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Thread: Workaround to Avoid 40% Amazon #mturk fees - Non-API Survey Requesters (full instructions for GUI!)

  1. #31
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    Hi! Thanks so much for this, it's extremely helpful. I'm an academic researcher, and I've been an MT requester for years, but have never tried to use this workaround, so please excuse this probably very basic two-part question. In the past I've recruited workers with certain characteristics relevant to my research in order to get larger samples with the chracteristics of interest. In these specialized HITs, I ask requesters to search for and participate through other HITs linking to the same survey if they don't have the characteristic of interest (e.g., recruitng the control group through a different HIT). I'd like to do this again, using the workaround code to set up each of the HITs. It seems like I can just use the same unique turker code for each of the HITs to ensure that workers can only do one of the HITs, one time (of course making this very clear to workers in the instructions). My first question is, do I use the same .CSV file for each of the HITs? That is, if I want 100 workers split between 5 HITs, should I use the same .CSV file with the link pasted 100 times in each HIT? Or do I create five separate .CSV file with the same link pasted 25 times?

    Secondly, when I hit "Publish batch" on a HIT set up according to the super helpful instructions provided in this thread, I don't get a dialogue box asking me to upload a .CSV file at any stage before the final "publish." Did I mess up the code somehow?

    Thank you SO MUCH for your help!
    Hana

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  3. #32
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    @RippedWarrior can you answer these questions?
    It's all good.

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  5. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hana View Post
    Hi! Thanks so much for this, it's extremely helpful. I'm an academic researcher, and I've been an MT requester for years, but have never tried to use this workaround, so please excuse this probably very basic two-part question. In the past I've recruited workers with certain characteristics relevant to my research in order to get larger samples with the chracteristics of interest. In these specialized HITs, I ask requesters to search for and participate through other HITs linking to the same survey if they don't have the characteristic of interest (e.g., recruitng the control group through a different HIT). I'd like to do this again, using the workaround code to set up each of the HITs. It seems like I can just use the same unique turker code for each of the HITs to ensure that workers can only do one of the HITs, one time (of course making this very clear to workers in the instructions). My first question is, do I use the same .CSV file for each of the HITs? That is, if I want 100 workers split between 5 HITs, should I use the same .CSV file with the link pasted 100 times in each HIT? Or do I create five separate .CSV file with the same link pasted 25 times?
    1. Yes, use the same UniqueTurker code across all 5 HITs. This will prevent workers from accepting more than 1 HIT that contains the same code. Please note there are some workers who can intentionally bypass Unique Turker, so be sure to also do a manual verification.

    2. Every row in the CSV file will create an assignment for that HIT. So for example, if you want 100 HITs total spread across 5 different HITs, your CSV file should contain 20 rows (plus the header). EDIT: yes, if the links are the same you can use the same CSV for all 5 HITs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hana View Post
    Secondly, when I hit "Publish batch" on a HIT set up according to the super helpful instructions provided in this thread, I don't get a dialogue box asking me to upload a .CSV file at any stage before the final "publish." Did I mess up the code somehow?

    Thank you SO MUCH for your help!
    Hana
    When publishing the HIT, it will prompt you for a CSV upload if there is a variable in the HIT. The variable must match the header (cell A1) in the CSV file. So, if you put "link" as the header in the CSV, the HIT will need a variable "${link}". Note this is case-sensitive. For example, you could put this in your HIT:

    Please access the survey at the following link: ${link}

    Hope this answers your questions!

    EDIT: Another trick I use to help workers complete only 1 HIT from a group of HITS: Put a very unique descriptor in the HIT title. For example, in my last set like this I made the HIT Title "Borealis: A Multi-Party Study". Then in the HIT instructions, I (in bold) instructed workers not to complete more than 1 HIT with "Borealis" in the title. Make the word something memorable and/or unique that workers are likely to remember. "Oh yeah, I already did a HIT with "Purple Pizza" in the title"
    Eschew obfuscation, espouse elucidation. Batch HITs for newbs. 1000 req'd. 5000 req'd.

