Creating a study on Prolific

In order to set up your study on Prolific, you can watch our short tutorial (if using Qualtrics), or follow the instructions below. For this example, we've used Qualtrics as the survey tool, but you can use any other tool. You can find more detailed software-specific integration guides here.

1) Click on "Create a new study" to set up your study on Prolific. 

Please note that you cannot create surveys / experiments using Prolific because our platform is designed to help with participant recruitment, not survey creation. In other words, you need to have created your survey / experiment using a software such as QualtricsSurveyMonkey, or Gorilla before you can use Prolific.



2) Next, set up your new study (we'll guide you through this process). Please enter the following information under "Study details":

  • The study name (this will be visible to participants)

  • The study description (what participants can expect to do in your study)
    • We've prepared a checklist of things that we think should be included in any study description, which you can find here: Writing the Study Description.
    • Please note that the purpose of a study description is slightly different from a 'Consent Form', which you should still include at the beginning of your external survey.

  • The internal study name (optional, click "Show advanced" to reveal this field)
    • The internal name will be visible only to you, and allows you to differentiate between multiple versions of your study easily (e.g. if your studies are targeting specific demographic groups, but you don't wish to reveal those groups to your participants).


3) In the "Study link" section, here is where you should integrate your external survey/experiment:

In order to integrate Prolific with your external survey, you will first need to make sure you are:

1) Recording Prolific IDs in your survey, and

2) Redirecting participants to the Completion URL at the end of your survey. 

Please refer to the help articles linked above for more guidance on this.

When your survey has been integrated in this manner, enter your Study URL on Prolific. This is the public link to your external survey, to which we will send participants when they sign up to your study. 

If you would like us to append parameters to your study URL (e.g. for automatic recording of Prolific IDs), you can access this option by clicking "Show advanced".


4) Now, in the "Audience" section, specify your target audience:

By default, your study will be distributed to all active participants on Prolific, regardless of their nationality, language fluency, or other demographic characteristics. To proceed with this option, select "I don't mind, everyone can see it!".
If you wish to target a specific population for your study, click "I want to apply custom prescreening" to access our wide range of prescreening filters. Here, you can flexibly apply different filters to customise your target audience (e.g. females, between 20-40 years-of-age, residing in the US - screenshot below).

Alternatively, you can recruit a representative sample of participants from the United Kingdom or United States. This option is accessible by clicking "I want a representative sample", and you can find more information about this feature here:

Please do not screen out participants within your studies, or specify screening criteria only within your study title/description. It is very frustrating for participants to get kicked out of studies, and our prescreening interface is intended to prevent this! More information about this can be found here: Can I screen participants within my survey?

You can also specify device compatibility in this section. Please note that this is merely used as an indicator for participants, so it's important to state any specific compatibility restrictions clearly in your study description if certain devices/browsers are not compatible. 



5) In "Participants", enter a few more basic details about your study:

  • The number of participants you wish to recruit for the study
    • Data collection for your study will continue until it has reached this maximum number of complete submissions.
    • Note that you can increase the number of places on your study after launching it, so feel free to launch to a small number of participants at first, then add more places when you're sure that everything is working smoothly. 
  • Your study's estimated completion time
    • It's very important to estimate this as accurately as possible, to avoid misleading participants or causing your study to fall below our minimum payment rate.
    • Prolific also sets a maximum allowed time for your study, based on your estimate, which may automatically exclude any participants who go over this time. More information about this can be found here: How much time will participants have to complete my study?

  • The reward per participant
    • Prolific strongly endorses the principle of ethical rewards. That is, researchers must reward participants with at least £5.00 or $6.50 per hour.
    • Note that participant rewards are fixed at the amount you set them, so your participants will be paid the exact amount you specify here, regardless of their actual completion time.



6) Optionally save your study as a draft and share with a colleague

Before publishing, you can save your study as a draft and come back to it at a later stage. This will also allow you to share your draft study with a colleague. All you have to do is click the “Share” button at the top of the form, enter your colleague’s email address, and they’ll receive a link to a read-only copy of your study that they may view once they log in to Prolific. They can then provide you feedback using our Prolific messaging system.

Please note, this feature is still in beta testing so has only been rolled out to a random group of researchers at present.


7) Finally, in "Publish", preview your study to check everything is working smoothly:

You'll be able to test that the integration with your external survey is working correctly by previewing your study here.

When you're ready to publish your study, hit "Publish" and be sure to check that all details in the "Confirm publish" window are correct before proceeding

Finally, please carefully read through all of the points listed in the "Final Checks" window, and only tick the box when you are confident that your study meets these guidelines.



And that's it - you are now ready to post and share your study! You will need to top up your account with sufficient funds to pay participants in advance of publishing.

Eligible participants will be notified via email, and from their Prolific Studies page, that they can participate in your study. When the study is complete, please review all participants' submissions promptly to pay them your study reward.

If you have any questions prior to launching your study on Prolific, please get in touch with us via the Submit a request button.

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