Participant DB Manual

Last modified by Kerwin Olfers on 2023/09/08 15:38


This is meant as a short term solution for a shared participant database.

It is implemented in Qualtrics and can be shared by request to SOLO (who then forwards the request to


  • Participants can register for the database through this Registration form Researchers can include this link at the end of their own experiments, put it on social media, etcetera..
  • Basic information is collected, in addition to the allowed contact method (e.g. mail and/or phone), and the types studies that the participant is interested in. For now, we refrain from asking for sensitive personal information for data privacy concerns.
  • After registration, they receive a confirmation email, which also includes links to change their registration information, deactivate their registration or remove it altogether.
  • Known issues:
    • Due to the nature of contact lists on Qualtrics, changing: name or email will result in a new contact entry (instead of changing an existing one).
    • It may take a minute or two for the contact list to be updated, so if a user tries to change their information immediately it may not load correctly yet.
  • There is a survey that allows users to deactivate their account and a survey that allows them to recover their registration links, based on their email.

Contact List

The contact list is called "SOLO Participant Database", is shared in the Qualtrics group "FSW SOLO", researchers need to be added to this group by Once this is done, it can be accessed by

  • Logging in to Qualtrics
  • Go to Directory
  • Go to Lists
  • Go to FSW SOLO
  • Click on "SOLO Participant Database"
  • By clicking on the rows you can see the information collected for each participant.
  • The list itself does not allow for filtering / sorting, for that we instead want to extract a sample from the list, see below.


Sampling from the contact list allow us to extract a selection of participants that satisfy certain criteria, additionally it allows us to send emails and survey invites directly from Qualtrics.

Contacts with the Status "Opted-out" will never be included in a sample.

  • Go to List Options
  • Select "Create sample from list"
  • Give the Sample a name
  • Make sure the Source List is set to  "SOLO Participant Database"
  • Determine the desired (maximum) sample size. Note: based on the sampling criteria, you may not actually reach this number.
  • Select your sampling criteria
  • Most relevant criteria can be found under "Embedded data", in the selection field type "pd_" to see the embedded data relevant for the contact list.
  • Embedded data:
    • pd_birth_year:  in whole numbers (eg 1987, 2000). You can use standard operators like "Less than" or "Greater than"
    • pd_called_last: last known date on which the participant was called by a researcher, in yearmonthdate formate (e.g. 20210630). You can use standard operators, do not  use "Date operators"
    • pd_called_total: in whole numbers, total amount of times the participant was called.
    • pd_contact_method: all selected contact methods, seperated by comma's. Best operator to use "Contains", e.g. "Contains" + "sms"
    • pd_language: all selected native languages seperated by comma's. Best operator to use "Contains", e.g. "Contains" + "Dutch"
    • pd_language_other: entered name of other language. Best operator to use "Contains", e.g. "Contains" + "Dutch"
    • pd_sex: selected sex. Best operator to use: "Equal to" or "Not equal to", the drop down then shows available option.s
    • pd_study_type: all selected studies of interest, seperated by comma's. Best operator to use "Contains", e.g. "Contains" + "lab".
  • Note that you can also combine criteria.
  • Other relevant criteria may be found in the Statistics field
  • Statistics:
    • Total emails: total number of emails sent from Qualtrics to this contact.
    • Last email: date of the last email sent to this contact.
    • Total invites: total number of survey invitations sent to this contact.
  • An example of possible criteria:
  • Once all the criteria are specified, click on "Create".
  • Navigate to the Sample:
  • Known issue: it may take 1 or 2 minutes for the sample to be created (even if it says that the task is done). If the sample appears empty, wait one or two minutes and refresh the page.
  • You can now use the newly created sample to contact the participants.

Contacting Participants


Once you have created a sample, you can :

  • Export the sample as a CSV file (so that you can open it in Excel for example).
  • Or directly use the contact information (like phone numbers in the list).
  • In either case, we recommend updating the relevant fields like pd_last_called and pd_called_total, when you have contacted a participant. You can do this directly from the Sample list (it will be changed in SOLO Participant Database as well).


Of course you can manually email participants based on the information in the Sample (either online or exported), but it is easier to do it directly from Qualtrics instead

  • Go to Distributions
  • Known issue: the Lists / Distribution tabs sometimes do no switch/update properly, refresh the screen when that happens.
  • Select "Create Distribution"
  • Here you can send invites to existing surveys, and emails with or without survey link. See below for an example.
  • Cap1.gif
  • The benefit of this is that is updates some of the Statistics associated with the contact last, like "Last email" date. Which you can in turn use later on as criteria for new samples (e.g. to make sure the same people are not contacted multiple times in a month).

Deactivate / Reactivate

Registered participants can deactivate their account (by following the link in the confirmation email). This sets their status in the contact list to "Opted-out". Contacts who are opted out will never be included in a sample.

Participants can also later request their account to be reactivated. Unfortunately this cannot be automated and has to be done manually:


Recovering accounts

For user authentication, a unique code is used, that is embedded in the links in the registration confirmation email.

If for some reason a participant has lost the registration email containing the links for changing or deactivating their information, they can request new links to be sent to their email address by filling in the recovery form.

Form Flow Chart


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