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  7. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by RippedWarrior View Post

    When publishing the HIT, it will prompt you for a CSV upload if there is a variable in the HIT. The variable must match the header (cell A1) in the CSV file. So, if you put "link" as the header in the CSV, the HIT will need a variable "${link}". Note this is case-sensitive. For example, you could put this in your HIT:

    Please access the survey at the following link: ${link}
    Thanks so much for this! One quick question...I'm having trouble figuring out where to include the variable. This is what the source code for the link looks like now. Can you help me figure out where the ${link} should go?


    <p><strong style="font-size: 11.7px; line-height: 20.8px;">Link to the survey:&nbsp;</strong><a href="[SURVEY_LINK.com]" style="font-size: 11.7px; line-height: 20.8px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" target="_blank">[SURVEY_LINK.com]</a></p>

    Thanks so much!
    Hana

  8. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hana View Post
    Thanks so much for this! One quick question...I'm having trouble figuring out where to include the variable. This is what the source code for the link looks like now. Can you help me figure out where the ${link} should go?


    <p><strong style="font-size: 11.7px; line-height: 20.8px;">Link to the survey:*</strong><a href="[SURVEY_LINK.com]" style="font-size: 11.7px; line-height: 20.8px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" target="_blank">[SURVEY_LINK.com]</a></p>

    Thanks so much!
    Hana
    For your purposes, the variable could be anything. It does not have to be the survey link. I might be easier (to ensure you have a proper href) to leave the survey link in the HIT (instead of in the csv), and simply replace another word. Since your survey links are identical for every HIT, it's not important that it be in the CSV. Hope this makes sense!

    Here are 2 examples.

    1. Example 1: Leave the survey link in the HIT, and use the CSV simply to generate the correct number of assignments. In this case, your CSV will have a header of "survey" (without quotation marks) and every row will have the word "survey". Basically, the variable in the HIT will be replaced with the corresponding entry in the CSV.

    <p><strong style="font-size: 11.7px; line-height: 20.8px;">Link to the ${survey}: </strong><a href="[SURVEY_LINK.com]" style="font-size: 11.7px; line-height: 20.8px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" target="_blank">[SURVEY_LINK.com]</a></p>

    Example 2: Use the CSV to replace the survey link. In this scenario, put your header (variable) in the first row, and the survey link in all the other rows.

    <p><strong style="font-size: 11.7px; line-height: 20.8px;">Link to the survey: ${link} style="font-size: 11.7px; line-height: 20.8px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" target="_blank">[SURVEY_LINK.com]</a></p>
    Eschew obfuscation, espouse elucidation. Batch HITs for newbs. 1000 req'd. 5000 req'd.

  9. #36
    Does anyone know why it takes so long to complete a survey when we bunch up the HITs to save some money rather than just posting our HIT as one and paying the high fees. It seems like it is always the last few people that take the longest time to complete. Is there any way around this?

  10. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryanchiaws View Post
    Does anyone know why it takes so long to complete a survey when we bunch up the HITs to save some money rather than just posting our HIT as one and paying the high fees. It seems like it is always the last few people that take the longest time to complete. Is there any way around this?
    Obviously I can't speak to your experiences publishing HITs with different methods, but I can offer the following:

    - Either way does not affect the way workers see your HITs.
    - Workers can accept up to 25 HITs at one time. If you set a long timer on your HIT (say 2 hours) it's not unusual for a worker to accept the HIT, but not actually work on it until it's nearing expiry. So the worker may accept the HIT but not actually complete it for an hour-and-a-half after they accept it.

    Possible solution: set a shorter timer on the HIT. If they survey takes 10 minutes, set an expiry of 30 minutes.

    Not sure I properly understand the question.
    Eschew obfuscation, espouse elucidation. Batch HITs for newbs. 1000 req'd. 5000 req'd.

  11. #38
    Thanks for the slideshow. I'll bookmark it for future reference.

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  13. #39

    What to do with .csv file

    Many thanks for this helpful post. I am not seeing how to upload my .csv file. There does not seem to be an option to do it when I try to publish my hit.

