I am writing about two issues I have had with my data collection. This is my first time using Prolific so I want to ask if others have had similar problems.
Submission numbers and Pavlovia integration - After publishing my study, I have had large numbers of participants seeing the ‘not enough credits’ message even though there were already enough participants doing the study. From what I understand, Pavlovia reserves credits to any active participants doing the experiment until the study is completed, when credits are marked as consumed. However, what I assume is happening is that Prolific only counts submissions as participants completes a study, and will only stop taking in participants when enough submissions are made. This causes the problem described at the beginning, as I only have a fixed number of paid credits on Pavlovia (reserved credits count towards the total number of credits assigned to the experiment). I don’t know if this is an issue that can be fixed / optimised on Prolific - it seems rather odd that people should be able to click on a link that has already been filled according to the ‘active + completed’ total. I can have an overwhelming number of ‘returned’ attempts and messages sent my way as a result.
Assigning payment to participants with no completion code or returned status I have had a couple of cases where the data status on Pavlovia did not match the Prolific status (e.g. no data on Pavlovia but marked as complete on Prolific, data saved on Pavlovia but marked as returned on Prolific). I therefore had data exceeding the number I budgeted for. From a researcher’s point of view, I can only guess that there has been some kind of technical problem, but I do want to make sure participants are paid for their time, even though their data might not always be usable. The issue I had was that the credit balance on Prolific seems to be reserved for those who have completed the study (even with no code), but not for bonus payments instead. What can be done to make things more flexible?
If anyone could share their experience(s) I would be grateful.