Prolific Qualtrics Integration Guide

Record Prolific IDs in Qualtrics URL Parameters

Join Brandon Griffin in this enlightening tutorial on how to integrate Qualtrics with Prolific, designed to aid researchers in streamlining their data collection process. Drawing from his recent experience with his dissertation, Brandon guides you through the detailed steps necessary for a seamless integration, emphasizing the benefits of combining Prolific's high-quality participant pool with the robust survey functionalities of Qualtrics. This video serves as the visual guide Brandon wished he had, making complex procedures accessible and straightforward.

Covering everything from creating consent forms to efficiently collecting participant IDs using URL parameters, this video is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to conduct research with precision and ease. Brandon's engaging example of an ice cream preference study demonstrates the practical application of these tools in real-world research. Whether you're conducting academic research or market analysis, this guide ensures you're well-equipped to manage your studies effectively on Prolific and Qualtrics, promising high-quality data for your projects. Happy learning!

*Description generated by ChatGPT 4 based on video transcript.

Hi everyone, my name is Brandon Griffin, and today I'm going to show you how to integrate Qualtrics with Prolific.

I just barely finished my dissertation, and I did my data collection on Prolific through Qualtrics. Prolific has this great Qualtrics integration guide, and I wish there would have been a video out there to show me how to actually do this. They put everything in a lot of detail, but sometimes it's easier to just see what you actually have to do.

I've had a couple of people ask me to help them, so I'm going to be making this video for you right now. In the future, I'm going to be showing how to do a two-time study in Prolific, but for this one, I'm just going to show you how to do the Qualtrics integration guide.

Hypothetical Example

Let's say you were doing some very important research on ice cream. So you've gone through the IRB process if you're a researcher, or maybe you're working for a company and you've done your market research, and you've come up with your instrument. You've come up with the items that you're going to use:

  1. First, you need to ask people their consent if they're going to participate. They have to know they're going to participate, and they can say yes or no.

  2. Next, you come up with your items:

    • What is the best flavor of ice cream?

    • Describe the feelings you get when you eat your favorite flavor of ice cream.

    • An attention check item that ensures data quality.

  3. Then, we have our end of survey.

Prolific is great for a lot of different reasons. In my dissertation, I talk about some of the shortcomings of online data collection methods, but the research shows, and in my own studies, I found that Prolific is high data quality. I've used MTurk in the past, I've used some other programs, but Prolific is usually high quality, and you get what you pay for. So it's a little bit more expensive, but the data ends up being a lot better. So in my work, in my research, I found Prolific to be great.

Key Points for Qualtrics Integration with Prolific

There are a couple of things we are going to be working with:

  1. Your Prolific Study: MTurk calls this a HIT, or a human interaction task. You have your study details, your study information on Prolific, and how you recruit people or how you get people is through this advertisement right here on Prolific. Once they accept your advertisement, they're going to go to Qualtrics, they're going to take your survey, and what I'm doing now is I'm essentially just connecting the marketing tool of Prolific to Qualtrics. Then at the very end, they'll get kicked back to Prolific so you can manage all the people and so you can accept and pay them or reject them because they didn't do something based on your consent forms.

  2. Creating Study Details in Prolific: What's the title of your study, an internal name, you know, you're going to put your consent form and what the participants are actually going to be doing. In Prolific, it asks how you want to collect your data. They do have a built-in survey builder, but they also have an external study link. Most people do an external study link, whether that goes to Qualtrics, Survey Monkey, Google Forms, or something.

Implementing the URL in Your Study

So what we're going to be doing today is showing you how to implement this URL in your study so people will automatically click it, go to Qualtrics, and it will automatically record their Prolific ID. This Prolific PID right here, and then at the very end, when they're completed, they will be able to come back and instead of copy and pasting this code, they will hit one button, and it'll save. It'll kick them back, and it's all streamlined and very nice.

I'll put a link for the Qualtrics integration guide in the description, but it's going to be over here on my other monitor, and I'm going to follow along with that so I don't miss any steps. What I'm working with, and the camera is right here, so when I look over here, that is just the Qualtrics integration guide.

Let's look at our Qualtrics study. We have the consent, we have ice cream, and we have the end of the survey. So the first step, it says, is that we need to get consent, and we need to kick people out if they say no. We don't want people who say no to not participating in the survey to continue; there's going to be liability issues, especially if you're working with IRB.

How to Work with Survey Flow

So what we need to do, I added a new block of questions, so a new set of questions, and this one is the consent. So here's a research study, and if they select "I agree to participate," they can keep going. If they do not agree to participate, I'm going to kick them out.