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by spamgirl View Post
    Instructions from here: http://amazonmechanicalturkworkaroun...ed-amazon.html

    For the non API savvy survey requester there is a solution to avoid the 40% commission using the requester interface if you know a little bit of HTML. This will allow you to publish with the standard 20% commission as opposed to the 40% commission that Amazon feels is justified.

    1. Go to create new hit in requester interface

    2. Select Data Collection

    3. Set up your HIT as you normally do, except keep Number of assignments per HIT set at 1 as opposed to setting at the number of participants you want to complete your study. I recommend you NOT use Masters! Use 99% approval with 10,000 HITs approved instead.

    4. Click on "Design Layout" and click on the Source button and remove what is in there and replace with:

    Code:
    <!-- Bootstrap v3.0.3 -->
    <link href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/mturk-public/bs30/css/bootstrap.min.css" rel="stylesheet" />
    <section class="container" id="DataCollection" style="margin-bottom:15px; padding: 10px 10px; font-family: Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif; color:#333333; font-size:0.9em;">
    <div class="row col-xs-12 col-md-12"><!-- Instructions -->
    <div class="panel panel-primary">
    <div class="panel-heading">
    <strong>Note: You may only complete ONE HIT. Please do not queue hits or you will slow down study completion and delay payment.</strong></div>
    
    <div class="panel-body">
    <p>Instructions</p>
    
    <ul>
    	<li>Instruction 1</li>
    	<li>Instruction 2</li>
    	<li>Instruction 3</li>
    </ul>
    </div>
    </div>
    <table>
        <tbody>
          <tr>
            <td><strong>Click the link to take the survey:</strong></td>
            <td>${link}</td>
          </tr>
        </tbody>
    </table>
    <br /><div>
    <label>Worker ID or completion code:</label> <input class="form-control" id="web_url" name="IDcode" placeholder="" type="text" /></div>
    </div>
    </section>
    <!-- close container -->
    <style type="text/css">td {
        font-size:1.0em;
        padding: 5px 5px;
    }
    </style>
    Note: You will want to change the text "Worker ID or completion code" to only include whichever you are using, the ID or a code on your survey.

    5. Go here and complete the form so you get and copy the unique script. This script prevents participants from accepting more than one HIT. Paste it into the very beginning of the source code before <!-- Bootstrap v3.0.3 -->

    6. In the following code, replace "REPLACE" with the URL of your survey and then copy the entire line:
    Code:
    <a href="REPLACE" target="_blank">Link to survey opens in new tab</a>
    7. Open a spreadsheet program and in cell 1 of row 1 type the word link. Now paste the code you copied in step 6 in every row from 2 to the number of participants you want+1. For example, if you want 100 participants, you would paste that code in the first cell of every row from 2 to 101. MAKE SURE YOU SAVE AS A .CSV FILE NOT AN .XLS! To do this in Excel, choose CSV in the Save as type drop-down menu.

    8. Now go back to your browser and click the Source button again and edit using the standard editor to add instructions. Click Preview and then Finish.

    9. When you go to Publish, you will have to upload your .csv file, so do so.

    If a participant tries to accept more than one hit, they will receive this message: "You have already completed the maximum number of HITs allowed by this requester. Please click 'Return HIT' to avoid any impact on your approval rating." Therefore, they will only be allowed to submit one hit.

    Once you get it all set up, it will be easy to just copy and use over and over again, but remember to change your "unique turker" script on new HITs!! Otherwise people who worked on your previous HITs will be totally excluded.

    This blog post is concluded.

    If you have any questions, please ask in this thread

  14. #40
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    Hi catturker, if it's not prompting you to upload a CSV then you have not incorporated a variable into your HIT. The variable (for these purposes) does not have to be anything substantial, any random word will work.

    For example, if you fill your CSV will 100 rows of the word "you" (for illustration, I will put the word "word" as the header on the spreadsheet), you could put the following variable in your HIT (then it will create 100 HITs, 1 for each row of your spreadsheet).

    "Thank ${word} for completing my survey".

    This will create 100 HITs, and replace "${word}" with a row from your CSV, in this case the word "you".
    Eschew obfuscation, espouse elucidation. Batch HITs for newbs. 1000 req'd. 5000 req'd.

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