✍️ Study setup and management

Everything you need to know about setting up a study, choosing your participants and managing your submissions.

Setting up a study on Prolific


  • Setting up a study on Prolific

    Getting started To create a new study on Prolific, select 'New study' from the side menu on your researcher account Below we'll guide you step-by-step through the study creation process! Step-by-step guide Study details Study link Study compl...

  • Using attention checks as a measure of data quality

    What are attention checks? They are a simple way to determine who is paying attention to your study instructions (Oppenheimer et al, 2009) But the jury’s out... Qualtrics’ research (Vanette, 2017): If you exclude participants only because of...

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Choosing your participants


  • Which participants will take my study?

    What if I launch a study with no prescreening filters applied? At Prolific our participant pool is made up of a wide range of participants from many different countries. If you launch a study on Prolific with no prescreening filters applied then ...

  • How do I use Prolific's demographic prescreening?

    Overview On Prolific, you have the option to enter prescreening criteria to filter the participants you need. Here are a few examples of the several hundred demographic criteria you can currently filter by: Sex Gender identity Age Nationality Cou...

  • How do I balance my sample within demographics?

    You may wish to receive a specific distribution of participants across selected demographics. For example, if you want a 50/50 split of male and female participants, or to recruit 30% of your participants from Spain and the rest from France. Our '...

  • Representative samples

    What is a representative sample and why would I want one? A representative sample is a sample that reflects the demographic distribution of a given (often national) population, with the aim of making your research findings more generalisable. If...

  • Representative samples FAQ

    Who is eligible to be in a representative sample of the UK / US? In order for a participant to be eligible for a representative sample, there must be space remaining in their matching age, sex, or ethnicity subgroup. Additionally, they must be a c...

  • How do I recruit a custom sample?

    If you need to recruit a custom sample, and cannot obtain the specific population you require using our existing prescreening filters, it is not permitted to screen participants within your survey or study description. You can read more about why ...

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Advanced study setup


  • How do I prescreen for participants who are fluent in multiple languages?

    If you would like to recruit participants who are fluent in two or more specific languages, you can do this using our prescreening filters. Our 'fluent languages' screener allows participants to specify which language(s) they are fluent in. When y...

  • How do I run a pilot study?

    We strongly advise running a pilot study before launching your main study to test it out on a small number of participants. This is especially important if you haven't run a similar study before. Why should I run a pilot study? Amongst other reas...

  • How do I run studies with couples?

    It is possible to conduct studies on pairs of romantic partners on Prolific. The process is slightly complex compared to some other study designs, but the guide below should help you to set up and run successful couple studies with us. Step 1: Set...

  • How do I run a diary study?

    It is possible to run diary studies on Prolific. These can be complex to set up, so below we have outlined possible options for how these studies can be run on Prolific. It's important that you make the requirements of your study as clear as possi...

  • Random assignment

    Currently we are unable to offer random assignment within the Prolific platform. We therefore advise that you use your experimental software for this. Most experimental and survey software can support this. We have further study software integrati...

  • How do I set up a longitudinal / multi-part study?

    Introduction To run a longitudinal study on Prolific - i.e. where you require participation from the same individuals over multiple time-points - you can set up multiple Prolific studies and invite the same participants back to each one. That is,...

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Integrating your survey software


  • What survey / experimental software is compatible with Prolific?

    Prolific is designed to help you recruit participants for your studies that are hosted elsewhere. All you need is a survey link to get started on Prolific! Nearly all experimental software that is accessible via a shareable URL is compatible with ...

  • Survey integration guides

    Introduction Nearly all experimental software that is accessible via a shareable URL is compatible with Prolific. For the full requirements please see our article What survey / experimental software is compatible with Prolific? List of integrati...

  • How do I prevent participants from taking my study multiple times?

    Our system is set up so that each participant can have only one submission per study on Prolific. That is, each participant will be listed in your dashboard only once, and can only be paid once. However, we can't prevent people from visiting your ...

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Managing an active study


  • Pausing & stopping a study

    You can pause and stop an active study at any time by selecting the option from the Action menu. Pausing a study The option to pause a study can be useful if you become aware of any problems with your study after it has been published which mean...

  • How do I increase places on a study?

    To add participants to an active study, select the option to increase places from the action menu: Total places available The number you enter here should be the total number of places you want to be available for your study after increasing pla...

  • How long will it take for participants to start completing my study?

    The time taken for places to start filling on a study can vary as this is influenced by multiple factors. For example, the time of day and number of eligible participants can affect how quickly study places are filled. Most studies start to recrui...

  • Can I change any details of my study after it is published?

    Important Before publishing your study, it is very important to check that all of the details you've entered are correct. You will not be able to change the following details on Prolific once your study is published: Study title and description ...

  • Can I adjust how much my study pays?

    You cannot reduce the payments made to participants once a study has been published, but these can be increased. If the reward rate for your study falls below our minimum payment rate, or below the payment rate you set when you launched the study,...

  • What if a participant has reported that they can't access my study?

    Sometimes participants may find that when they try to reserve a study place on Prolific there are no places available. This often happens when a study has been re-opened due to one or more participants returning their study, or timing out of a stu...

Reviewing submissions


  • Submission statuses explained

    Introduction When a participant signs up to take part in your study, you will immediately see their ID recorded on your submissions page. You can view submissions by clicking on an active study or using the blue Action button to 'View Submissions'...

  • Approvals, rejections & returns

    Once a participant has completed your study, it is up to you as the researcher to review their data and decide if that participant should be approved and paid, rejected and penalised, or returned. At Prolific we have very specific criteria for the...

  • Exporting Prolific demographic data

    Downloading the prescreening demographic information You can export the prescreening demographic data for your Prolific study from the submissions page. Click on the 'more' menu and then 'download demographic data': Please note that this is the o...

  • 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 submiss...

  • My participants don't match the prescreening I selected

    If you have participants in your data who don't match the demographics you ask for, please first confirm that the prescreening data provided by participants does not match the screeners you applied. You can do that by downloading the demographic d...

  • How do I report data quality concerns to you?

    At Prolific we are committed to providing the highest level of data quality to our researchers. If you ever have any concerns about the level of data quality you are receiving from us please do not hesitate to get in touch with us directly using t...

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