Prolific Surveys is a survey site that is a bit different from many other paid survey sites.
But does that mean it is a legit site worth joining, or a site to stay away from?
In this Prolific Surveys review, I will give you all the details, tell you how it is different from other sites, what the opportunities are on the site, and give you an inside view, so you can see and decide for yourself.
What is Prolific Surveys and what does the site offer?
Prolific was founded in 2014. At first, it was actually called Prolific Academic, and many people still seem to call it this name. But because the name was a bit long and clumsy, it was changed to just be called “Prolific” which is now the official name of the platform. So if you hear or read the name Prolific Academic, it is the same platform as Prolific – it is just people that are not aware that it has changed its name (even though it was changed already in 2015).
How Prolific is different:
The story behind Prolific is what first of all makes it different from many other survey sites. It was founded because two PhD students found it difficult to recruit participants for their research. They therefore decided to start a platform on their own that would make it easy for researchers to recruit panel participants from all over the world, and a way for participants to get paid for contributing easily.
Prolific is therefore now a crowdsourcing platform for both researchers and for people that want to give feedback, help research, and get paid at the same time.
So that is all very nice, but how are the actual opportunities there, and are Prolific surveys even worth participating in? Let’s look into the opportunities for both participants and researchers to give you a better idea.
Opportunities to earn money on Prolific:
Prolific makes it possible for anyone to sign up and earn money by answering surveys or participate in studies.
As it is a platform that is meant to help researchers get answers and feedback, it is dependent on researchers to make surveys available. That also means that there will not be as many available surveys as on many other survey sites.
However, the surveys that are here are all quite interesting. They are all academic studies, but that does not mean that you have to have an academic degree to participate. It just means that the answers are used for research at for example universities. I have for example myself participated in a study from the University of Düsseldorf.
All you need to do is to give your opinion and feedback in the surveys like on any other survey site. So no matter your background, you can sign up and get access to surveys.
As many of the surveys are very specialized and about a very specific topic, they sometimes require you to have a certain demographic profile to be able to participate. It can for example be where you live, what you do for a living, how many children you have etc.
So Prolific has some very interesting surveys to participate in, and it is definitely a legit site that is working with reputable researchers from all over the world. So your answers will have a direct effect on the newest research, which I think is pretty cool. But because the platform is so targeted, it also means that you will not have access to daily surveys, and maybe not even weekly surveys depending on your profile.
Whenever there is an available study, you will receive an email. If you wish to participate, it is a good idea not to wait too long to take the survey, as some studies fill up quickly.
Opportunities for researchers:
As mentioned, Prolific is a crowdsourcing platform that is also very much focused on giving researchers easy access to recruiting participants for surveys and research panels.
So if you need participants for your next study, it might be worth considering Prolific. You can decide the prescreening for your study yourself, and for example filter participants by age, sex, nationality, language, and more.
If you have a study that is hosted in another system like for example Qualtrics or SurveyMonkey, you can just insert the URL and still recruit participants on Prolific.
It is free to sign up on Prolific. But as a researcher, you of course have to pay the rewards to the participants + an administrative fee to Prolific. The exact reward you give participants is more or less up to you, but Prolific encourages to reward with at least $6.5 per hour. And with higher rewards it will probably also be easier to recruit participants – that is my experience after having participated in thousands of paid surveys and getting feedback from many other participants through PaidFromSurveys.com.
How do you get paid?
As a participant, you can choose between a couple of different ways to get your rewards. You can get paid through PayPal or through Circle.
Personally, I love survey sites that pay through PayPal, as it is such an easy way to get your rewards, and you get them in cash. But if that is not your preferred method, you also have another option.
You can request a payout already when you have earned £5/$7. There will however be a small fee for this. If you wait until you have earned £20/$28, you can get your rewards for a lower fee.
When you have taken a survey, your answers have to be approved by the researcher that made the survey. So it will take some days, before you can see your reward in your Prolific account.
