Conducting Online Research on Amazon Mechanical Turk and Beyond

Leib Litman, PhD

To successfully conduct online studies, researchers need to understand the differences between participant platforms, how to maintain data quality, how to recruit the right participants, and how to most efficiently carry out complex projects. The new book Conducting Online Research on Amazon Mechanical Turk and Beyond provides all this information and more. Within the book you will find a guide for getting started with online research, extensive data about the Mechanical Turk platform, and detailed discussions about the issues that often determine the success or failure of online studies. 

Who Wrote the Book and Who is the Book for?

The book was written by Leib Litman and Jonathan Robinson, and also benefits from the contributions of several online research experts including Jesse Chandler, Gabriele Paolacci, David Hauser, Michael Hall, Neil Lewis, Jr., and Cheskie Rosenzweig.

As part of SAGE’s Innovations in Research Methods series, the book is intended as a resource for anyone who conducts online human behavioral research. Everyone from lab managers, to graduate students and post-docs, early career researchers, and even the most seasoned principal investigator will find something useful inside.

Overview and Highlights

The book begins with a brief history of online research in the social sciences, focusing on the rise of Mechanical Turk and why it became popular among academics. Other early chapters provide a guide that helps researchers get started with Mechanical Turk, walks through the steps of setting up a study, and explains how to use third-party platforms to enhance MTurk’s functionality. Later chapters contain detailed discussions about the difficult issues that often determine the success of online research projects including data quality, sampling bias, participant demographics, and research ethics.

Throughout the book, the authors present CloudResearch data from several years’ worth of MTurk activity, representing tens of thousands of studies and millions of completed assignments. Together this data offers one of the most complete looks at the demographics of MTurk participants, sampling on MTurk, and how well findings obtained on MTurk replicate in other samples.

Where to buy

You can buy the book here or read an excerpt here.

Related Articles