Considering using Prolific Surveys to supplement your income but want to make sure its the right site for you? This article covers everything you need to know, and if you’re still unconvinced we have reviewed a range of the best providers to all consider.
Prolific is a bit different from other popular survey sites, it was started as a side-project to help one of the founders collect data for her PhD.
Later in 2014, the platform was opened to other researchers to enable them to get participants quickly, easily and at low cost. This is the reason why Prolific has become such a popular platform within a short time. There have been many paid survey sites in the time since Prolific launch but many have failed due to not finding the right audiences to build credible data sets, which is another area where Prolific has been successful.
Read on to discover how to get started, how it works, what types of surveys can be accessed, payment methods and more.
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What is Prolific?
Prolific, which was previously known as Prolific Academic, is a survey site that empowers researchers through the quick collection of trustworthy and high-quality data. Its mission is to make reliable information more accessible and to improve human knowledge.
When conducting research, most researchers require participants from a particular demographic to help them collect relevant data. The main reason why Prolific was set up is to help researchers get reliable participants at an affordable price.
Prolific is transparent in the sense that it ensures that it divulges all the necessary information whenever possible. In addition, it is deemed trustworthy by many of its past and current clients.
What are the pros and cons of using Prolific?
- A great opportunity to participate in various studies
- Intuitive interface
- Minimum cash-out £5
- Interesting surveys
- Higher pay for surveys
- Open worldwide
- Users wait around 7-10 days to get paid
How does Prolific work?
Like other survey sites, you will have to provide some basic details to sign up. After signing up, you will be directed to pre-screening questions that will enable you to become eligible for more surveys. Prolific uses these questions to learn about you so that it can link to relevant surveys. The good news is that its surveys are very straightforward and you can answer them within a short time.
After answering several pre-screening questions (the more the better) you will be matched to suitable surveys. Each time there is a survey that meets your criteria, you will also receive a notification email.
One downside of the platform is that the email notification system is not reliable. You can stay for a long time without getting a notification even when there are surveys available. Therefore, if you want to participate more, you should log into the platform regularly to check for available surveys. In most cases, researchers are looking for a specific number of participants. So, the more regularly you login, the higher the chances of getting suitable surveys.
Right now, Prolific is available in the United States, Chile, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, and most European countries. Anyone from these countries can join the platform provided that they have an email and phone number for verification.
Depending on the nature of the research, most surveys on the platform will only apply to specific countries and demographics. Therefore, the number of suitable studies may vary from region to region. Moreover, although Prolific is headquartered in the UK, it is used by academics from all over the world. As a result, the platform always has a variety of topics to choose from.
How to get started with Prolific
1. Create an account.
The first step to getting started on Prolific is to sign up for an account. You can either sign up as a researcher or as a participant. It is advisable to have an email address that is solely dedicated to surveying sites. This will help you easily see all email notifications about new available surveys.
2. Familiarize yourself with the platform dashboard.
Click on the dashboard button to see your account details. This is where you can change information such as name and email. It is also on this page where you will see how much money is in your account.
Since surveys are manually approved, funds will remain pending until the researcher approves them. Nonetheless, Prolific automatically approves funds after 21 days even if the researcher does not give a response.
- Account verification
There are three available options to verify your account on a Prolific platform. These include email, phone and Facebook account verification. If you want to cash out, you must use two out of the three verification processes.
To verify your account, click on ‘Trust’ to choose your preferred method.
It is very important to answer all of the pre-screening questions. Prolific is not like the other survey sites since it has a unique system to identify eligible participants. The pre-screening questions enable Prolific to know which studies or surveys you are suitable for.
- Manage studies
All the studies you participate in will be added to the ‘Manage Studies’ tab. This is the page where you will see the total amount you have earned, your score, bonus payments and the list of the studies you have attempted to participate in.
The total earned is the cumulative amount of all the studies that have been approved. On the other hand, the Prolific score starts at 100 and changes depending on the response you get from the researcher. For instance, it decreases when your study is rejected.
The message tab shows the conversation between the researcher and the participant. Each time the researcher communicates, you will receive the message on the platform’s inbox and through email. You can choose to respond through the platform or email. It is important to note that your email will be routed through Prolific for privacy and safety.
3. Participate in some studies.
Studies that you are eligible to take will appear on the ‘Studies’ page. As mentioned earlier, you should manually check on a regular basis since the notification system is not reliable. Nonetheless, you can install a program known as ‘Distil monitor’ to alert you whenever a study you are eligible to participate in is available.
