

Reliable, scientifically based psychometric testing underpins reliable, standardized and fair assessment which improves education, mental and physical health provision, careers guidance, social inclusion and productivity. Bad tests damage EU citizens and organisations in all these areas. The European Test Publishers Group (ETPG) is a not-for-profit trade association, set up 25 years ago to build on advances in the evidence-based measurement of psychological characteristics where Europe continues to be the world-leader.
  • The Situation

Because of the nature of tests (they often comprise simple sets of questions delivered in on-line environments), copyright abuse is particularly rife in the area. This affects the ability of researchers to fund their work; influences author’s income (and many authors are academics); may reduce the money available to create new tests and, quite specifically, affect those clients and patients tests are designed to help. Use of out-of-date unlicensed tests, low quality stimulus materials etc. affects results and therefore treatment regimens and life changing decisions. These issues are not confined to testing.
  • What ETPG has done and can contribute

The ETPG has spent the last three years concentrating on this issue. As membership of the group has spread across Eastern and Western Europe group members have reported many issues, ranging from the misuse of existing editions of tests to the continued use of old editions of assessment which measure inaccurately. Illegal tests are often introduced and presented in university education as trustworthy measures, thus creating misconceptions among the next generation of practitioners. We have also found that internet-sourced, public domain instruments without robust research underpinnings are sold for use as proper clinical tests.

We realise that there is a need to strike a balance between:

  • The needs of clinicians, psychologists, teachers, managers and other users, researchers

  • The right of publishers, test developers and authors

  • The very important responsibilities we bear to the pupils, patients and workers who take tests
To do this, we need to consider latest developments in copyright thinking such as creative commons and developments in the IT field. ETPG is creating a more proactive and educational role in advising on these issues.

In an ongoing series of sessions at European scientific conferences, ETPG members have addressed the issues with scientists, authors, psychologists and practitioners. The ETPG has also started to address the issue of the continued use of illegal versions of tests with professional bodies, particularly in the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe.

The European Test Publishers Group was founded in 1991 and now has members in over 20 European countries. The group comprises leaders of the members businesses, many of whom are psychologists and many of whom have experience publishing in other areas: research journals, academic books and on-line information. The group’s knowledge is local, national and European and covers both IP theory and practical experience over legal action in copyright areas.

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