Hello, I am looking to start my first study using Prolific and I have a few questions. The study will be longitudinal and we would like to run it through oTree.
Is there an easy way to direct participants to a particular URL (or the same URL they already used)? My idea is that I could start a session and then just have subjects continue in the same oTree session on any follow-up sessions coming from Prolific. I want to connect things in this way because the options participants will get in follow-up sessions will depend on what they choose in earlier sessions.
I know that Prolific does not support “time-sensitive” studies where it needs to be completed at a certain time of the day. But is it possible to restrict completion to a particular range (e.g. within a 24 hr period)?
Welcome to the forum
You can message and or email participants with an oTree or other survey site URL or a Prolific study page where the study link is
the latter will time the submission and give them only a limited window to respond from the time that they click on “participate.”
While there is no automatic way of scheduling studies and they do not always start immediately (though generally within a few minutes, I am not sure why. Perhaps they use AI on studies and check those that look iffy by human) you can start a study and then stop it manually 24 hours (or 24 minutes as you wish) later in which only those who happen to be in progress will be able to finish the survey thereafter.
Does that help? Please feel free to ask more!
I think I now understand the strategy around #2.
I am still unsure about #1, probably because I have no experience either on the researcher or participant side. Suppose that I have some participants who participate in Study A. I then want to invite them back to do the follow-up Study B, and I do so using either a custom allowlist or the prescreen based on previous studies. At this point, can I give each participant a link that is uniquely assigned to them? Is there an automatable way to do this?
You can use a custom allowlist using those participant IDs that pass the prescreening questions and or complete Study A. The use of a custom allow list will first result in participants being invited to doing the study B, who visit the site or have the Crome/Firefox add in installed.
Then after a certain period of time, the study with a custom allowlist will send out email. I am not sure how long that period of time is. I made a custom allow lists with only my own participant ID in the morning and at lunch time I still had not received an email but I am pretty sure that the email will be sent out.
Alternatively you can send an email using ProlificID @email.prolific.co
Either way however, the link that will be sent, or you will send will be to the study and not be unique.
Your survey software site may be able to filter participants to the continuation of the survey for that particular applicant, or I would ordinarily ask for the participants ID again in the survey and match participants up using that.
You may have already seen the longitudinal study FAQ.
Okay, thanks! So it seems like I cannot quite do what I want to do using Prolific’s strategy for follow-up studies. The reason is that I need to funnel subjects into unique links because what they choose in the follow-up study will depend on what they choose in the original study. The best way to do that with oTree is to send out individualized links (it is not so easy to match up participant ids).
I have come up with a potential alternative that I would love your thoughts on. I want participants to participate in 4 studies over the course of two weeks. In studies 2-4, I want to be able to direct the participants to individualized links. So what I do is run Study 1 in the standard way through oTree, explaining to subjects the full experiment. Studies 2-4 are run outside the Prolific environment and without creating an official study. Instead, I simply email the participants links using “firstname.lastname@example.org”. After all 4 studies are completed, I confirm payments for Study 1 including the payments for studies 2-4.
Is that plan permissible within Prolific’s rules? I guess we could also create formal studies for studies 2-4 that simply say “Check your email for the link” but that seems like an unnecessary step. And what would happen if the participant clicks the completion URL without having actually accepted the study in the first place?
I am sorry I am slow to respond.
I think that the method you suggest is acceptable. Since Prolific can’t check on the time taken and whether the participants are being paid commensurate with the time they take, I guess that from Prolific’s point of view the method is not ideal but I am pretty sure it says that it is okay to pay for subsequent parts using the bonus paid on the first part.
So I think you can carry out the study in the way you suggest.