Ask for professional background, prolific-conform?

Hey there!

I want to ask the participants of my study if they somehow work as an computer scientist or something closely related to IT. To ask bluntly “Do you work as an computer scientist? Yes or no?” is not the gold standard I guess. And I want to avoid an open answer field. It is important that it’s about their job rather than the sector. For example I have a friend working as a system administrator in a hospital. So the sector would be “health” but I am interested in his IT background.

In addition: Are there any restraints why I am not allowed to ask for it or what I am not allowed to ask specifically? Disclaimer: Of course I do NOT intend to screen anyone out within my study.


Hi @Elena_Groben , as far as I know, the only restraints involve participant identification and you can find that information here.

In your case, since this seems to be a central part of the survey, I might include multiple items to validate the single response and gain a more detailed perspective. For example, you could use
Computer scientist: yes/no
Are you technically employed by the IT department at your uni/company/organization: yes/no
Do you consider your work to be IT-related? yes/no
Compared to other people who work in your field, how heavy is your work related to [insert main topic]: 1-not at all related … 5-highly related
Hope that helps!

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