Getting consent

Before you collect data on your participants, it's important to get their consent. But this process can be a little fiddly!

If you are a Researcher, then it is your responsibility to ensure that you have performed your legal obligations as a data controller in relation to any personal data you may receive, and, in particular, to ensure that you have provided all information required by law prior to the collection of any such personal data. You read more about how Prolific protects privacy and complies with GDPR here.

You have certain responsibilities, one of which is gaining consent from your participants. Your consent form should explicitly and transparently state:

  • What data will be collected (if you are collecting sensitive data, i.e. racial or ethnic origin, religious or political beliefs, or health status, then this should be made explicit)
  • How the data will be used
  • How the data will be stored and for how long
  • How you will maintain the anonymity of responses
  • Whether anonymized data will be made available to other researchers online at some point
  • How the participant can withdraw their consent and their data
  • The legal framework under which their data will be held.

Finally, you must ask the participant whether they understand the above information, and whether they consent to taking part in your study. The participant must then click a button or check a box, and you should record that they’ve given their consent. This should be timestamped and stored alongside their Prolific ID.

If a participant does not give their consent to complete the study, please follow our guidance to return them to Prolific as outlined here: How do I filter out participants who do not consent to my study?

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