Measure inclusion criteria for DisabilityMeasures.org
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DisabilityMeasures.org uses objective criteria to decide which measures to list. We focus on whether measures are truly free to use and easily available; we are not evaluating the measures, nor are we making recommendations about what might be best in a particular situation.
1. The measure must be available under a free-to-use license.
A user must be able to legally obtain, administer, and interpret the results of a measure without any obligation of licensing or user fees. To clarify with a real example, we came across a tool that could be freely distributed and administered, but the scoring alrogithm was not distributed and was licensed on a per use basis. Even though the tool was free to administer, it was not free to use–and is not eligible for inclusion on DisabilityMeasures.org under this license.
Those familiar with Open Source prinicples will realize that we’ve drawn the line at free-to-use (i.e., “free as in beer”) and not “free to modify or change” (i.e., “free as in speech”). Many academics choose to retain control over the tools, even when they give it away for free, so few tools would fall under a truly “open” license.
2. The measure itself must be directly available on the internet.
It should be accessible with minimal effort and should not require the user to register for an account or obtain permission to view the other-wise freely-available measure. These types of barriers reduce the exchange of information and can discourage the use of these tools. For instance, think of how annoying it is when a journal article that is restricted behind a paywall–even if you have access (when you’re at work), a small inconvenience can cause you to never look at the article.
Alternately—and only with the authors’ permission (either given directly or through its license)—DisabilityMeasures.org could host the materials them to users. In either situation, we will provide a link to the measure authors’ website (or other contact information if the authors request).
3. The measure is relevant to disability.
We take a multidimensional view of disability and believe there are many ideas that could contribute to our understanding of the situation of persons with disability. For example, appropriate measures could include diagnostic tools, measures of caregiving burden, or perceived discrimination. The individual measures are indexed with keywords so users can easily find the measures that are appropriate for a given task.
4. The measure must have been used or described in a peer-reviewed article or reputable technical report
DisabilityMeasures.org will summarize the evidence that the measure achieves its stated purpose. Again, our goal is not to critique the evidence or prefer some measures over others; instead we wish to collect and organize information so users can judge for themselves.
That’s it. Now, go see which measures met our criteria and which ones did not
Also, feel free to contact us if you have questions or comments about the criteria.