Survey site briefing – Prolific Academic

Survey site briefing – Prolific Academic

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New blog – for today’s blog I thought I’d talk about my second favourite survey site which is called Prolific Academic. Prolific Academic can be found here

For those looking to see what other survey sites I recommend please click here

What is Prolific Academic? 

Prolific Academic (or just Prolific as it’s now known) is a website that’s was set up by some Oxford University Ph.D. students back in 2014 to find participants to help Ph.D. researchers across the world with their research. It’s now expanded in scope and as well as including universities amongst its clients many business and charities also use it. The great thing about Prolific though are the things that differentiate it from other survey sites.

  1. You only get offered surveys that you’re eligible for – so you never get annoying screenouts halfway through completing a survey.
  2. It has an ethical payments policy (meaning you get paid a fair amount for what you do) and every survey tells you the rate of pay you can expect from it and how long it’s likely to take.
  3. The survey types and questions you get are vastly different to what you get via normal survey sites. Because you’re often working to help further university research rather than helping brands sell more products you’ll find you can get asked anything from how you’d react to a hypothetical situation to helping an artificial intelligence learn new terms!

How much can I earn from Prolific?

Well like everything else in life it depends on how much time you invest in it (and have available for it). It also depends on your demographics (age, location, etc.) as to how many surveys you get offered. I always say though you can make an easy £20 a month from it (which is what I average). Since joining it less than a year ago I’ve had over £200 from it. There are some tips to help exploit it to the max though which I will outline below.

Tips for using Prolific: 

The first and most important tip I can give you is don’t wait for survey invites to come in by email! Each survey has only a limited number of participants and they fill up quickly so you absolutely need to keep checking the website for new surveys. The problem is that it can be annoying and frustrating constantly checking the website to find there are no surveys there? So how to get around this?

Well it’s a bit technical but when I access Prolific I do it using the Google Chrome browser. I then have an extension on google chrome  (find out how to get an extension here) called auto refresh. I then simply open a new tab, login to my prolific account and access the ‘studies’ page. If there are studies there for me to complete I do those first and then come back to the studies page until it says that there are no available studies for me to complete. Then I go to the auto refresh extension and set it to refresh every 45 seconds. This way it will keep refreshing the tab for me while I open up other tabs and do other things online (like doing surveys, shopping or writing this blog post!). As soon as there’s a survey available the tab title will change to include a number in it (much like Twitter does if you have that open on your web browser and there are new tweets for you to view). As soon as you spot a number appear go to the Prolific tab and you should see a study there waiting for you. Click on the study open it up and make sure to click on the option that says ‘open study in a new window’ as the existing tab you have Prolific open in will keep refreshing unless you remember to turn off auto-refresh. Then complete the study as normal.

This leads nicely to my second tip which is to always open up any study you do in a new window. Many studies demand that you do this but don’t always tell you until you’re a few questions in and then when you open the study in a new window you find that you have to answer the first few questions again which can cost time.

Losing time can be a problem especially if you’re lucky enough to be offered more than one survey to complete as you’re only allowed to participate in one survey at a time. So my third tip, when you’re offered a choice of surveys to participate in, is that before deciding which one to participate in have a look at the available reward, the average time to complete and the number of available places. You may want to take part in the highest earning one first but there might be hundreds of places left in this survey but the one below it which only takes a couple of minutes to fill out is filling up quickly so its often worth doing the lower paying one first and then coming back and doing the second one if it’s still available.

My final tip is around payments. Prolific offers two payment methods. The first is through PayPal (which I’m sure many of you are already familiar with!). If you choose to get paid by PayPal then you can request a payout as soon as you’ve earned £5. However, unfortunately, PayPal does impose some transaction charges on payments (20p per payment and 2.9% of the total amount paid). But fear not because Prolific does offer payment via another method which doesn’t attract these charges. This through a payment app called Circle (which I use for my payments so I can confirm it’s totally legit!). To be honest Circle is much the same as PayPal but without the high charges! If you choose to withdraw a payment from Prolific then if you wait until you’ve earned £20 or more than there are no charges to pay at all. If you choose to withdraw before you hit £20 there’s still a £5 minimum before you can request a payment and Circle will charge 1% plus a 10p fee which is much better than the charges you’d pay for using PayPal.

Even better if you’re not currently a Circle user I have an offer which can help you earn £5! If you sign up using my link here then we’ll be both get £5 when you’ve used Circle to transfer £25 of money. So if you signed up to Circle and then Prolific and earned £25 via Prolific before transferring the money to your Circle account and then into your bank account we could both earn a nice £5 bonus!

In conclusion:

So there you have it. Another survey site briefing about one of my favourite survey sites for earning money from home. I hope you’ve found the briefing useful and if you’ve any tips to add yourself feel free to use the comments function below or sign up the Money Mental community and post there! If you need the link to sign up to Prolific again you can find it here

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