Studies Incorrectly Designated "Awaiting Review" or "Complete"

Hi Prolific Community,

TLDR: submit a help request with your Prolific study number and follow up the help request via email if the study status does not change in a reasonable amount of time.

If you want details, this thread has information about a bug in which studies are incorrectly “Awaiting Review” (at least two different scenarios) or incorrectly designated “Complete” (at least one scenario).

  1. The first is when all data collection is complete and all submissions have been approved, timed-out, returned, or rejected. In this bug, the study remains in “awaiting review” when it should be “completed”.
  2. The second is when data collection is not complete. For example, 50 submissions begun but 5 were returned. The study is designated “awaiting review”, even though data collection is not complete.
  3. The third scenario is an extension of #2, when the study status changes to “Complete” but the number of submissions does not match the desired number. [this issue was added on 10/1/21 in response to a forum post]

The user has no option but to submit a help request in these situations.

[update 8 Nov 2021: looks like this is still ongoing, I’m sure the Prolific team is working hard to fix this and is very grateful for everyone’s patience.]
[update 28 May 2022: looks like this is still an occasional issue, but perhaps less common. Please feel free to log the instances on this thread.]


Thanks for the heads up. Has this resolved itself?

I don’t believe so, but it’s hard to know for sure. We have two studies currently in situation #1 (but no pressing need for a status change so I havent submitted a request) and #2 has happened multiple times in the past couple of months.

I also saw this come up in the forum, which was when I made the post

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Let me know as soon as you submit a ticket, so I can prioritise it :slight_smile:

Otherwise, the team is now looking into this issue. I’ll let you know once I have an update

Hi @Josh , sorry to ask here, but I submitted a few requests to move 9 studies of mine to “Completed” from “Awaiting Review”. I have been waiting for a response from Prolific since last week. I am aware this is a bug Prolific is trying to fix, but I need these studies to be “completed” quickly so that I can meet the deadline to notify the funder of the completion of the project. I would appreciate it if you could prioritise these requests. Thanks a lot.

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Hey @Y_K, welcome to the community!

If you send me your support ticket number, I’ll make sure it’s prioritized.

And our dev team is working hard to fix the bug! :slight_smile:

Hey @Josh,
I just wanted to let you know that I’m running into the same issue. After approving all participants “awaiting review”, the status of the study doesn’t change to “Completed”. Because of that, I cannot, for example, “Increase Places”.
Let me know if I can be of help figuring this out. Thanks!


Thanks, Josh. I will send you the ticket numbers via direct messages.

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No, it has not resolved itself. Also prevents inc/excluding subjects from other studies, as the zombie study can’t be closed…

The subjects forcing the study to remain open ( timed out and returned subjects) have the “x” unavailable so the user can’t do anything to resolve them as non-completing and close the study.

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I’m sorry to hear that you’re still having trouble! I’m just waiting to hear back from our tech team. I’ll update you as soon as I can :slight_smile:

Hi - is there any update on a fix for this issue?

I’m also trying to run several studies quickly, and running into the bug where studies with all participants paid and bonused are stuck in “awaiting review” rather than being marked as complete.

This is a problem for my particular research as I need to exclude based on previous participation (and only ‘completed’ studies are allowed to act as exclusion filters). Any hints or tips on how to resolve this appreciated! Thanks, Agnes

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Dear @Agnes_Norbury

Sorry to hear that! Have you sent a request via this form? If you have that and have its ticket number, you can send a private message to @Jon with that information, and I’m sure he will prioritize it with the team.

In the meantime, you may want to consider another option for excluding those participants. I know it’s not ideal but works if you are in a hurry. You can download the Prolific demographic export to get the Prolific IDs of those who took your previous studies. Then, you can copy and paste the list into the pre-screener called “Custom blocklist” of your new draft study (make sure to have each ID on a new line). More info on this here.

I hope it helps!

Yes, I reported it using the suggested link.

And thanks for the suggestion of manually transferring the custom blocklist. However, it would be great to know if there are still plans to fix this going forward (see above messages from ~6 months ago) as this would be helpful in planning the management of future studies.