How it works
- Use existing templates or create your own study with lab.js experiment builder.
- Import the experiment file into Open Lab.
- Send the invitation link to participants and monitor their progress in real-time.
- There is no need to set up your own server to run a study.
- Open Lab can host any type of script created in lab.js.
- Your study can enroll participants from Open Lab’s community of users.
- You can share your experiments with colleagues.
- The HTTPS data transfer protocol ensures that data is encrypted during transmission.
- The user authentication system allows you to create complex studies in which people can take part in experiments at different times.
- Open Lab provides a data management system which includes data recording and storage during an experiment.
More and more studies in the social sciences are being carried out online. However, there are barriers to using the internet. First, there are technical difficulties in conducting an online experiment. Even though distributing a simple questionnaire is not a problem, maintaining an experimental paradigm can rapidly become burdensome for researchers who want to collect data online.
Second, although the replicability crisis has triggered a number of important innovations—in study pre-registration, open access to data, and analytical methods—data collection methods are often concealed behind general specifications in the method section. Especially in online experiments, where the software is directly accessible to participants, the code and the parameters of user–computer interactions are rarely documented and available to other researchers.
Thirdly, achieving data security is difficult for researchers who have just begun programming their own study. Not all of the available services support secure data transmission from participants to the server. Also, personal information (e.g., email address) is often stored together with the experimental results.
Open Lab offers researchers a way to conduct online studies without these technical limitations and difficulties. This frees up their time to focus on more important methodological and data analysis work. Experiments are automatically documented and stored, thus enabling cooperation with colleagues and meta-analyses of previous studies. The HTTPS protocol ensures that participants' data are encrypted during transmission. User access to experiments can be protected by a variety of authentication strategies, such as participant codes, emails, passwords, or accounts on social networks.