Participants can join in your study either by installing the Ethica app on their Android or iOS phone or tablet. Alternatively, they can use Ethica for web, through their phones' or laptops' browsers.

Ethica Participant App

Participants can use any of the followings to sign up and join a study:

Ethica for iOS supports iOS version 12 and above, which is reported to cover more than 94% of all iPhone devices. Ethica for Android supports Android version 4.2 and above (API version 17+) which covers 99.2% of Android devices. These percentages ensure that almost all participants can join your study regardless of the type of phone they own. Therefore you do not have to introduce selection-bias during the enrollment based on device type. Additionally, participants can access Ethica through the web-based interface, and use that to join in your study.

Ethica Participant App offers almost identical features across Android, iOS, and Web. Therefore, your participants will have a comparable experience regardless of the platform they use. This excludes the features that are supported only by one platform and not others, such as sensor-based data collection or in-app notifications. The availability of each feature is explained where the feature is documented. Unless stated otherwise, you can assume all features described throughout the documentation is available on Android, iOS, and Web.

Participants can use multiple devices throughout their participation. For example, they can start by using their Android phone, and occasionally log in to their account on their personal computer. Then partly through the study they can switch their phone and get an iPhone device. As long as they use the same account, Ethica ensures their data is in sync across all of their devices. Furthermore, Ethica keeps track of the data uploaded from each device. You can use the Participation page to check different devices a given participant has used, and the data uploaded from each device.

Sign up Process

If participants install the Ethica app on their phone and sign up for a new account, a Participant account is created for them by default. When signing up for web, they need to explicitly choose they are a participant during the Signup process, as shown in the image below:

Participants must choose their account type while signing up on web

During the signup, the participant is asked to enter their email address and choose a password. These credentials allow the participant to access their account and their data from any other device, such as another smartphone (e.g., when they switch phones) or via a web browser. In this case, all their data will be synchronized with the new device immediately. For example, if a participant was expected to receive a survey, they will receive it on their new device, as well as any other device they are logged into. This allows participants to continue with the study without any interruption after they switch from their phone to their personal computer, or if they have to switch phones.

If using email addresses causes privacy concern in your study, you can instruct participants to use a variation of a catch-all email address. After the signup, or when they log in with their current credentials, they will remain logged in until they sign out.

Ethica also offers a password recovery option. If a participant forgets their password, they can request a password reset link to be emailed to them.

Study Enrollment

There are 3 ways for a participant to enroll in your study:

  • Using the study URL
  • Using the study QR code
  • Using the study registration code (the ID of your study)

You can find these three pieces of information on the Participation page of your study, as shown below:

Enrolling Participants in Ethica Study

Using Study URL

The easiest way for participants to join your study is by using the study URL. Each study in Ethica has a unique URL, for example:

https://www.ethicadata.com/study/805

This URL which is based on the Study ID points to your study's homepage in Ethica. You can think of this page as the study's landing page. When participants click on a study URL on their smartphone, if they have the Ethica app already installed on their phone, they will be taken directly to the study's registration page inside the Ethica app. If they don't have the Ethica app installed, the link will open on their phone's browser and they will see the following dialog asking them if they want to enroll in the study:

Ethica web app study home page enrollment dialog in Android

The name and the description of your study will be shown to the participant so they can learn more about the study and see if they're on the correct page.

If your study already has a dedicated web page, you can modify it to behave just like the web page shown above. This way, you can use your own web page's URL as the study's enrollment URL, and participants can register in your study by visiting your web page. Please contact Ethica Support for the required modification details.

If the participant is visiting this page on a smartphone, clicking on the Participate button will check whether the individual has the Ethica app installed. If yes, the Ethica app will be opened, and the person will be presented with your study's consent materials. If not, the person will be taken to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to install the Ethica app.

After finishing the installation and when the app is opened, Ethica will automatically detect the study which the user wanted to join and shows a custom welcome screen based on that study:

Using study background for app branding in Android

This allows you to brand the Ethica app for your study from the very first step. Additionally, there is no need for the user to enter any study registration code to join your study. As soon as the user logs in or signs up with the Ethica app, they will see your study's consent materials and can continue with the registration.

If the participant is not using a smartphone, for example, if they are using a computer web browser, and they are already logged into Ethica as a participant, clicking on the Participate button will take them to the study registration web page. If they're not already logged in to Ethica Data, they'd be redirected to your study's Welcome page instead. In this case, they'd be able to sign up or log in and proceed with the registration process.

Custom signup and login page in Ethica web-based app.

Using Registration Code

Each study has a unique registration code, which is the same as the Study ID. Participants can enter this code inside the Ethica app to join your study. You can find the study's registration code on the Participation page.

After entering the registration code, participants will see your study's consent materials and can join your study.

Using QR Code

Each study also has a unique QR code that points to the study URL. Using QR codes is the same as using the URL, except that participants don't have to type the URL anymore. Scanning the QR code on the phone is the same as typing the URL in the browser's address bar. It opens your study's landing page. You can read the above section for details on enrollment using the study URL.

Enrollment Types

You can use the Enrollment Type setting in the Participation page to specify who is allowed to join your study. Enrollment Type can be set to one of the three options, as explained below.

Public

This option sets the study open to the public. Anyone can join the study as long as they have the study's registration code or URL. You still can invite participants to join your study (see Invitation-based enrollment type), though holding an invitation is not necessary for participants to join.

Invitation-based

Unlike Public studies, invitation-based studies require individuals to be invited to the study before they can join. You will need to have the email address of the individuals you want to invite to the study. Invited individuals do not have to have an account with Ethica at the time of the invitation, but they must create one using the exact same email address that you used in the invitation before they can join your study.

For details on how to invite participants to your study, please refer to the Invitation section

Closed

If you do not want to enroll any new participant in your study, whether temporarily or permanently, you can set the study to Closed. This will prevent any individual, whether invited or not, to join your study. You can change the status of your study to Closed or from Closed to other states at any time.