How to work with the flow or how to kick people out, or how to send them to the end or how to send them to a different section, you need to go to the survey flow right here. So it's these two rectangles, and one's indented a little bit. You go to this survey flow, and right here, we have this survey flow.

So we have my consent form or consent set of questions and the ice cream research set of questions. So what I'm going to do, I'm going to go add below, and I am going to branch. So what that does is that if something happens, it will send them on a different path.

This branch will not be triggered until you add a condition. What does the condition want to be? In this case, I want it to be if a question is answered. What's the question? The consent. If consent is "I do not agree to participate," so if "I do not agree to participate" is selected, I want something to happen.

It's automatically, it's railroad tracks; it's going to branch them off in a different direction. So if they select "I do not agree to participate," I hit okay. So that creates the branch, but now we need to send them somewhere. Where are we going to send them? We're going to send them to this new element here, and what this is going to be, this is going to be the end of the survey.

So if someone says no, they're going to go to a generic end of the survey, but we need to customize this a little bit. So let's go to customize, and we can override the survey options, and what we're going to do, we are going to do a custom end of survey message.

So how to do this, we're going to go to custom end of survey message, we're going to select message, and there are a couple of different things that we can do. We can look at all these ones I've used before, or we can create a new message. And Prolific gives you one, and it says to copy and paste this text right here.

So I'm going to copy and paste; it says, "As you do not wish to participate in this study, please close the survey and return your submission on Prolific by selecting the 'Stop without completing' button." So what's this description, what would be a good one, let's just say "Prolific reject consent message." Alright, so we hit save, and we have to hit okay.

So now, if someone's going through our study, and they get to our consent, they say no, it's automatically going to tell them to go back to Prolific to "Stop without completing," and it'll allow more people to take that survey. So that first part is done.

So our survey flow has our question, the branch, and then where we are sending that branch. So if someone answers yes, it's going to skip everything in blue and red, and it's going to take them to the show block ice cream.

In Prolific, there are a couple of different ways to collect your participant ID. And what I mean with participant ID, when you're using Prolific, you're getting random people across the entire world. I think right now, it's focused in the UK and the USA, but you're getting people to take your study, and you need to know who they are if you're going to be able to pay them.

And it's particularly important that you do this if you're running a study that goes on multiple times. So mine was a two-time study with a week time lag in between the two periods. So what you have to do is you have to take the number that is given to every single Prolific participant, and you have to record it somehow.

So how do you want to record Prolific IDs? There are a couple of different ways to do this. One, you can add a question in your study, and that would be something at the very end saying, "What is your Prolific ID?" and they would enter it in. That's fine, but naturally, people are going to input it wrong, people may accidentally skip over that question.

So the best and easiest way that you can do, I don't know if easiest, but the best and most secure or recommended option, is to use URL parameters. And what URL parameters are, is in a web link, you have different parts. So we have, researcher, workspace, projects, all the way up here.

So these URL parameters are information that you can embed in the web link, specifically about the person who's taking the study. So when we see all this stuff, this Prolific PID, this study ID, this session ID, this is information about the person who is the participant, about them.

So it will automatically record these URL parameters. So it'll automatically record their Prolific ID, their study ID, and their session ID. So what we want to do is we want people to have automatically record these Prolific IDs via URL parameters. And it says right here that is the recommended method on Prolific.

So there are a couple of things that we need to do. We need to go back into our Qualtrics survey, and I'm going to go to the survey builder. Oh, and make sure you save those questions. So yes, save them. And I need to add a question.

So if you are manually going to ask this question, you're going to say, "Hey, what's your Prolific ID?" So let's call this ID capture. So I need to add a new question, and it's going to be text entry, and it gives us some sample texts that we can use.

So if I were to collect this manually, I would put in this text right here, and it would say, "Hey, what's a Prolific ID?" and they'd have to manually enter their Prolific ID. But when you're using URL parameters, you can make it so that it will actually autofill with their correct ID number right here, their correct ID.

And that is what we are going to do. I'm going to just call this P ID, their Prolific ID. So now, we can automatically fill this in with their Prolific ID, which makes things a lot easier for you to do. And how do we do this? We need to go back to the survey builder.

So we're going to go to the survey flow, and we need to embed data. So this is data that Qualtrics is collecting, or we're telling it to collect, without the individual doing anything. So what we're going to do, we are going to add a new element, and let's go ahead, add a new element here, and we're going to do embedded data.

