When A Survey Doesn't Give You A Code


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Crowd Pleaser
Jan 12, 2016
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Sometimes, you get to the end of a survey and the promised code isn't there. "Your code is:" with nothing after it. Or just "Your response has been recorded." with no mention of a code. This is generally due to a mistake the requester made when setting up the survey.

When this happens, some people like to submit it with their worker ID in the box for the code, but that's just useless filler since your worker ID is attached to every HIT submission anyway. Some of the people who do this then also contact the requester with additional information.

Instead, I generally recommend putting that additional information directly in the box for the code. (It's usually a small-looking box, but with no character limit.) First, explain that you didn't get a code; then you can quote from the last page of the survey, describe a few memorable questions and/or answers, paste a link to a screenshot you've uploaded on an image host such as imgur.com, etc. Save a copy of this info for yourself somewhere too, in case you need it again for future follow-ups.

Usually a requester will see this info when they review the results, and approve your HIT. But the increasingly-popular TurkPrime HIT management / retake prevention service will automatically reject all submissions that don't have the exact expected survey code included. For non-TurkPrime surveys with no code, I've always been approved that way so far. But with TurkPrime you will definitely need to contact the requester, and then it's a gamble whether they will pay attention to the messages they receive and reverse your rejection, and it may require multiple rounds of back-and-forth if they do respond. Up to you whether that's worth the trouble.

How to identify TurkPrime surveys: They use 'anti-quals' whose names start with "Exc:" followed by a bunch of numbers, to exclude people who've already taken that survey; or quals whose names start with "Inc:" followed by a bunch of numbers, to only include people who qualified in a previous survey. And inside the HIT preview, they have a wide lighter-blue border around the page, and a "Powered by TurkPrime.com" blue banner at the bottom of the page.
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The Ghost of MTurk Past
Jan 10, 2016
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Intersting but does not resolve the no code problem.
The only way to "resolve the no code problem" is for the requester to change their survey design and/or coding.