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Can I screen participants within my study?

Please do not screen participants out from studies

We ask that researchers do not screen participants out in their studies. Instead, you can apply Prolific's prescreeners to your study, which will mean that only eligible participants can see and access your study

The full eligibility criteria for your study must be applied using prescreening, so that all participants who are sent to your study can complete it and receive the reward. It is also not appropriate to put the screening criteria in the study description alone. You are welcome to repeat it here, but it must also be applied using our prescreeners.

If the criteria wasn't applied to your prescreening, you cannot reject participants or exit them from your study if they do not meet the criteria you're looking for. See our Setting up a study - Audience article for more information.

What if the prescreener I need doesn't exist?


If you want to recruit a niche demographic that you can't obtain using our existing prescreening filters, you will need to follow our guidance for recruiting a custom sample.

Can I validate my prescreeners?


Yes, we recommend that you validate your prescreeners by asking the prescreening question again in your survey. This validation question should be at the very beginning of your study and must be worded exactly as it appears on Prolific. This will allow you to confirm that participants’ prescreening responses are accurate and up-to-date, so you can be sure that you are obtaining your desired sample.

If a participant's response doesn't match their prescreening answer, you can redirect them to a separate end of survey page with the following message:

'You are ineligible for this study as you have provided information which is inconsistent with your Prolific prescreening responses. Please return your submission on Prolific by selecting the 'stop without completing' button.'

This means participants can return their submissions and their spot will open up to a new and eligible participant. To see examples of this setup in external study software, please see our integration guides.

Please note that this and participants refusing content (see below) are typically the only circumstances where we allow screening within a study.

How do I filter out participants who do not consent to my study?


If a participant indicates that they do not consent to participate in your study, you can redirect them to a separate end of survey page with the following message:

'As you have indicated that you do not consent to participate in this study please return this submission on Prolific by selecting the 'stop without completing' button'

This means participants can return their submissions so their spot will open up to a new participant. To see examples of this setup in external study software, please see our integration guides.

Please note that this and validating prescreening questions (see above) are typically the only circumstances where we allow screening within a study.


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