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TurkPrime Blog

Five Things you Should NOT be Doing in Online Data Collection

Posted by TurkPrime on Jan 24, 2019 3:26:48 PM

Three weeks ago, we published a blog explaining five things you should be doing in your online data collection. In this blog, we follow up with five things you should NOT be doing when collecting data on MTurk.

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Topics: amazon mechanical turk, mturk toolkit, research best practices

Revisiting TurkPrime’s Survey Group Feature

Posted by TurkPrime on Jan 17, 2019 10:00:17 AM

What is a Survey Group?

Survey Groups are one of the most powerful and dynamic tools on TurkPrime for controlling which workers are eligible and ineligible for your study. A Survey Group is exactly what it sounds like: a collection of surveys or studies you have grouped together. Survey Groups are useful when you want to ensure your studies have unique workers. This may be a set of studies investigating the same topic or multiple studies being run in your lab at the same time for which you want no overlap in participants.

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Topics: turkprime, mturk toolkit, TurkPrime Features

Announcing the TurkPrime Suggestion Box

Posted by TurkPrime on Jan 10, 2019 9:45:00 AM

A new year represents the opportunity to consider priorities, set goals, chart new courses of action, and decide how to move forward in the coming months. At TurkPrime, we’re moving into 2019 looking for ways to expand the tools and services we offer to researchers. In addition to several initiatives we’re already working on, we want to hear from you about the tools and features that can make your research easier. To this end, we’re announcing the launch of an online Suggestion Box.

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Topics: turkprime, mturk toolkit, new features

Five Things you Should be Doing in Online Data Collection

Posted by TurkPrime on Jan 3, 2019 9:45:00 AM

Researchers are responsible for being an expert, or at least knowledgeable, in several areas. There’s the topic of your research, the methods common within your discipline, best practices for open science, and the mediums used to communicate about your work—just to name a few. For many researchers, online data collection has been revolutionary, helping collect data faster and more affordably than ever before. Yet, with the emergence of online research there is now one more domain to be an expert in. Given the steep learning curve for really learning how to best run online studies, we put together this blog to highlight five practices that if you’re not already doing in your online research, you should be. These practices primarily apply to online research on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk when using TurkPrime’s MTurk Toolkit, but some practices can be applied to other platforms as well.

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Topics: amazon mechanical turk, mturk toolkit, research best practices

Including and Excluding Participants from Studies Run through TurkPrime: What, When, and How

Posted by TurkPrime on Dec 27, 2018 9:45:00 AM

In this blog, we explain everything you could ever want to know about including and excluding participants from studies while using TurkPrime. In last week’s blog on longitudinal studies, we described our Include Workers feature, but this blog digs into the nitty-gritty and explains what our features are, when you might want to use them, and how they work.

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Topics: exclude workers, include workers, prime panels, mturk toolkit, TurkPrime Features

Running Longitudinal Studies on TurkPrime

Posted by TurkPrime on Dec 20, 2018 9:45:00 AM

In this blog, we describe how to run a longitudinal study on MTurk, using TurkPrime. We also provide tips for maximizing worker participation and minimizing attrition.

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Topics: Longitudinal research, longitudinal studies, two-part study

Understanding Geolocations and Their Connection to Data Quality

Posted by TurkPrime on Dec 12, 2018 9:55:18 AM


  • Amid the Bot Scare on MTurk in the summer of 2018, researchers reported that bad data often came from respondents linked to repeated geolocations.
  • However, a deeper understanding of geolocations suggests there is little reason to believe that repeated geolocations are inherently tied to bad data quality.
  • We describe the difference between repeated geolocations that come from server farms and those that do not and we test the quality of data from the top 200 repeated geolocations not tied to server farms.
  • Repeated geolocations that are not tied to server farms were a source of high quality data and comparable to data obtained from non-repeated geolocations.
  • Based on these results, we believe duplicate geolocations are not inherently problematic. Further, we are adjusting the default setting of our Block Duplicate Geolocations Feature to “OFF” and adding a pop-up to inform researchers about the consequences of using this tool.
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How to Gather Demographically-Representative Samples in Online Studies

Posted by TurkPrime on Dec 7, 2018 2:35:58 PM

Most social science research relies on convenience sampling of participants, meaning few samples look like let alone represent the general population. For many research questions, convenience samples are not a problem. Yet, for other questions, being able to capture and represent the opinions of people from different groups is essential. Because most researchers do not routinely gather these kinds of samples, knowing where to find one when it’s needed can be difficult. Using TurkPrime you can easily and affordably obtain a sample matched to the demographics of the US census on our market research platform called Prime Panels.

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Topics: representative samples, national samples

Recruiting Older Adults Online

Posted by TurkPrime on Nov 21, 2018 3:33:13 PM

Sampling by Age: Why do it?

People of different ages vary greatly in their beliefs and behaviors. For example, a recent Pew report outlines wide generational gaps in people’s opinions on several political issues like presidential job approval, perceptions of racism, views on immigration, and political ideology (Pew Research Center, 2018). Furthermore, some issues, like the use of Medicare, depend on age and therefore are more relevant to older adults than younger ones. For researchers who study such questions, not being able to recruit enough older participants may decrease the generalizability of their findings. While considering the age of participants is less common in social research than other areas of research, researchers who seek to recruit older adults online may find themselves hindered by the small number of older adults available. So, what can researchers do to recruit older adults in online social research?

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Creating Compensation HITs for Mechanical Turk Workers

Posted by TurkPrime on Nov 15, 2018 10:00:00 AM

At TurkPrime, we advocate for requesters to treat workers fairly when posting HITs on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Workers are, after all, the people who make the research possible. Sometimes situations arise in which an MTurk worker is unable to receive payment, despite having completed a survey. Below are two common scenarios in which a worker may not be paid, despite completing a survey:

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Topics: amazon mechanical turk, mechanical turk, compensating workers, how to compensate workers, how to compensate workers on TurkPrime

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