🤔 Ask Anything Thread (Newbie Friendly)

Hello! :slight_smile:

I recently ran an study, opened 182 spots for participants, but in the end only collected 172 and I’m happy with that amount. Every time I increased places I saw prolific already took the money from the budget to cover for it. However, now I finished the study, and I wonder if Prolific will return the money for the 10 participants to the budget immediatly (did not happen) or whether I should send any message to support.

Thank you for the help in advance!

I was wondering whether you share somewhere information on the type of studies that are posted on this platform? I am particularly interested in the average and median duration of the studies.
Thank you so much and best wishes,

Dear Vii

Welcome to the forum.

When you have stopped the study, the participants have been approved, or the rejection process has been completed and your study moves from the active to completed tabs, then the budget tied up with the study (i.e. the remaining unfilled places) will be returned, as far as I know. So imho there should be no need to contact support, and they tend to be busy.

To the best of my knowledge,


Dear Manuela

Welcome to the forum :slightly_smiling_face:

I had a look through the posts to the Prolific Blog



Find out how to run higher quality research online and how Prolific can help.

But I couldn’t see any information about the length of studies.

If you message me with your affiliation and you are an academic researcher and can provide anonymity I can send you data regarding the studies i have participated in.



I’m wondering how limiting the time participants have to complete my study works. As a participant, I’ve seen a counter on the Prolific page that shows you your ID.
Can I as a researcher change that counter’s starting point, or is it automatically calculated based on my estimated study duration?
What does that counter actually do? (Automatically reject submissions, forced-returned submissions, etc)


Dear Starfruit

Welcome to the forum :slightly_smiling_face:

I think that these days there two countdowns, but I am not entirely sure how the newer one (in May of this year I think), which I think acts as a countdown to reserve a place in the study works.

Please see this feature request where I ask for the result of timing out in the “new” (I think its new) type be differentiated from the old type.

I think that the new, “reserve a place” countdown timer is a fixed time of about 10 minutes but I am not sure. I think it is there so as to encourage participants to read the description of studies before starting them. I.e. they can rush to the splash page, click and then before commencing, read the description before proceeding to the study. But I am not sure.

The “old type” of countdown timer, which is still there, is determined using the time that the researcher gives as the estimated completion time using the following equation, where X is the estimate completion time.

Minimum Maximum Allowed Time = 2 + X + (2*sqrt(X))
But I am not quite understanding the “minimum” here please see…

When Prolific decided that the participant has taken too long then they they are “TIMEDOUT” and there is no need to do anything since they are rejected (but occasionally participants may contact you to ask to be paid anyway because they were still at work).
Here is a discussion of the later type of countdown on the participant reddit.

If you ask support and they give you an explanation of the newer time to reserve type of countdown and what it results in (i.e. RETURNED, I think but I am not sure) if participants don’t click in time, then please let us know.
The relevant FAQs are


Hello, Prolific CS has mostly been really responsive and tackled my enquiry within a day. But there were times that it may take longer. Do you know whether the Prolific CS/ researcher support team works over the weekend?

Hello Winnie, welcome back!

I think the Prolific Team works on a Monday-Friday basis. From my experience, requests sent out on a Saturday were processed the following Monday at the earliest. The only replies received on weekends were automatic ones (e.g., “Your request (number) has been received.”).

At least, that’s what I can tell based on my experience.


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Thanks Tim! That was very helpful.

Hi Veronica, Thank you! I have another question. I have a study that is going to be auto-approved later today however a few participants have not returned their submissions after I requested it. I have sent a ticket to Prolific to ask them to return it. What if I don’t see Prolific returning them, say 3pm today, should I reject the participants first and let Prolific change them to return? Or is there a number that I can ring Prolific to flag this up as an urgent request? Thank you.

Hi team,

First i want to share an info that might help others. For Prolific users who collect data through surveymonkey, you can collect Prolific ID automartically using the feature “custom variables” in surveymonkey.

Second, I have the following question please.
If i want to publish the same study more than once with different number of participants, is there a way to do that without duplicating the study and the republish?
For example, I have study A, I published it for 20 participants, I got 20 responses. After I modified my survey e.g. I added more attention checkers, I want to publish again for another 100 participants in away the first 20 reposes do not take the survey again.

For now what I do is that, I duplicate the study in prolific and I change the number of participants, then I publish again. However, It seams same participants take the survey again.

appreciate your help and thank you!

hi @Sameha ,

That’s a great practice to collect PID automatically – there’s a help page about integrating survey software that might be useful: What survey / experimental software is compatible with Prolific? – Prolific

Regarding your question, there’s a “blocklist” function (help page: How can I prevent specific participants from accessing my study? – Prolific) that might do the trick. You can exclude people who have already completed one of your previous studies, or make a list of Prolific PIDs manually.

Hope that helps!

Hi Tim,

Thank you so much for your warm welcome and for your kind offer to share your stats with me. I am hoping to get platform-level information so that I can put a study I ran in the past in context (putting it into context with one experienced Prolific user is unfortunately not enough for my purpose). Thus, I am passing on your generous and very much appreciated offer.

Thank you and best regards,

Good day amazing team,

I just found out that Java does not work on Edge, and found this out during testing my Qualtrics survey. Is there a way to have the submit to a participant joining my survey to use Chrome or Firefox?

Thank you.

Hi Everyone! Do you know if there is a phone number to contact customer service or is submitting a request online the only way to get ahold of them?

I asked the same question, and they said opening a support ticket was best. From one of their support people: “We don’t typically provide phone support at Prolific, because as an online platform we find it’s easier for us to share the relevant information online, and to forward queries to the relevant member in the team.”

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Hi there,
I’m just going through my first set of data which was done via Gorilla. I have a participant who has given the same response in 119/ 120 picture viewing trials. Each trial requires them to rate 1-9 on a Likert scale after looking at a picture and doing some tasks. They have answered 2 on all of them. Now, they may have answered truthfully but given that some of the pictures are quite unpleasant and most people rate them as 8 or 9, this seems unlikely especially in the control condition. They have taken 25minutes to do the study but I’m not sure whether they were just going through the motions.
Do I just approve and pay then choose to maybe exclude the data or are there grounds for asking them to return their submission?

Hi, I have run into an issue approving submissions for my study. I approved all my submissions, but about half of them still have the status of “awaiting review”. This is despite the payment for all the submissions being deducted from my account. This is particularly stressful because the funds left in my account are not enough to pay the submissions that still have the “awaiting review” status. I have submitted a ticket and an email, but I need to get this resolved rather quickly.

Hello Amazing Team!

Is there a way to download total participants (completed, rejected, timed out)? I am not finding a way to do this other than copy and paste.

Thank you.


Hello, are their typically foreign transaction fees for paying for Prolific funds with a US credit card? My account was charged a fee for funding my Prolific account and I just wanted to check whether this is normal? Thank you!