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Welcome to Introduction to Online Experiments, prepared by the Brain & Cognition Lab. In this resource, we collate important information about online testing, and provide step-by-step guides for a successful transition to online experimentation.

The content in this resource is of general relevance, but the specific examples in Chapter 1 are strongly tailored to the University of Oxford, specifically the Departments of Experimental Psychology and Psychiatry. If you are a member of these Departments, you can follow the steps essentially beat by beat (and also find people with relevant expertise). If you are a visitor from a different department, university or country, you will sometimes need to find solutions which are a bit more specific to your current environment. However, the specific example cases are quite rare in our resource and usually pertain to some form of administrative task (mostly Chapter 1). Thus, the majority of the content here should be of relevance to anybody interested in embarking on the road to online experimentation.

Various upcoming workshops/conferences (that we know about)

June 30th: https://pushkin-consortium.github.io/movingresearchonline/

June 30th: https://twitter.com/GorillaPsyc/status/1262664234695036928

Sep 2020: https://twitter.com/psychopy/status/1265315005236314117

What do I need to know before getting started?

This landing page, as well as Chapter 1 cover most of the basics necessary to feel comfortable with the nomenclature of and concepts in online experimentation. This includes:

When getting started, you will see that all these individual parts are associated with different service providers and software, which can become a bit confusing.

Online Ecosystem

We hope that this figure as well as the paper below guide you through the online jungle a bit.

Currently, the practical emphasis (Chapters 2 & 3) of our resource is focused on implementing online studies within the PsychoPy/Pavlovia ecosystem. With recruitment being performed in SONA and Prolific; and ethical approval being obtained from MS IDREC. We aim at gradually covering alternative options, but the emphasis on this ecosystem will likely not change. Because we love PsychoPy/Pavlovia.

A short introductory read

Before embarking on the chapters in this resource, we recommend reading this short introductory paper (Sauter, Draschkow, & Mack, 2020). We hope that this will provide a brief overview of basic concepts, as well as outline the different software solutions available to researchers.


Editors: Melvin Kallmayer | Leila Zacharias | Dejan Draschkow

Maintainers: Melvin Kallmayer | Leila Zacharias | Dejan Draschkow


Kallmayer, M., Zacharias, L., Nobre, A.C., & Draschkow, D. (2020). Introduction to Online Experiments. https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/XFWHB

Sauter, M., Draschkow, D., & Mack, W. (2020). Building, Hosting and Recruiting: A Brief Introduction to Running Behavioral Experiments Online. Brain Sciences, Vol. 10, Page 251, 10(4), 251. https://doi.org/10.3390/BRAINSCI10040251

Please let us know in case you want to contribute, on the GitHub repository which supports this website.