Your First Study
In the following sections, we walk you through how you can set up your study in Ethica, program surveys, add data sources, enroll participants, and check the incoming data.
Each of these steps has tons of details to discuss, but we will skip over those. You can check the Reference Documentation for a more in-depth look at these topics.
We still may use a term here or there that might be unfamiliar. In this case, please check our Terminology to find out what they mean.
After creating a Researcher Account, you can navigate back to your dashboard's home page. There you will see the
New Studybutton is enabled. Click on it to create your first study.
Creating a new study in Ethica - First Page
You will be asked a few questions regarding your study. Start by picking a name for the study, for example,
My Health Pal. Then enter the name of your organization, for example,
Then enter the consent materials you want to be presented to the participants before joining the study. Ethica asks participants to consent to these before they can register in your study.
Then you can choose what time you expect participants to start their participation, what time their participation is expected to end, and how many days they are expected to be part of the study. You can read more details in the Participation Period article on how the combination of these values allows you to configure the participation period of your participants.
In this case, we want our participants to start their participation as soon as they join the study, and continue their participation for 14 days. We don't want to have a specific end date for our enrollment either. So leave the Participation Start Time and Participation End Time blank, and set the Participation Duration to 14 days.
When done, click on
Startto create your study:
Review Study Settings before creating your study
When your study is created you will be taken to your study's
Basicspage. Here you can modify the values you entered above, add your colleagues to the study, or other basic configurations.
Basics page of the study
Your study likely will collect survey responses, cognitive tasks, sensor data, and other components. We discuss these in the following pages. For now, let's add a few data sources to our study.
For this example, we want to collect GPS and pedometer data. So click on the Data Sources on the left panel, and then click on
Add New Data Source:
Add new Data Source to your study
In the list, find
GPSand click on it. On the next page, specify whether providing this data is mandatory for your participants, or they can opt out as well:
New Data Source Settings
You can also enter a name and a description to be shown to the participants. If you leave these empty, Ethica shows
GPSas the data source name, and the default description.
Follow the same steps to add a
Pedometeras well. When done, your list of data sources should look like the following. Note that by clicking on the three dots you can edit and remove the selected data sources, and go to the Data Export page.
Final list of data sources for your study
Now you are ready to enroll participants in your new study. You can read about different ways to enroll participants in the Enrollment section. Here we send the study URL to the new participants.
From the left panel, click on Participation, and find the
Registration URL. The URL for our study is (yours will be different):
Below, we pretend to be a participant who uses an Android device. Note that the same steps are true if a participant uses Ethica for iOS or Ethica for Web.
As a participant, I receive the study registration URL, and open it on my phone's browser:
Participate in the study
If the participant does not have the Ethica app installed, clicking on
Participatewill take them to the Google Play Store app and asks them to install the Ethica app:
Ethica app in the Google Play Store
When the participant installs the app and opens it, Ethica asks them to either login or sign up to join in your study:
Welcome to Ethica page
After the sign-up and going through the introduction pages, the participant will see the study registration page in the app. This page shows different information about your study, such as name and organization, participation duration, and consent materials.
Register in the study
Registerwill enrol the participant in the study to start their participation:
Ethica participant app
The top banner on the homepage of the app asks the participants to perform some additional steps to complete their enrolment. These steps depend on your study settings. As here we wanted to collect GPS and Pedometer, the steps ask participants to grant permissions for GPS and pedometer data collection, as well as adjusting the phone battery settings to allow Ethica to run in the background.
Disable battery optimization
Grant GPS permission
After completing these additional steps, the participant can close the app. The app continuously runs in the background, collects the data as instructed by the study, and uploads it to your researcher dashboard. You can check back after some time to see the received data.