In this guide, we will take you through how best to design your Google Forms survey, so that your study runs smoothly on Prolific. We recommend checking out our getting started tutorial before exploring this advanced Google Forms integration guide.

The first thing you’ll want to do is create seven sections in a new blank form, and give them the following titles:
 
Section 1: Consent form
Section 2: Prolific ID
Section 3: Demographics
Section 4: Survey questions
Section 5: Do not consent
Section 6: Inconsistent screening responses
Section 7: End of survey
 
Then, go to Section 4, and select “After section 4: Go to section 7 (End of survey)” at the bottom.
 
 
Similarly, go to Section 5 & Section 6, and select “After section 5/6: Submit form”.
 
 
Once you’ve set this up, you can follow the next six steps to make the necessary changes to each section.
 

1. Setting up your consent form

Add your consent form to section 1 (click here for guidance about what to include), with a multiple choice question to give participants the option to consent (e.g. “I consent, begin the study) or not (“I do not consent, I do not wish to participate”).
 
Participants who do not consent to take part in your study should be redirected to an end of survey message which asks them to return their submission, so that their study place becomes available again.
 
To do this, click on the question options, and select “Go to section based on answer”. On the ‘I do not consent’ response option, select “Go to section 5 (Do not consent)”.
 
Then, go to section 5 (“Do not consent”), and include the following message in the Description:
 
As you do not wish to participate in this study, please return your submission on Prolific by selecting the 'Stop without completing' button.
 
After completion of this step, your consent form should look something like this:
 

2. Record participant IDs

It’s very important to record participant IDs within your survey, so you can match your survey responses to individual Prolific submissions.
 
To do this, simply add a question to section 2 (“Prolific ID”) which looks like this:
 
 

3. Validate your screening questions by asking them again in your survey

Go to section 3 (“Demographics”), and add your screening questions exactly as they appear on Prolific. This will allow you to confirm that participants’ prescreening responses are accurate and up-to-date, so you can be sure you are obtaining your desired sample.
 
We recommend redirecting participants to a separate end of survey message if their responses do not match the prescreening criteria you have added on Prolific. To do this, select “Go to section based on answer” on your screening questions, and direct those who respond inconsistently to section 6 (“Inconsistent screening responses”).
 
Then, go to section 6, and include the following message in the Description:
 
“You are ineligible for this study, as you have provided information which is inconsistent with your Prolific prescreening responses. Please return your submission on Prolific by selecting the 'Stop without completing' button.”
 
See the following screenshot for an example, if our study used Prolific’s prescreening options to recruit participants who do have formal qualifications:
 
 

4. Add your survey questions to section 4

This is where you should add the questions which are specific to your study (i.e. what you want to find out from participants).
 
Our Best Practice Guide may be of interest to you here, particularly the guidance on question design. We also always recommend including one or more attention checks in your survey - you can read our guidance about this here and here.
 
Here’s an example of an attention check that you can include in your Google Form:
 
 
Remember, it’s very important to ensure that [After section 4 Go to section 7 (End of survey)”] is selected, so that participants will be directed to the correct end of survey message.
 

5. Redirect participants to your Completion URL at the end of your survey

You will find your Completion URL in your study’s basic details section on Prolific:
 
 
Participants should be redirected here upon completion of your survey, so that you can quickly review which submissions have completed successfully by checking their completion code.
 
To do this, go to section 7 (“End of survey”), and add the following message to the Description:
 
“Please complete the following two steps to record your survey response and receive your reward:
 
1) Visit this Completion URL to complete your submission on Prolific: https://app.prolific.ac/submissions/complete?cc=123456
 
2) Click 'Submit' on this page to record your response.
 
If you do not complete the second step, we will not receive your data and will be unable to reward you.”
 
NB: you should replace “123456” with your own study’s unique completion code. This will ensure that all submissions marked with the correct completion code will have submitted a complete response to your survey.
 
If any of your Prolific submissions have submitted your study’s completion code, but you haven’t received their survey data, you can ask them to repeat their submission - it is likely that they forgot to complete the second step to submit their response.
 

6. Preview your study on Google Forms and Prolific

After completion of the above, your survey should flow something like this:
 
  • Section 1: Consent form (After section 1: Continue to next section)
  • Section 2: Prolific ID (After section 2: Continue to next section)
  • Section 3: Demographics (After section 3: Continue to next section)
  • Section 4: Survey questions (After section 4: Go to section 7 (End of survey))
  • Section 5: Do not consent (After section 5: Submit form)
  • Section 6: Inconsistent screening responses (After section 6: Submit form)
  • Section 7: End of survey
 
This survey flow should ensure that only participants who consent to take part in your study and provide valid screening responses will be able to complete it successfully and access your study’s Completion URL. 
 
If they follow the instructions given, participants directed to Section 5 & Section 6 should appear in your submissions list on Prolific as Returned’. However, some may accidentally complete their submissions manually - these submissions may appear as Awaiting review’, marked with the completion code NOCODE”.
 
Make sure you have previewed your study extensively on Google Forms, and again on Prolific, to check that the survey is working exactly as you expect it to. The study setup outlined in this guide is intended to make your data collection using Prolific with Google Forms as smooth as possible, but you may wish to make some changes if your study cannot be set up in this way - if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
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