The Internet and Social Media- Project “Dutch Participant Recruitment Platform for SSH Research”

Much research within the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) relies on input that can only be obtained from people. Such research includes experiments or surveys, development of tests and measurement instruments, and (digital) humanities studies requiring human annotations of textual data, artefacts, and images.

Although international online platforms exist to recruit human participants (e.g., MTurk, Prolific, Figure8), these are unusable for research bound to the Dutch linguistic and/or cultural context. Cases in point are, e.g., the development of Dutch verbal memory tests, annotation of Dutch texts for machine learning, classification of Dutch cultural artefacts or art, or testing Dutch health messages’ effectiveness. Moreover, GDPR regulations prohibit Dutch researchers from storing data outside EU borders. Finally, criticism regarding (especially) MTurk’s data quality and ethics signals a need for homegrown alternatives.

The current project addresses these challenges by developing an affordable, sustainable, and secure online participant/annotator recruitment platform for Netherlands-based academic researchers. Development of the platform will help Dutch SSH scholars to remain internationally competitive, while serving Dutch societal research needs. It will also strengthen ties between Dutch Social Sciences and Humanities research communities.

The platform will be developed in cooperation with not-for-profit platform developer EYRA together with established Dutch academic partner SURF.

Martin Tanis, Paulina Pankowska, Antske Fokkens, Ivar Vermeulen