When a new study shows up, you will be able to see information such as the title of the study, the researcher, amount to be paid per hour, the number of spaces left, etc. If you want to participate in any survey, click the ‘Select This Study’ button to go to the study information page.
On the information page, you will also see what devices you can use to access the study. Most surveys can only be taken on computers, only a few can be done on mobile devices. To start the survey, click ‘Start Now’.
Please note that you should click ‘Start now’ quickly to get the chance to participate in the study. If you hesitate for a while and all of the seats got taken, then you will not be able to participate. When you finish a study, click on the completion link to go back to the Prolific homepage. If the completion link is not available, click ‘I’ve finished’ and contact the researcher to let him know that you have finished.
4. Check the Payments page.
To see how much you have in your account, click on the ‘Account’ page.
- Pending balance
After completing each study, the reward amount will reflect on your pending balance. It will remain in the platform until the study is approved. If the researcher does not respond within 21 days, Prolific approves the funds automatically.
- Cashing out
To withdraw the funds from your account, click on the ‘Get Paid’ button.
Types of surveys on Prolific
Prolific is mainly involved with academic research that comes in the form of surveys. These studies may be short-lasting from minutes to hours while others may be multi-part and take longer.
Earning and rewards on Prolific
The amount of money you’ll get by participating in Prolific studies will vary. Before participating in any study, you’ll see the amount you’ll get for participating.
After establishing your account, you can start to refer people to make more money. The advantage of Prolific’s referral program is that you will receive 10% of your referral’s first cash out. However, you will have to verify your account through email, phone and Facebook to be able to participate in the referral program.
In some cases, depending on the study, you may be rewarded with bonuses. However, most bonuses are relatively small at even below £1. The bonus information can be accessed from the ‘Manage Studies’ page below the studies.
You can withdraw your earnings either via Paypal or Circle Pay.
You can withdraw any amount over £5 via Circle Pay or PayPal. The Circle method is a bit cheaper than the PayPal method. In fact, withdrawing over £20 is free on Circle Pay. It only takes about 5 days to get your payment. Once you have withdrawn the amount, you will receive an email about the withdrawal details.
In case you encounter any problem, you can contact customer support through email or via Prolific’s social media accounts.
On top of these, Prolific offers a comprehensive guide that has the answers to some of the most common issues other people face.
How does Prolific differ from other paid survey platforms?
There are various reasons why Prolific differ from other paying survey sites.
First, signing up is free, and the process is straightforward. The best part is that you can see how much you will make before signing up. Also, once you have participated in a survey, you cannot be screened out.
Payments are made in the form of real cash instead of points, gift cards or rewards. Furthermore, academic studies vary in nature and involve a wide range of topics.
Prolific is one of the best paying survey sites that you can check out today.
Participating in Prolific’s surveys is a good and easy way to earn money on the side. It offers lucrative rates that are much better than other paying survey sites. Although the platform involves academic studies, you do not need to have an academic degree to participate. Just like in other survey sites, you will only need to give your opinion and feedback. The only caveat is that some surveys require a specific demographic profile to participate or target a specific region. Nonetheless, Prolific is a legitimate survey site that is being used by a lot of reputable researchers from all over the world.
What happens if the researcher takes a long time to respond to my survey?
Unlike in other survey sites, Prolific automatically approves funds after 21 days even if the researcher does not take any action. After 21 days, your survey will be regarded as a successful submission and your payment will be processed.
How much do I need to have to withdraw funds from the Prolific platform?
The minimum amount to withdraw from the Prolific platform is $7/ £5, which is subjected to a small fee. These fees can reduce significantly if you accumulate more than $28/ £20 and use Circle to withdraw. Below this amount, you will incur 1% and $0.14 per transaction when using Circle. However, when using PayPal, you will be charged the normal 2.9% and $0.28 per transaction.
Does Prolific allow multiple accounts in a household?
Yes. The Prolific platform allows multiple accounts per household. However, only one account is permitted to participate each time. For instance, if person A and B live in the same house and person B participate in study X, then the other person does not qualify to participate in the study.
How much money can I make on the Prolific platform?
The amount of money you can earn on the Prolific platform depends on your hardwork. Since you will not be notified every time a survey is available, you will need to check for updates regularly.
Is the Prolific platform compatible with mobile devices?
Taking surveys on a mobile device can be very convenient since you can do it anywhere and anytime. Even though Prolific does not have an app, you can still use it on your mobile devices. The website is mobile-friendly, and you can use any browser to access it.