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Data collection

This is step two in our step-by-step guide to setting up a study on Prolific.

Video tutorial


What you'll see


Data_collection__new_.jpg

How do you want to collect your data?


Here you can choose whether to collect data via study link which directs participants to your external study software, or via our survey builder feature (currently in beta). Prolific is compatible with all leading survey software providers. You can find more information about this, including our integration guides, in our Help Centre section Integrating your survey software.

The rest of this guide will cover how to set up your study using a link to your external study software. For guidance on how to set up a study using the survey builder feature, please see our guide here: survey builder.

How to record Prolific IDs


What is the URL of your study?

This is the link to your study / experiment, hosted on an external platform. This is where we will send participants when they sign up to your study.

Further information on study / experimental software integration requirements, and how to set these up, is discussed here: What survey/experimental software is compatible with Prolific?

How do you want to record Prolific IDs?

To link answers in your survey tool to participants in Prolific, you'll need to set up your survey to record our participants' unique Prolific IDs.

This enables you to match our participant demographic data with responses. If you do not record participant IDs, you will not know who has submitted which individual survey response. As a result, you won't know which ones deserve approval or rejection.

We strongly recommend recording IDs automatically, which can be done using URL parameters. Alternatively, you can include a question in your study asking participants for their ID.

I'll add a question to my study - if you choose this option, you'll need to add a question to the beginning of your study that asks participants for their ID. We give our participants a quick way to copy their ID for this purpose. Please note that when using this method there's a risk of IDs not being recorded accurately. For example, a participant may mistakenly miss a character from their ID.

I'll use URL parameters - if you choose this option you'll need to set up your survey tool to record participant IDs. Our article What survey/experimental software is compatible with Prolific? covers how to append parameters to the end of your URL if you wish to record some embedded data automatically using the URL. This is our recommended option.

I don't need to record these - if you choose not to record participant IDs you'll have no way of linking responses in your external study software to submissions on Prolific. If a participant has difficulties with your study or you're considering rejecting them, we will have no way of assisting you in identifying the relevant Prolific participant. We strongly advise against using this option.

How to confirm participants have completed your study


When participants have finished your study, they'll need to return to Prolific to 'complete' their submission. Participants will need to enter a completion code on Prolific to show that they completed your study.

Further guidance on completion codes and redirection with study / experimental software integrations can be found here: What survey/experimental software is compatible with Prolific?

I'll redirect them using a URL - if you choose this option you'll need to set up your survey tool to redirect participants back to Prolific. This is our recommended option.

I'll give them the completion code to copy and paste - if you choose this option you'll need to give participants the completion code at the end of your study. Participants will then copy the completion code and enter it manually when they close your study and return to Prolific.

There is further guidance on completion codes in our setting up a study FAQs.

For each type of completion code, you can select either 'manually reviewed' or 'automatically approved’ from the drop down option. Manually reviewed participants will appear in your submissions list as β€˜awaiting review’. You will need to manually review these submissions to approve or reject them. If you opt for submissions to be automatically approved, you will not be able to review these submissions before they are approved. This approval will happen as soon as the submission is completed, and will not be reversible.

There is further guidance on completion codes in our setting up a study FAQs.


 Next step: Audience

 Previous step: Study details

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