Unable to download data from screener question since July

I have been having a huge problem with the custom sample plan - Our Part 1 (screener question) got too large to download on my end some time in July. Prolific had to download it for me and email it to me. Since July 19, however, they have not been able to download it either. We ended up starting a new screener study in order to keep moving on data collection, but there are several weeks worth of data that no one has been able to access (from 7/19/23 through about 8/10/23) - all those participants have not yet been invited to Part 2 of the study, and I have seen there is a recommendation to send Part 2 within an hour if possible!

Prolific had initially been responsive to my messages on this, though still not able to provide a solution, but lately the communication has fallen off. Does anyone have tips for reaching a high level person in the organization who can handle a complaint like this? I have started requesting a refund for that data as well, but it is so hard to reach an actual person to assist with issues.

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I am having the same problem!!! No one is responding and I need the participant ids for our study asap.

Dear Kar en

I am very sorry to hear that your experience with Prolific hasn’t been good.

I wonder if that means you used the new (and perhaps Beta) Prolific survey tool to carry out your custom screener.

Till recently one would use a separated application (Qualtrix is the most popular, Gorilla is affiliated, I use the free Google forms) and it is recommended that in addition to relying on the ability to download demographic and participant data from Prolific, that we ask the Prolific ID on our survey.

I have no idea why support is being so slow. I guess that support is by far the biggest overhead at Prolific and that sometimes they simply cannot cure the problem. I also believe that in that case they will give you a refund from my dealings with Prolific in the past.

Before jumping ship you may wish to consider using a separate application to carry out your screener study. The google forms integration guide is here

In that case you should have no problem downloading the data including the Prolific ID which is all you need to call the participants to the study proper either by email
or custom allow-list of the study proper, into which you’d past the Prolific IDs of those that passed the screen-er so that only they would be called to the next study.

I am sorry I do not know how to contact anyone at Prolific other than through support. They have a Twitter account though.


Timothy Takemoto
Yamaguchi University

Dear Mathias (sorry)

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

Did you use the inbuilt prolific survey tool to carry our your screener?

There should be two ways to download the Prolific ID

  1. The question in our survey “what is your prolific ID” (or the URL passed Prolific ID if using an app that can accept URL passing) that we are encouraged to include. If you had used the inbuilt survey tool, I can see why you may not have asked that question , especially since the inbuilt tool only allows 5 questions.

  2. The demographic data download from the “download demographic data” from study results page. I rarely download this because I ask my demographic questions in my surveys.

I just tried the download demographics button and while it took 60 seconds (which seems long for only 50 participants) during which time there was a busy graphic it allowed me to download the demographics including ID.

If you were not using the inbuilt survey tool, and have a times tamp in whatever survey app you used (Google Forms in my case), then AS A LAST RESORT, you could consider attempting to match the participants data using the start time at which they took the survey from the results page of the study. I seem to remember having attempted to do this in the past when I forgot to ask the Prolific ID. My survey app records submission time, so I needed to add the “time taken” to the Prolific “Start time” and then compare with the Google Forms submission times.

Finally, as a REALLY REALLY LAST RESORT you could bulk email all the participants on the screener results page, explain to them the issue, and ask them the screener questions again via a prolific message.

I hope that Prolific cures the demographics download problem as soon as possible.