Online External Study Basics

Online external studies are online studies that are not hosted within the system, but instead reside on another website. This is different from online internal survey studies (detailed later in this documentation), where an online survey is set up directly in the system and no other website is involved.

When it comes to granting credit (marking participation), by far the most popular method is to set up External Study Credit Granting, so that the participation is marked immediately and automatically, as soon as the participant finishes the study. If you are using one of the many products where this feature is supported, it is strongly recommended to use that. This is especially important in the case of multi-part online studies, because the time separation between parts is based on when participation was marked.

Otherwise, you may want to develop a method of linking the participant’s sign-up in the system to your online study, so you know who to grant credit to. One way to do this is to ask for the participant’s name (or some other identifying information) that will make it easy to locate their sign-up within the system and grant them credit once they have completed your online study. Another method of tracking, which reduces the chance of human error, is to use the Survey Code feature described later in this section.

Note that if External Study Credit Granting is not used, the system will not automatically grant credit once the participant has finished the study. The reason behind this is the system does not know when something occurred on a website outside the system. In this case, researchers should routinely login and grant credit as necessary.

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