And we can do, create a new field, or choose from the dropdown, and what we're going to do, we are going to enter this Prolific PID right here. So I'm going to copy and paste, Prolific PID, and make sure that it says, "Value will be set from panel or URL."

So now, the URL will automatically be assigned to this Prolific PID form. And make sure that you move this to the very top of the survey, above everything else, by hitting this move option right here. So now, before they even open the study, as soon as they open it, Qualtrics is saving or embedding that data from their URL into this Prolific PID field.

So now, I can go back to the survey builder, make sure you save, yes, and when they get to this portion of our study, we want it to automatically fill. So what I'm going to do, we can right-click here, or we can hit default choices, and we can edit the default choices.

So I'm going to hit this down arrow, and we're going to pipe text or insert text, and we can do a couple of different things. We can do all this information here, but I'm going to embedded data field. And when I hit this down carat, we're going to select Prolific PID, and hit insert.

So you should see this dollar sign, e, uh, for/ field, Prolific PID, all that information right there. And essentially, what that is, it is code telling Qualtrics to fill in the embedded ID for Prolific PID from those URL parameters.

Alright, so now that we have created this field that will automatically pull the embedded data, this Prolific PID, we need to go back into Prolific and set that up on the Prolific side. So I need to get the survey link from Qualtrics. I'm going to go publish, I'm going to publish, and then I need to go to distributions, and I need to grab that link.

So I'm going to copy this link right here, I'm going to go back to Prolific, and it says, "What is the URL of your study?" I can go ahead, and I can copy and paste my link. And if you saw there, it happened real quick, but if I delete everything that it has in there, and just copy and paste the URL.

So you need to make sure that it is just an online URL, an anonymous link that anyone can use in Qualtrics. But if I go into Prolific, and I delete everything and copy and paste that text, that automatically hurries and adds the URL parameters at the end.

So it's going to ask you, Qualtrics automated integration, and it wants us to tell about your Qualtrics account, and I think, let's see, including you to invite to take part in a user research interview. So I personally do not have a Qualtrics API token, I'm just going to skip this part.

So now, when someone accesses this in Prolific, when we actually launch this survey, they will be able to collect their Prolific ID automatically. The other way that you can do it, you can just do it manually, and there's a link to do that, but essentially what you do, instead of having all this text right here, you just say, "What is your Prolific ID?" make sure that it is a forced response, and have them ask here.

One thing I forgot to say, on your consent question, make sure it is a forced response. At my schools, when I've done research, they require that your consent is a forced response, but your actual questions in the middle of the exam can't be a forced response. So you can request a response.

So for all these ones down here, you know, we could do request response, but we can't do a forced response. So make sure for your first and last questions, your consent, and your last one, that you force response. What that does, it makes people answer; they can't move on because you want people to give their consent, and you want people to get paid.

Alright, there is a lot of information on this Qualtrics integration guide, there's something called validating your pre-sc screeners, which I'm going to skip over, but one thing that also really helps, is at the end of the Qualtrics survey, is sending people back to the Prolific screen.

So they started in Prolific, they went and did their work in Qualtrics, and at the very end, we don't want them to miss out on getting paid. We don't want them to hit save but then never go back to Prolific. We want them to instantly save and have it instantly be recorded into Qualtrics.

So what we're going to do, we are going to send them there by having a URL redirect. So what we need to do, we need to go to the survey flow, and we have all of our information here, we have this embedded survey data, we have our questions, we have this ID capture.

Okay, so what we're going to do here, to collect our people, to send them to Prolific, what we need to do, we need to add this end of survey element. So we're going to hit add new element here, we're going to click end of survey, and we can customize this.

So when we hit customize, we can override survey options, and we can redirect to a URL. So if we go to our Prolific study, it's going to have this information right here, it's going to have a redirect URL. And there are a couple of ways that you can do it, you can manually review people, or you can approve them automatically.

So if we look at this Qualtrics integration guide right here, it wants you to build everything into Qualtrics. So if people failed attention checks, if people weren't actually in the United Kingdom, but you really wanted them to be in the United Kingdom, it wants you to build that in, so you can automatically pay them.

I personally like to do that manually, because if I'm spending money, you know, I just want to have a couple of extra barriers in the way, so I don't accidentally, you know, pay people money that they didn't earn, and you know, have to spend my personal money or something.

So what we're going to do, we need to customize the end of the survey, let's see, let me come out of this for a minute. So I hit this end of survey element, and I'm going to customize. So right now, if they were to end the survey, it would say something generic like, "Thank you, and your response has been recorded."

