A type of action the participant performs while participating in your research study. Examples include responding surveys, completing a cognitive task, or filling in a time use diary.

Background App

Refers to a state of the Ethica app for Android or iOS, when it's not seen on the phone's screen, but it is operational behind the scenes, collecting sensor data. This is the opposite to the Foreground App state.

Blocked Session

Ethica app can only have one active session for a given activity at any given time. For example, a study contains a survey for health check that is prompted to participants once a day. Before the session for a given day is prompted, the session for the previous day should be concluded. If the session for the previous day is still active awaiting participant's response, the new session will be marked as Blocked Session.

Canceled Session

If a participant explicitly indicates they do not want to continue responding to a given session from a given activity, the session will be marked as Canceled Session.
Any responses provided by the respondent up to the time they cancel the survey, will be uploaded and will be available in your study.

Closed Study

A state of a study, in which no new participant can join the study. In this state, currently enrolled participants can still continue their participation without any interruption.

Cognitive Task

A type of activity where the participant is asked to perform a particular cognitive task. Similar to surveys, cognitive tasks can be presented once or multiple times to each participant.

Completed Session

A session that is completed by the participant. For example, in the case of survey activities, a survey session is completed when the participant responds to all presented questions and presses the Submit button.
The content of the informed consent. This is presented to each participant prior to joining the study, and the participant must agree to them before they can be enrolled in the study. Participants can always access this via the Ethica app.


A conditional expression, or a formula, which instructs Ethica whether an action has to happen or not. If a component in your study contains a criteria, every time Ethica wants to execute that component, it first evaluates the criteria. It only proceeds with the execution if the criteria is True.

Data Source

A type of data that is automatically collected from participants without their involvement. Examples include sensor-based data such as accelerometer for motion, location via GPS, or heartrate via wearables. It also can include digital footprint such as screen-time or app usage.


A device that is used by a participant to participate in a study. It can be an Android phone or tablet, an iOS phone or tablet, or a web browser. Each device is uniquely identified via a device ID.

Device Operation %

The percentage of the time that the Ethica app was running, in the foreground or in the background, collecting sensor data.

Draft Changes

Draft changes are the changes that are not published yet, and therefore cannot be viewed by the participants. Participants always only have access to the latest published version of a survey activity.

Dropout Triggering Logic

A triggering logic that instructs the survey activity to be prompted immediately after the participant decides to withdraw from the study, and before the withdrawal is completed. Only survey activities can be prompted during dropout.

Eligibility Screening Triggering Logic

A triggering logic that instructs the survey activity to be prompted immediately after the participant decides to join the study. The triggering logic uses a criteria to decide whether the participant should be included in the study or not. Only survey activities can be prompted via this triggering logic.

Enrolment Status

The status of the study regarding participant enrollment. A study can be either public, closed, or invite-only.

Expired Session

If a participant does not complete the session within the allocated time window, the session will be marked as Expired Session. Any responses provided up to the expiration time will be uploaded and will be available in your study.

Expiry Duration

The duration that is given to the participant to complete a session, before it's marked as Expired Session.

Foreground App

Refers to a state of the Ethica app, either Android or iOS, in which the participant is interacting with it on the phone’s screen. This is the opposite to the Background App state.

Invite-Only Study

A state of a study, in which participants can join the study only if they are invited to the study by the researcher. The invitations are based on the email addresses of the prospective participants which are used for invitation.


An alerting message which is sent to a given participant or researcher. A notification is created either from a template or manually sent from the Notification section in the researcher dashboard. When a given event occurs for which a notification template is defined, Ethica creates a notification based on that template, fills all placeholders (e.g. with the name of the recipient), and sends the notification through the specified mediums. The sent notification will be saved for reference.

Notification Medium

A medium through which a notification can be delivered to the intended participant or researcher. Ethica supports email, SMS (test messages), and in-app notifications.

Notification Template

A template for a notification, that specifies the recipient of the notification, the criteria under which the notification should be prompted, and the mediums through which the notification should be sent, and the content of the notification. The content in a notification template is defined separately for each medium that can contain placeholders.


Participants, or respondents, are individuals who have consented to join your study in order to perform the tasks you have asked them and provide the data your study collects throughout the participation period. Participants can use the Ethica app on their Android, iPhone, or browser to participate in a study, but they cannot access the researcher dashboard, make changes to the study configuration, or see the data from other participants.

Participant Audit Logs

The logs recorded by Ethica app from participant's interaction with the study, the events occured throughout the participation, and the changes made to the participant.

Participation Duration

The number of days that participant will be part of the study.

Participation Period

The period, comprising from the start time to the end time, when a participant is part of the study.

Proximity Triggering Logic

A triggering logic which prompts a given activity when Ethica app detects the proximity between the participant and another physical object, e.g. another participant, a certain location, or a bike. Such detection happens using Bluetooth Beacon data; therefore, this triggering logic is applicable only if the study contains the Bluetooth Beacon data source.

Public Study

A state of a study, in which anyone can join the study, whether they hold an invitation or not.

Registration Code

The code participants should enter to find your study within Ethica and enroll in it. Participants can enroll in your study through different ways, including a URL, QR code, or registration code.


Researchers are study staff members who have access to the study settings and participants' data through the Researcher Dashboard. They can design the study, configure different components in Ethica, screen and enroll participants, monitor adherence, in addition to analyze study data. Researchers cannot participate in a study as a participant. They also cannot login to the Ethica app as the app is intended for the participants only.

Researcher Triggered Session

A session is triggered by the researcher and sent to the participant's device to be completed. This is often a one-off session created and sent to the participant.


When an activity is triggered to a participant, Ethica will create a Session for it. This session will hold the information about the triggered activity, as well as the metadata and the responses provided by the participants. For example, every time a survey is completed by a participant, the data are stored as a survey session. Similarly, every time a participant complete a cognitive task, the data is stored as a cognitive task session.


Study is the main building block of a research within Ethica. Each Study represents a research project. It defines the study protocol, enrollment strategy, surveys, cognitive tasks, data collection scheme, and other settings. It also contains all data collected from the participants. Studies are independent components within Ethica, and they cannot share data with other studies, even if they all are created by the same researcher.

Study ID

A unique identifier for the study within Ethica platform. Participants can find and join the study by entering the ID of the study.

Study URL

The URL participants can use to enroll in the study.


A type of activity by which the participants are asked to respond to a set of questions. Similar to cognitive tasks, presenting a survey to each participant is possible either once or multiple times. Each time a survey is presented to a participant, the gathered metadata and responses are stored in a survey session.

Time Triggering Logic

A triggering logic based on which a specific time-table specifies when the activity should be prompted to the participant. A Time Triggering Logic always contains an initial time. In details, this is the time when the activity is prompted to the participaants for the first time. It may also have a repeating schedule, which if set, the activity will be prompted multiple times based on the repetition schedule.

Triggering Logic

A logic that specifies when an activity should be prompted to the participant. This can be based on time, user's actions, or sensors.

User ID

The unique ID of the user in Ethica. Each user, either the Researcher or Participant, has a unique ID in Ethica. This ID enables us to refer to this user across the system.
Often in the documentation the term Participant ID refers to the User ID of the participant, and Researcher ID refers to the User ID of a researcher.

User Triggering Logic

A triggering logic which instructs Ethica to give the option Of starting an activity and repeating it as many times as they want to the participants. In details, Ethica adds a button to the participant's homepage on the app, then participants can launch an activity via that button at any time.
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