How to Interoperate Inquisit Web with Online Survey Packages

Inquisit has full-featured survey capabilities for administering questionnaires and surveys. In some cases, however, you may want to use Inquisit Web to administer a cognitive task in conjunction with surveys administered from online survey sites such as Survey Monkey, Unipark, Qualtrics, etc. This scenario is quite common among Inquisit users, and we've put some features in place to make the transition back and forth between Inquist and other packages as smooth as possible.

Integrating surveys and Inquisit tasks into a seamless and coherent user experience for participants is primarily accomplished by automatically redirecting participants back and forth between the different web sites. Most survey packages allow you to forward participants to another web site after they've completed part or all of the survey. You need only specify the Inquisit launch page as your forwarding url, and your participants will be automatically redirected to the Inquisit portion of the study when the survey is complete.

Similarly, Inquisit allows you to specify a "Finish Page", where it will redirect participants after they've completed the Inquisit part of the experiment. Here you would specify the url to the survey page where you want participants to go next. Having done this, Inquisit will automatically send participants back to the survey once the reaction time task is complete.

Sharing Subject IDs

Typically, however, you will need some way to map the survey data from each participant to their corresponding data collected with Inquisit. To accomplish this, you will need a unique subject id for each participant that is shared between Inquisit and the survey. This id must be recorded in both data sets so that responses from both packages can be mapped for each participant at data analysis time.

User-Entered Subject IDs

A simple way to accomplish this is to ask the participant to enter some identifier - for example, a preassigned number or an email address, at the beginning of the survey and the Inquisit session. When registering your Inquisit web script on millisecond.com, you can specify that subjects should provide the id in the registration wizard. Alternatively, you could add the question to the Inquisit script itself, and then specify that the response be recorded to the data file.

Sending Subject IDs from 3rd Party Site to Inquisit

Another way to share the subject id from a external system is to embed the id in the link or forwarding url to the Inquisit launch page. You must configure the 3rd party system to dynamically generate a forwarding url for each subject with their unique subject id appended to url as a "query parameter". Query parameters are a standard mechanism for sharing data between different web sites, and many survey packages have this capability. Consult the support resources offered by your survey package for instructions on how to forward participants to a url with the subject id as a query parameter.

The following example shows forwarding urls for four different subjects who's ids ranged from 134 to 137. Everything about the url is the same except for the subject id.

        http://research.millisecond.com/sniffles/myexperiment.web?subjectid=134
        http://research.millisecond.com/sniffles/myexperiment.web?subjectid=135
        http://research.millisecond.com/sniffles/myexperiment.web?subjectid=136
        http://research.millisecond.com/sniffles/myexperiment.web?subjectid=137
        

The url contains a single query parameter named "subjectid", the value of which is the unique subject for each subject. When eahc participant arrives at the Inquisit launch page, Inquisit will extract the value of the subject id parameter to get their subject id, and that subject id will be recorded in the data. You can name your query parameter anything you'd like, as Inquisit can be configured to handle any parameter name. You will have to configure your survey package to dynamically insert the appropriate id value for each participant.

To configure Inquisit to retrieve the subject id from the query parameter,

  1. Go to the web scripts page in your account
  2. Click " edit" next to the web script
  3. Select the "Subject IDs" tab on the right of the screen (shown in the figure below).
  4. Where it says "Choose how subject ids should be generated, select URLQuery Parameter"
  5. Specify the name of parameter (e.g., "subjectid").
  6. Click the Save button

Query Parameter

That's it. Inquisit will now extract this subject number from the url and record it in the data files.

Returning the Subject ID from Inquisit Back to 3rd Party Site

If you would would like to forward the participant back to the survey package at the end of the Inquisit session, you can specify the url to the survey as the Finish Page when running through the web script registration wizard. Inquisit will then redirect the participant to that web page at the end of the session.

Finish Page

In the above example, Inquisit will forward participants to http://www.surveysrus.com/coolsurvey/part2.html at the end of the experiment. Do not specify the subject id in the Finish Page url - Inquisit will automatically append the id using the same query parameter that it found when the subject arrived at the Inquisit launch page. To continue with the above examples, if the Finish Page is set to http://www.surveysrus.com/coolsurvey/part2.html, the actual forwarding url for subject 134 would be:

        http://www.surveysrus.com/coolsurvey/part2.html?subjectid=134
    

Your survey package can then retrieve the value of this query parameter to identify which subject is returning to the survey. Now the survey package can pick up where it left off with this participant.

Sending the Subject ID from Inquisit to 3rd Party Sites

If participants start with the Inquisit session before going to the 3rd party survey site, the subject id can be explicitly included on the finish page url so that it can be used by the 3rd party site. Using the above example, the following finish page would include the unique subject id for each participant:

       http://www.surveysrus.com/coolsurvey/part2.html?subjectid=<%script.subjectid%>

Add the end of each session, Inquisit will substitute "<%script.subjectid%>" with the actual ids for each of the subjects.