Instructions for how to set up a qualitative study with an interview

Hello, I have looked around but cannot seem to find out how to set up a qualitative study. Where should I start? many thanks, J

Dear Julie

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

Prolific is mainly for recruiting participants. The study itself is generally made in a separate application.

This is especially true for qualitative studies because the survey creation tool built into Prolific (shown in the image below)

does not allow for open ended responses only multiple choice questions, and only 5 of them, so you will need to use a separate survey software application for a qualitative (assuming that means free-response) study.

The integration guides for these are here

I use Google forms which is free, and has short and long answer text responses, but it lacks more sophisticated branching, timing, and drag and drop or freehand/drawn response formats as provided by paid services such as Qualtrix, Otree and Gorilla and the others.

I hope that helps a little,


Timothy Takemoto
Yamaguchi University

I’ve used Prolific for interviews: To Tim’s point, it’s not the platform through which you would conduct the interviews - you’d think of it more like the recruitment tool. Then once you get the folks recruited (and pay them for the time they spent filling out the recruitment form), you select who you want to interview and can message them via their ID to set up the actual interview.

I’m sure there are variations, but in the ones I’ve done, the steps were as follows:

  1. Do a normal survey via Qualtrics, recruitment via Prolific, that (a) gets people’s to respond to survey consent form and (b) captures the characteristics on which I’d want to do purposive sampling.
  2. Pay people for said survey. (And separately, do analysis on said survey.)
  3. Review data and select individuals to recruit for interview.
  4. Set up a second study that is only open to folks who I’m recruiting for interview, including (a) interview consent form and (b) captures their time availability in the next X days.
  5. Pay people for filling out the interview availability form.
  6. Find a time that overlaps with one of our interviewers, and then send each respondent the interview information via the Prolific messenger.
  7. Send people a reminder the day before the interview.
  8. Conduct the interview.
  9. Pay people for the interview via a bonus payment in the interview study.

Notably, you could cut down some complication by (a) just putting the interview availability and consent in the original survey and (b) just putting a direct scheduling link like Calendly instead of manually scheduling. I had to do it this way because I was working with a team of interviewers and we didn’t have the bandwidth to be focusing on the original survey and the interviews at the same time.

1 Like