We're going to go to override survey options, we're going to redirect to a URL, we're going to use that URL, this redirect URL that we got from Prolific, and we're going to put it in Qualtrics. So redirect to URL, we're going to copy and paste that in, we are going to hit okay, and now we need to apply it down here, apply.

So now, after they take our study, they will automatically be redirected to this screen. So if I copy and paste that URL right here, it's going to give me, you know, this nice little message that says, "This completion URL is working correctly, the participant will complete this code."

So the code will automatically be saved, and everything will look good. So if I want to test this out, I'm going to go, and I'm going to preview right here. So I'm going to preview my survey. So here's the research study, "I do not agree to participate," you know, what I don't want to, it should automatically send them to this menu right here, that says, "You do not wish to participate."

Perfect, alright, so let's restart the survey, let's say yes, I want to participate, next, "What's the favorite flavor of ice cream?" I love Oreo ice cream, "Love Oreo ice cream, anything else, you're wrong," "Describe the feelings when you get when you eat your favorite flavor of ice cream," yummy, "Select Oreo to show that you're paying attention."

If I wanted to build attention check logic in there, if I didn't select Oreo, it would kick me out, but I'll go ahead and do that in a different video. So let's go ahead and hit next right here, and what's going to happen, if I came from Prolific, it would have automatically given me that ID, but because there's no this PID right here, it doesn't give me one.

But in the future, you know, it's going to give me some ID. So now, when I hit this next arrow, it automatically sends me to this Prolific right here. So you may have noticed two issues there.

So one, when you were testing it out, it didn't give that Prolific PID. One, I'm not a Prolific user, so like, from the customer, not the customer, from the research participant side, so I didn't have that PID, so it didn't autofill it in there.

Two ways you can do this, one, you can create two methods of doing this, you could have the automatic, and you could have the manual, but that's kind of cumbersome, so I wouldn't recommend that. But you can, if you're really worried about it.

Or two, highly recommend having a pilot study. If you're going to have 500 people in your study, start it with one, start it with five, and just make sure that Qualtrics works, make sure that everything works, just make sure that people are able to get through, cuz you know, you'd rather spend $5 testing it out than $1,000, and find out that something was broken, and it wasn't collected.

So let's go over what we did in Prolific. We started out with this project right here, our ice cream research, and it said, "How do you want to collect your data?" We're going to collect them with an external study link, we're going to send them to Qualtrics, we inputed the URL of our Qualtrics study, and how are we going to record their ID so they can get paid, and so we can line them up from time one and time two?

We are going to use URL parameters, those are auto-built-in ID markers in the web link. So we're going to use URL parameters, and when we scroll down, it gives us a redirect URL that we can use at the end.

So how did we implement these URL parameters, this Prolific ID, so it automatically fills it in? We went to our survey flow, and at the ID capture option, we entered this question that said, "What is your Prolific ID?" This response should fill in with the correct ID, but we needed to build some logic that would capture that embedded data.

So how do we do that? We did add a new element, and the element was this Prolific PID. So it's automatically going to pull this line of code, Prolific PID, from the web browser, it's going to pull it in, it's going to save that. It's saved, it's just floating in the web browser, it's not showing up anywhere.

So we went into this survey flow, and remember, this embedded data, just floating around, we haven't done anything with it yet. So we go to, we can either right-click and go to default choices, or we can hit default choices right here.

The embedded data is just floating around, so we need to pipe or insert the text from our embedded data. We hit this down carat, we hit Prolific PID, we inserted it, whoops, inserted it twice, and boom, we stuck that into Qualtrics.

So we saved it. So now, when someone takes our survey, they go through everything, and they save it in Qualtrics, when they get to the end of our study, it's automatically going to show their Prolific ID.

And then what we did as well, is we made it so when they hit next, so when we previewed our study, when they hit next, it automatically is going to send them to Prolific. So it'll automatically answer. So you know, it should have filled with something if I was a Prolific respondent, but when you're doing your sample, your, I'm forgetting my words, when you do your small pilot sample, that's word, when you're doing your pilot sample, it'll work, and it's going to send them back here, and it's going to make sure everything works in Prolific.

Alright, so this Qualtrics integration guide is great, it has a little bit more information. I'm going to make another video right now about how to validate your pre-sc screeners, that essentially just double-checks things in Qualtrics that is in Prolific.

And I'm also going to make another video about how to do a two-part study using Prolific. So use this article, look at it, but I hope my video helped. Please comment, please like, subscribe, message me if you have any questions about Prolific and Qualtrics and doing research, and kind of this technical side of setting up research.

I'd be more than happy to help, but you have a great day, and happy learning.

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