Exploring Alternatives to Prolific Online Platform


Conducting online experiments, particularly for behavioral and cognitive tasks, can be a complex endeavor. Coordinating various aspects such as task design, participant recruitment, task execution, data collection, and data analysis often proves challenging.

Limitations of Prolific Online Platform

Prolific has long been a go-to tool for psychological researchers running online experiments. However, certain limitations may influence researchers to seek possible alternatives. Here are some of the challenges:

  • Cost: Running experiments on Prolific can be expensive, especially with larger sample sizes.
  • Data Privacy: Prolific controls the database, making it challenging to ensure total data privacy compliance.
  • Flexibility: Prolific has a specific way of working which may not fit every experiment design.

Discover Alternatives for Online Experimentation

There are several online platforms that offer better cost management, data privacy, and flexibility. Among them are options like:

  • Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk): Works similarly to Prolific but offers lower cost per experiment.
  • Cognition: This is a dedicated platform for running cognitive and psychological research online. It's also based on the open-source JavaScript library jsPsych.
  • Qualtrics: An online survey platform with sophisticated question types and a strong focus on UX.

How to Migrate from Prolific

Migrating from Prolific to a new platform doesn't have to be daunting. First, identify what you need from a platform - cost, participant demographics, flexibility, type of cognitive tasks support, etc. After deciding, ensure that your chosen platform matches your requirements. The next step involves transferring your experiment. If you're moving to Cognition, for example, you can easily adapt your jsPsych experiments through the platform.

How Much Does it Cost to Migrate?

The costs of migration can vary vastly but with careful planning, they can be minimized. When applicable, make sure to leverage open-source libraries like jsPsych. For many researchers, the cost of migration is justified by the savings and flexibility offered by alternative platforms.

In conclusion, transitioning from Prolific to other platforms can be a straightforward process, bringing valuable benefits in terms of costs and functionality.

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