🤔 Ask Anything Thread (Newbie Friendly)

Here, there’s no such thing as a stupid question!

If there’s something you don’t understand, or a simple question you’d like an answer to, this is the thread for you!

Just reply to this post with any question you have, and we’ll do our best to help! :smiley:

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Hi. I have previously conducted quite a lot of quantitative surveys using Prolific. A colleague has mentioned that Prolific also have a feature to run interviews? I have a qualitative piece of research coming up and i would love to hear more about using Prolific to hold interviews and learn more about how this works?

Many thanks,


Hi Rosie, so great to have you here!

You can certainly interview participants via the platform. The same policies regarding fair payment, personal information etc still apply. :slight_smile:

Here’s the key info you need:

  • You can link to a booking form, where participants can specify their availability for the interview, then give them a completion code, but only approve and pay the submission once they complete the interview.

  • We have an existing screener for “Would you be willing to record yourself via a webcam as part of a study?”, which you should use to recruit only participants who have stated they’re happy to take part in such a study in advance of being made eligible. Collection of personal information is not usually permitted on Prolific, so participants would need to be assured that any personal details (e.g. Skype usernames) collected will only be used to contact them for the interview, and deleted as soon as this purpose has been fulfilled.

  • You may wish to make use of our anonymised messaging system to help with the logistics of arranging the interviews: Sending messages to participants.

  • Finally, we would recommend running a pilot study to make sure the process is running smoothly on our platform. We do have other researchers carrying out these kind of studies but it is not the most common format.

I hope this helps! Let me know if anything is unclear.

For a full breakdown of the interviewing process, see our help centre article

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I have a question about estimated time to complete a study. I know we as researchers provide an approximate value, but that then Prolific calculates a value and adjusts the predicted pay/hour accordingly.

Could you say a bit more about how this is calculated? Are any ‘waiting for approval’ submission counted or are only ‘approved’ submissions used to calculate this? Are participants who timeout affecting this calculation?

Thank you,


Hey Samuel, welcome to the community!

  • We use the ‘median’ to calculate the average study completion time, so that extremely short/long times are excluded
  • The median is calculated using the ‘approved’ AND ‘awaiting review’ submission times
  • ‘Returned’ and ‘timed out’ submissions are excluded from the calculation

I hope that helps! Let me know if anything is unclear :slight_smile:

More info on how the reward per hour fluctuates can be found here.


Thanks Josh - this was really helpful.

I have another question. I am also looking at doing a small survey study on university students in the UK to generate some topics for the qualitative study. I only need around 50 university students to participate - but is there any way to limit the amount of people that respond across different regions in the UK (e.g. 5 10 from the NW of England, 10 from the NE of England etc)? This would give me a better picture of university students responses in different parts of the UK.

Many Thanks,


Happy to help!

To get your target demographic you can use two of our pre-screeners: ‘Student Status’ and ‘Current UK area of residence’.

It isn’t currently possible to limit the amount of people who respond in the way you’d like to unfortunately. Instead, you’ll need to create a separate study for each demographic i.e. one study which targets students from NW England, and another which targets those from NE England.

I hope that makes sense. Let me know if anything is unclear :slight_smile:

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I will be doing research using quantitative methodology on coaches’ leadership behaviors as perceived by high school baseball players in the United States. The target population is high school baseball players who are now rostered in college baseball programs in the United States. My question for you is, Can Prolific access this specific participant population for my study?

Thanks Josh that was very useful - i will base it on using multiple studies for different regions of the UK.

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Welcome to the community MaryLou!

We don’t have a specific filter, but we can get pretty close. You can apply the following filters to your sample:

  • Nationality: US
  • Student Status: Yes
  • Sports teams: Baseball

That will give you students in the US who have played baseball competitively at either college or high school level. To get your specific sample, run a study asking if they were “high school baseball players who are now rostered in college baseball programs”. Then use an ‘allowlist’ to target a 2nd study at people who answered yes.

For all the info on how to recruit custom samples like this, check out our help centre article.

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Thank you for your response Josh. I will follow up with the IRB at my university to see if this is acceptable.

Best, MaryLou

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Hi Josh,

I have another thought . . Is there a sample filter “College Student Status: Yes”? I ask this because most college rostered baseball players played high school baseball. Is there a way for Prolific Research to find current college baseball player participants? The study questionnaires specifically instruct the participants to reflect on their high school coach’s behavior while rating the questions. I could add a demographic within my study that could differentiate the few (if any) college baseball players who did not pay high school baseball. What do you think?

The Student Status filter should get you mostly college students since the minimum age to participate on our platform is 18. However, to make sure you’re excluding mature students and older high school students, you can also add an age filter. Limiting it to those aged 19 - 25 should be sufficient.

Yes, if you’re confident that college-aged baseball players would have also played high school baseball, then running two studies may not be necessary. And adding a demographic question to differentiate would be enough.

That being said, the only way to absolutely guarantee it is using the method I outlined. But it’s up to you.

I hope that makes sense :slight_smile:

Yes, Josh, it makes complete sense. Thank you so much for your help.


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I see that you can choose which country you wish the participants taking the survey to reside in, but can I get more specific like choosing a state or region in the U.S?

Thank you!

Hi, thanks for making this forum! I am planning a group experiment, where I will run sessions of 20-25 participants at the same time for 1 hour. I think I would like to collect the time availability of participants who are eligible and schedule a time for everyone to join the online session.

How would you recommend setting this up? I was thinking I could post the study (with full payment amount) and direct them to a booking form and then reach out when I find a time that works for enough people. If they can’t join when everyone else does, I can ask them to return it and give them a smaller compensation for the time it takes to do the booking form. I am concerned people will just submit the study as complete after the booking form and if I would be justified in rejecting these. Would it be better to set up a “screener” study, and then a 2nd main study using a whitelist?

Thanks for your help!

Welcome to the community! Yes, you can use our filter ‘Current U.S state of residence’ to get your sample :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Clint, great to have you aboard!

Here’s the key info you need:

  • If you’re planning to run interviews then, use a scheduling tool as this works best for researchers who are running multiple interviews as the participants can then sign up for the time / date of the session that suits them.

  • If you’re just running one group experiment then it would be best if you just stated a time / date for this and asked participants to confirm if they would be free for this date / time. This should be in the study description ideally and should also be displayed at the very beginning of the study. Participants who aren’t free can be redirected and asked to return the study, and participants who are free can continue.

To get a full breakdown, we have two Help Centre articles that go through the process for this here and here.

Let me know if I can help further! :slight_smile:

Great, thanks Josh!

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