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Participants are completing my study with 'NOCODE' or the wrong completion code

What does NOCODE mean?

NOCODE simply means that the participant completed the study manually and not via the completion code you provided. If some participants didn't get redirected to the correct completion URL, they'll be listed in your submissions with NOCODE, or you may see the wrong completion code against the submission.

Why am I seeing NOCODE on my submissions?


This usually occurs for one of two reasons:

  1. The participant reached the end of your study, but were not redirected back to Prolific via the completion URL for some reason. Therefore, they had no way to access the completion code and had to submit without one, or instead submitted the wrong code.

    These cases should be approved as normal if there is no issue with the submission; you should check your survey data to ensure that they fully participated in your study, and you can also use their completion time to gauge the likelihood that they did reach the end of your survey.

  2. The participant decided to leave your study early or could not proceed because of some technical issue. Instead of returning their submission, they have submitted without a completion code or with the wrong completion code by mistake, and appear in your 'awaiting review' list.

    You can identify these cases by checking your survey data to see that they have provided incomplete (if any) data, and those that experienced technical issues may also have short completion times (i.e. a few seconds).

If you feel they do not deserve to be penalised with a rejection, we recommend that you send a message to these participants asking them to return their submission on Prolific or find out if they experienced an issue and would like the opportunity to participate again.

Incorrect completion codes


If participants are completing your study as normal but the completion code is incorrect then it could be due to one of two reasons:

  1. If all of the participants are completing with the same incorrect code then it is likely that your survey redirect to the completion URL is incorrect or the completion code you are providing in your survey is incorrect. You should check that your survey is set-up correctly (i.e., providing the right code), and that the latest version of the survey is published.
  2. If most participants have the correct code but one or two do not, then those participants may have accidentally copied and pasted an incorrect code into Prolific if you are providing the code manually (i.e., not automatically redirecting participants). It is worth messaging these participants to ask if anything went wrong during their participation, and to clarify that they have indeed completed your study.

In all cases, as long as you have complete data from the participant in your external survey, and there is no other reason to doubt that their submission is genuine (e.g., they have spent the correct amount of time taking part), then these submissions should be approved and paid as normal.

If you have suspicions about a submission with NOCODE or an incorrect completion code then please get in touch using the button below, and we'll be happy to help.


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