TurkPrime.com: A versatile crowdsourcing data acquisition platform for the behavioral sciences

Behav Res Methods. 2017 Apr;49(2):433-442. doi: 10.3758/s13428-016-0727-z.

Abstract

In recent years, Mechanical Turk (MTurk) has revolutionized social science by providing a way to collect behavioral data with unprecedented speed and efficiency. However, MTurk was not intended to be a research tool, and many common research tasks are difficult and time-consuming to implement as a result. TurkPrime was designed as a research platform that integrates with MTurk and supports tasks that are common to the social and behavioral sciences. Like MTurk, TurkPrime is an Internet-based platform that runs on any browser and does not require any downloads or installation. Tasks that can be implemented with TurkPrime include: excluding participants on the basis of previous participation, longitudinal studies, making changes to a study while it is running, automating the approval process, increasing the speed of data collection, sending bulk e-mails and bonuses, enhancing communication with participants, monitoring dropout and engagement rates, providing enhanced sampling options, and many others. This article describes how TurkPrime saves time and resources, improves data quality, and allows researchers to design and implement studies that were previously very difficult or impossible to carry out on MTurk. TurkPrime is designed as a research tool whose aim is to improve the quality of the crowdsourcing data collection process. Various features have been and continue to be implemented on the basis of feedback from the research community. TurkPrime is a free research platform.

Keywords: Crowdsourcing; Mechanical Turk; Online research.

MeSH terms

  • Behavioral Research / methods*
  • Crowdsourcing / methods*
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Software*