Ensur­ing data qual­i­ty when you can’t see your participants

Jen­ni Rodd, UCL


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Researchers are often ner­vous about col­lect­ing exper­i­men­tal data online because unlike lab-based exper­i­ments they can­not meet their par­tic­i­pants and can’t direct­ly observe their behav­iour. I will sum­marise some of the issues that arise from ‘invis­i­ble’ par­tic­i­pants, and sug­gest a frame­work that helps researchers to (i) main­tain data qual­i­ty and (ii) allow prin­ci­pled deci­sion about when online data col­lec­tion is (and is not) appro­pri­ate. I will also sug­gest that this prin­ci­pled approach to data qual­i­ty con­trol is often miss­ing in lab-based set­tings and that the lessons we have learned due to run­ning exper­i­ments online can be broad­ly applied to a range of exper­i­men­tal approaches.

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