Prolific Review – What It Is & How It Works

Have you ever thought of making money through paid surveys? Or planned to collect responses for your research but failed to find an audience?

Well, if yes, you might have come across Prolific. However, is Prolific a scam or something genuinely legit?

If you have no clue and are intrigued to know more, keep reading for a detailed review on Prolific below. From how it works to tips to make lots of money, we have got you covered.

What Is Prolific?

It won’t be wrong to call Prolific a marketplace that helps connect the relevant people. It works as a platform that acts as a bridge between researchers and trusted survey participants.

This marketplace works amazingly for two different parties. For instance, Prolific helps researchers collect responses for their studies from people worldwide. This process hardly takes a few minutes.

Simultaneously, Prolific allows different participants to earn cash by engaging in different studies and surveys. By doing so, they earn some passive income and contribute towards the improvement of knowledge.

Founded in 2014, Prolific is a product of two geniuses, Phelim Bradley and Ekaterina Damer. Moreover, it has its headquarters in Oxford, United Kingdom, and is a Y Combinator-backed company.

The surveys published on Prolific are pretty different from what you find on most other research websites. For instance, most of them are a part of a university project, so they are primarily related to human behavior, politics, games, and even some scientific studies.

Prolific surveys may take a few minutes or even hours to fill. However, it is safe to say that these surveys are more exciting and knowledgeable than the available questionnaires on other survey sites.

Prolific believes in “Revolutionizing people research,” but how does it do that? Let’s find out.

How Does it Work for Participants?

To join Prolific as a participant, you should be at least 18 years old. Besides, Prolific accepts participants from these countries only:

  • Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary.
  •  Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand.
  • Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

However, this list gets updated regularly, so do keep a check.

Moreover, Prolific surveys often require participants to have a PC or smartphone, and the payment is always made to a verified PayPal account.

So, if you fall under the criteria mentioned above, you can easily sign up, fill in your details, and then receive studies as per your background and demographics.

Here’s a step-by-step procedure for joining Prolific as a participant:

  • Click on “Sign Up to Participate” on the home page.
  • Select the “Take studies” option, which would take you to a form for your sign-up process.
  • Fill in your details and sign up.
  • Once done, you will see a pre-screening questions section that will help you make eligible for different surveys.
  • These questions help Prolific know about you, making it easy for the platform to assign you relevant surveys.
  • So make sure you answer as many questions as possible and then wait to find a suitable match.
  • Every time there is a relevant survey available for you, you receive an email as a notification.

How Does Prolific Work for Researchers?

If you want to run research on Prolific, you simply have to fill a research sign-up form. Once done, you have to integrate your survey into the platform. Prolific allows the integration of softwares such as SurveyMonkey, Typeform, Gorilla, and many more on its website.

You can then find the right participants through demographic screeners. This feature helps you find relevant people for your surveys. From age to gender, you have the choice to select participants according to your specific requirements.

Finally, once all the above steps have been followed, you can publish your study to collect responses and then maintain quality control throughout the process.

What Do Prolific Surveys Look Like?-Features

As mentioned above, Prolific surveys can be about anything. There are surveys on many interesting topics, such as human psychology, while many also cover mundane questions related to politics.

The survey process at Prolific has a few features:

  • Unlike most other survey sites, Prolific doesn’t screen out its participants. This means that you do not have to worry about answering irrelevant questions or being kicked out of a survey without finishing it. However, Prolific expects you to take your time, provide high-quality answers, and correctly mark all attention checks.
  • All the surveys and studies published for you come with a description. This feature helps you know about the survey, the money it will pay you, and the time it will take to complete it. So, if you do not find the survey worthy of your time, you can pass it for another option.
  • Most surveys at Prolific are academic yet interactive. So, you don’t have to worry about feeling bored while filling in the questions.
  • After completing a survey or a study, your answers are manually verified by the researcher who posted the survey. It is why it takes time for payments to appear in your account. The approval of answers takes a few days, and in some cases, this period might be as long as 22 days.
  • For every approved survey, all participants receive an email notification.

Pricing-How Much Can You Make?

Unlike most surveys available on the internet, Prolific pays its participants through cash instead of points. The rates are pretty decent, but they are hourly-based. So, for instance, if a participant does a minute-long survey, they will hardly make any money.

But that said, filling surveys is a part-time gig, so such rates are expected.

According to Prolific, the platform believes in fair pay. They believe that every participant’s time is valuable and encourage the researchers to pay $9.60/£7.50 for every hour. However, the minimum payment allowed is $6.50 per hour or £5.

Here are a few factors that may affect the hourly rate of any participant, including you:

  • Time taken to monitor the site for all the available studies
  • Rare survey disqualifications
  • Underpaying studies and fraud
  • Any bonus payments
  • Study length
  • Number of participants

The good thing about Prolific is that once you are invited to participate, you will get paid. However, there is no set number of surveys that may require your participation. So, your monthly earnings can vary.

