Slow Recruitment

I’m running a study in batches. What can I do if the recruitment of participants for my study has drastically slowed down after the first few batches? Why might this be happening?

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Dear @Karoline_Summerville

I think you mean you’re running more Prolific studies for the same survey/experiment — correct me if I got it wrong.

Are you recruiting from the same population of eligible participants across your different studies (I imagine you are running them sequentially), or do the pre-screeners change? If the eligible people are the same (you’re always using the same pre-screeners), the increasing waiting time might be a consequence of the diminishing size of your eligible population, given that more people gradually complete the studies. This might be especially true if pre-screeners select not-so-big numbers of eligibles. How many do they select?

If this is not your case, please would you clarify it?


This is correct. I have about 470 people who are eligible. I reduced the filter for demographics and the eligible population went up to 800.


I also recently ran an experiment in many batches.

One thing I would advice is to make sure you’re launching the study at peak times. When are Prolific participants most active?

The other piece of advice is to ask Prolific about removing rate limiting: Data quality at Prolific - Part 2: Naivety and Engagement. Rate limiting means sending out your study slowly to less experienced participants first, both to get more “naive” participants, and to give them a chance to gain experience. But they can change it for individual studies if you ask them.

  • Adam
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