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SPSP Connect! Tips: Mturk and Alternatives

Question: “Hello all, I was recently informed that Amazon.com's Mechanical Turk is now charging 40% to use its "workers", even for not-for-profit social science research. I recall a post some months back about petitioning the company to reduce that rate for people like us...can anyone tell me if that effort was successful?  Assuming that my information is accurate AND that Amazon declined to change its policies, has anyone identified alternatives to MTurk? Many thanks for any information!”

Responses:

  • “This page might be helpful. https://requester.mturk.com/pricing. The base commission is 20%. If you collect data from more than 10 participants at a time, the commission increases to 40%. As for alternatives, I have heard of people using socialsci. However, I am less familiar with this platform and their pricing.”
  • “I've been using the excellent website TurkPrime, which allows you to bypass the 40% fees for 10+ participants by batching participants into repeated 9 HITs (so it's only 20%): http://www.turkprime.com. http://www.turkprime.com/Home/MicroBatch.”
  • “If you run less than 10 Ps per batch, the fee goes down to what it was before, 10 or 20%. It's more inconvenient but you can always have an RA manage it. I've used this strategy successfully.”
  • “As others have said, TurkPrime is one option.  Personally, I haven't had any problems with it but here is another option in case you (or anyone else) is interested: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Y_lvecsOefCfkXkkrdFtW1GH-NkoZidKzKXqFVJaLH4/edit#slide=id.p
  • “A colleague sent me the following list, although I have not vetted it. Personally, I find that MTurk is still a competitive price with the markup so I am still using MTurk. I have priced Qualtrics but it can be over $6 per response, and I can't control how they recruit people or some details my IRB would want:
    www.callforparticipants.com
    www.findparticipants.com
    www.prolific.ac/
    www.reddit.com/r/participants
    www.cognilab.com
    www.psychforums.com/surveys-studies/topic44450.html
    Craigslist can also be used.”
  • “Due to the recent commission increases on MTurk, my colleagues and I have recently turned to a site called Prolific Academic, which is based out of the UK and works essentially just like MTurk except they let you choose the commission you pay, as long as it is at least 10% and you are paying participants at least 5 pounds (about $7.60) per hour. They also allow you to look at demographic characteristics of the participant pool (which seems to be quite similar to that of MTurk). We've run a couple of studies using this platform and so far, so good.”
  • “In addition to what has already been discussed, my lab at Stanford has compiled a click-by-click guide to avoid the additional 20% fee that MTurk is now charging for HITs with 10 or more assignments. This means that your base commission rate for studies will be 20%. Please see the guide below, and feel free to contact us if you have questions (lsr.stanford.edu): https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Y_lvecsOefCfkXkkrdFtW1GH-NkoZidKzKXqFVJaLH4/edit#slide=id.p”