For Researchers

Use of Amazon Mechanical Turk in Iowa State University Research

Amazon Mechanical Turk® is a solution that may be utilized to accomplish specific research goals, and is allowed by Iowa State University. Iowa State recognizes some research tasks are not feasibly accomplished through the use of traditional means (i.e., students, merit, professional and scientific, faculty, etc.). In these circumstances, an outside solution is warranted.

Providers/Turkers must verify that they are not currently employed by or a student at Iowa State University.

When using Amazon Mechanical Turk, researchers should be mindful of the following:

  • If the activity involves human subjects, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is required before the activity occurs. If a researcher is unclear about IRB approval for their project, a self-test will clarify requirements.
  • Normal data integrity/quality control practices should be employed.
  • Ensure allowability of costs, if externally funded, prior to commencing work.
  • Work with Procurement Services to facilitate payments to Amazon Mechanical Turk.