With the advent of online behavioral and cognitive experiment platforms like the I-BEX, researchers from various fields such as psychology, cognition, and neuroscience have seen a significant easing of running studies and experiments. Transferring traditionally lab-centric research to cyberspace, while providing immense benefits and global reach, can also introduce a myriad of hidden costs and complexities.
The I-BEX platform follows a subscription-based model. The researchers need to pay a subscription fee which translates into access for conducting online experiments. The costs can vary depending on the duration of use, the complexity of the cognitive tasks required, and the number of participants involved in the experiment. Be aware that licensing information may change, so it's recommended to check the official I-BEX website for the most accurate and recent details.
Let's take an example experiment with 100 participants. While I-BEX provides a platform for running the experiments, it doesn't provide the participants. Researchers may require the assistance of paid participant pools to conduct their experiments. The cost per participant can vary, adding to the overall cost. Add to this the cost of ensuring the ethical approval (if necessary), and running expenses, the final cost may end up higher than initially estimated.
There could be additional hidden costs associated. These include, but are not limited to, the costs of data management, analysis, and the potential need for technical help especially when complex procedures or jspsych scripts are involved. Researchers may also need to invest in cybersecurity measures to ensure the privacy and safety of the participant's data.
There are several strategies to reduce the overall costs associated with running online experiments. These include using open source alternatives like www.cognition.run, a useful platform for researchers to conduct their psychological research. Simplifying your experiments or utilizing pre-made experiments, if possible, can also significantly cut down on setup and design costs.
Running online experiments, remote studies, and cognitive tasks on platforms like I-BEX offers an exciting opportunity for researchers to reach a wider participant base. By staying mindful of the potential costs, researchers can conduct their studies in a budget-friendly manner without compromising the quality of their research.