However, you can follow the tips below to get more surveys than most people:

  • Since Prolific usually covers academic research, the number of surveys available fluctuates throughout the year. For instance, summer is the holiday season, so you will not find many surveys between June and August. However, as soon as the semester starts, you will find many opportunities to earn money.
  • Many people do not receive email notifications on their selection for a survey. So, to stay on the safe side, check the website manually every day.
  • To avoid rejection or ultimate banning, avoid cheating or rushing through the survey. Some surveys have automatic mechanisms that detect such behavior quite quickly.

Other Ways to Earn Money From Prolific

If you are a researcher on Prolific, you can also earn some money through the Researcher Referral Scheme.

This program allows the new client and referrer to earn a credit amount of $100 and $50, respectively. The amount collected can then help to pay any study fees at Prolific.

How to Get Your Earnings?

  • Payments are made through a PayPal account only and the currency used is British pounds.
  • Moreover, you need to make sure that your earnings are more than the minimum amount before scheduling a payment.
  • Prolific charges a 33% service fee on total participation cost. This amount helps to manage the platform and improve services for both participants and researchers.

Is Prolific Safe and Legit?

Yes, Prolific is a safe and legitimate platform. Currently, it has 20+ employees and thousands of researchers and participants.

Since this is a UK-based company, you won’t find any rating, but Oxford University Innovation backs Prolific.

Moreover, here are a few other points that prove and supports Prolific’s legitimacy:

  • This platform has a free sign-up process that is quick and easy.
  • There are no red flags present on the website, and hence it looks trustworthy.
  • Prolific has active Twitter and Facebook accounts with an interactive following.
  • You can read several testimonials on their website.

In addition to the above points, Prolific has proper policies to secure the user data:

  • They own an SSL certificate which is available on their website.
  • Prolific has a detailed privacy policy.
  • The platform doesn’t ask for detailed personal information except for demographic data to arrange correct surveys for you.
  • Prolific follows security practices to keep all your information safe.

However, if you come across any sketchy survey, do report to the management. Prolific may not always detect such creepy tasks, so play your role where required.

Prolific Pros

Take a look at the good points of Prolific:

  • Easy to use: You can easily sign up with Prolific through your desktop or smartphone. Besides, the signing up process doesn’t take much time and simply requires your basic data to make you a participant or a researcher.
  • Engaging surveys: One of the best things about Prolific is that it has a variety of surveys with different topics. So, depending on your knowledge or interest, you can easily find a study that won’t make you bored.
  • Money Instead of points: Unlike most surveys, Prolific gives you a chance to earn money rather than points. Besides, you can easily earn $6.50 as a minimum payment.
  • No screening out: If you are slow or unable to fill a survey on time, you won’t be screened out. This means you have a complete chance to give your best.
  • Safety: Prolific has strict safety procedures and is a legitimate platform that makes sure that your data is secure.

Prolific Cons

Here are a few things that we didn’t like about Prolific:

  • Limited availability: You need to be 18 and above to become a participant. Besides, the platform is only available in most developed countries such as the USA and UK.
  • No incentives: Unfortunately, Prolific doesn’t provide incentives for people to sign up or arrange their profiles. This factor may demotivate many people to take even the first step.
  • Payment: Payment can only be made in a PayPal account. This fact does create a limitation for people who do not have one. Besides, the payment received is in British pounds, which might again cause an issue for people who are used to earning in dollars.

Who Is Prolific For?

Prolific is an ideal platform for students to earn small pocket money or passive income to cover their college expenses. Besides, it is also helpful for young learners who want to increase their knowledge through different surveys and studies.

Moreover, if you are a homemaker with good education but no earning, Prolific may help you utilize your potential. By taking part in interesting surveys, you can contribute positively to someone’s research paper and might make a difference.

Who Is Prolific Not For?

This platform is not for anyone below the age of 18 or those who do not live in the countries mentioned on the website. Besides, Prolific is also not for people who may not have a PayPal account.

Other than that, this platform isn’t for someone who might be aiming to earn thousands of dollars or pounds. Working on Prolific doesn’t count as a full-time job, so the money earned often fluctuates from season to season. Besides, the platform pays you on an hourly basis which doesn’t add up to a substantial amount.

Final Verdict

So, if you are planning to earn passive income but can’t find a reliable source, you now know where to sign-up. Prolific gives you a chance to earn a good monthly income through different surveys and helps researchers curate powerful studies for this world to see.

As a participant, Prolific helps you spend your free time learning new things and simultaneously making enough money to carry out basic expenses. However, to retain your position on this platform, you need to be honest with your replies and abide by the rules. If you do so, there is no way you won’t enjoy working at Prolific.