If you would like to alter a Mind Garden instrument, please read our policy below and register your intent by completing the Alteration Application Form.
1. Validity and Reliability
When a psychological instrument is altered it may affect the validity and/or reliability of the instrument because the meaning of the items and/or the instructions change. This meaning change has unknown consequences on how well the instrument predicts behavior and/or represents the constructs measured by the instrument. Typically, journal editors and reviewers will ask for a complete construct validation study when items and scale anchors are changed, which indicates the importance they assign to changing original items in scales and instruments.
2. Our authors retain the rights to any of their items or scales that are altered, and therefore it is important to assign all alterations to the copyright holder.
3. At no time may any entire instrument or scale, altered or original, be included in any publication as per Mind Garden policy (FAQ Policies and Legal #1).
4. Research and Publication
When research from an altered instrument is published it brings in a degree of ambiguity about:
a) the nature of difference from the original instrument,
b) the results of the study as a characterization that might differ from the original instrument,
c) how the validity and reliability reported might be affected by the alteration.
For these reasons, we have to be sure that any alterations are clearly indicated in the write-up of the study to be published. Moreover, we have a policy of not publishing entire scales and therefore, when items are altered only a few sample items should be provided to the journal. Please see our copyright policy (FAQ Policies and Legal #1).
5. If you wish to put an altered instrument online it is important to review Mind Garden's online policy about this.
We will review your application and respond within 5 business days.