By Aaron Moss, PhD & Tommy Roggina
At CloudResearch, we advocate for requesters to treat workers fairly when posting HITs on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Workers are, after all, the people who make the research possible. Sometimes situations arise in which an MTurk worker is unable to receive payment, despite having completed a survey. Below are two common scenarios in which a worker may not be paid, despite completing a survey:
In scenarios like the ones described above, you can use CloudResearch’s Compensation HIT feature to pay workers. Compensation HITs are regular MTurk HITs that only require the worker to accept and submit the HIT to receive payment. Once a worker submits your Compensation HIT, CloudResearch will automatically approve and pay the worker. You could manually create compensation HITs on your own, but our feature greatly simplifies and speeds up the process.
Please note: For workers who are taking one of your HITs for the first time, have them search for the Compensation HIT on their MTurk Dashboard. If they cannot find it, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask a representative to post the Compensation HIT for you.
To create a Compensation HIT, go to the “Manage Workers” tab and select “Create Compensation HIT” from the drop-down menu.
Once you choose to “Create a Compensation HIT,” you will be taken to the Create Compensation HIT page.
When compensating workers, please keep in mind that regular CloudResearch fees apply in addition to the 20% Amazon fee and the CloudResearch pro features fee. Visit the Pricing page for more details.
In the large textbox, enter the Amazon Mechanical Turk IDs or CloudResearch IDs of the workers you would like to compensate. Enter each ID on a separate line.
Next, enter the amount you would like to compensate the worker(s) and save the HIT.
After saving your HIT, you will be returned to the study dashboard where you will see your Compensation HIT on the top of your study list.
After launching your study, we recommend emailing workers to notify them that you have created a compensation HIT for them. You must wait 6 minutes from the time the HIT is launched before emailing workers.
The Email Included Workers button will light up orange when you can email the workers. Once you have emailed workers, it will keep track of how long it has been since your last mass email notification.
An alternative method of compensating workers is to issue them a bonus by clicking on the green “Grant Bonuses” button in your original HIT. You can issue a bonus to any study a worker has taken, even if it has already completed.
Please note: You can only grant a bonus to a worker who has completed at least one HIT for you previously. For workers who are taking one of your HITs for the first time, bonuses are not an option.
You will be taken to the grant bonus page (see below).
For bonus HITs, only a 20% Amazon fee is applied.
Please note that worker bonuses are cumulative. If you have given a worker a bonus of $2 in the past and would like to grant them a $3 bonus now, you must enter $5 into the amount text box.
You may check how much you have bonused a worker in the past by entering their Amazon ID into the Check Bonus textbox.
To bonus a worker, enter the worker’s MTurk or CloudResearch ID into the “Worker IDs” textbox on separate lines. You may also include a message.
Alternatively, you can also bonus workers using our new feature that allows you to send different bonus amounts to different workers all at once.
To use this feature you must input a .csv file that has the MTurk IDs in the first column and the payment amount in the second column. You can download a .csv file from your study dashboard that includes MTurk IDs, as well as other information on the study.
Next, drag and drop the file you just created into the drag and drop field.
Success! You have just compensated the workers on your list!
While there are some scenarios that can engender a MTurk worker losing pay, CloudResearch offers several options for requesters to compensate workers. As always, we encourage requesters to be considerate of workers’ time and to compensate workers fairly when possible.