In addition to choosing to get the rewards in cash, you can also choose to donate to charities. As a default, the reward will go into your Prolific account, but after a survey you are also asked, if you want to donate. So if you like any of the charities that Prolific are supporting, you might want to consider this option once in a while.
How much money can you make on Prolific?
Prolific can be a nice way to earn a bit of extra cash. But if your main goal is to make as much money as possible on surveys, Prolific might not be the right site for you.
In my experience, all the surveys are interesting and relevant, and you can make a difference by participating, and that should also be a part of your motivation, if you want to take Prolific surveys.
Because it is a crowdsourcing platform, it does not offer surveys very often. You might not even get one a month. So it can be a way to earn a bit extra, but you might also have to wait a long time to be offered enough surveys to reach the $28 that will allow you to get paid with a lower administrative fee.
Personally, I like being a member of Prolific. First of all because it helps researchers get answers. So it is more of an extra platform for me, and then I am a member of many other survey sites, where I am offered daily surveys and can make more money.
Can you use it on mobile devices?
Being able to take surveys on a mobile device can be very convenient, as you can do it whenever it fits into your schedule without having to be in front of a computer.
It is especially convenient on Prolific, as some surveys have limited spaces, so it is good being able to take the surveys fairly quickly.
And it is luckily possible to use Prolific on mobile devices. The platform does not have an app, but it has a mobile friendly website, so you can just open it in your internet browser on your phone or click the link in the invitation email, you will receive.
I have taken surveys on my mobile, and it was easy to see the options and take the surveys, so this option works well, if you like the option to take surveys on the go.
Who can join?
Prolific surveys are open to around 34 countries. It is planning to open up to the whole world at some point, so if you want to join, it can be worth going there to see, if it is available in your country.
To be able to participate you have to verify your email + either your phone number or your Facebook account. The verification is necessary to make sure that it is only real people that are participating, and it is understandable that they want to make sure of this.
The phone verification is very easy and is what I did, when I first joined. I only give my phone number to survey sites, when I am sure it is a legit site. I could fairly quickly see that Prolific is not a scam, and therefore I did not mind using my phone to verify my account. You just give your phone number, and a few seconds later you receive a text message with a code you need to use. In total, it took me less than 1 minute.
You have to be over 18 years old to join Prolific.
Can you get support and give feedback?
If you need support on Prolific, there is a contact form once you are logged in. You first have to insist that it is something you do not get an answer for in the FAQ section, before you can send the form. I have not had the need to contact the support myself, so I am not sure how quickly they will get back to you.
Prolific also has a Facebook page, where you can see news and updates. You can also choose to comment here, if you have any feedback. However, from what I can see, they are really slow at getting back to people that comment on their posts. That is a shame, as quick responses should always be a priority when people need support.
There is however also another way to give feedback on Prolific, which is a bit unusual. When you have taken a survey, you will see an image where you have to say if the survey was working or not. It is a quick way to give feedback, and I appreciate they have this option.
As a researcher you also have a way to give feedback to participants. You can choose to give a star to participants that have provided extra useful insights for you. You can maximum give stars to 5% of the participants. It can lead to the participant being chosen as the participant of the month and win a small price.
As you can see, Prolific is a legit survey site. Whether it is worth joining or not depends a lot on your reasons to join and expectations. But let’s sum up the pros and cons to give you a better overview.
- Interesting surveys that makes a difference
- Pays out through PayPal
- Good way for researchers to get participants for studies
- Not very many surveys
- Charge a fee to pay out
If you want to make as much money as possible on paid surveys, you should probably consider joining sites that have daily opportunities instead. It takes patience to make money on Prolific as a participant, as you will not be offered surveys very often.
But if you like contributing to the newest research, Prolific is a great site. So you should only join, if you want to take part in interesting surveys and do not mind that it might take a long time to earn enough to get a payout. Or join it as an extra site in addition to survey sites that have more opportunities, and then just use Prolific as a way to provide valuable insights and get a little extra cash once in a while. So Prolific can be a good site to join, but just make sure you do it with the right expectations.
If you have any comments, questions, or have any experiences with Prolific surveys yourself, I would love to hear from you in a comment below.