About OSO Research
OSO is a research platform for online experimental economics studies. This platform allows researchers to recruit participants, track participation, and assign payments via a convenient online interface.
How is OSO Different?
OSO is designed for experimental economics. The current popular platforms for online research are not designed for experimental economics. They permit deception, and variable incentives are not the norm. In contrast, participants will never experience deception on OSO. By engaging in only high-quality experimental economics studies on OSO, participants will understand and trust the incentives being presented to them in each study: a key to high-quality experimental economics research.
OSO is not for profit. OSO’s mission is to provide value to the experimental economics community. Fees paid to for-profit platforms leave the experimental community. At around 33% of total subject payments (more in some cases), these fees represent a significant amount of lost rents. In contrast, any proceeds not used to support and grow the OSO platform will be used by OSO Research to provide value to the experimental community.
How will Fees be Used?
At first, much of the fees paid to OSO will be used to support the platform and grow the subject pool. Once the platform is mature, fees will be used to collect commonly elicited economic preference information and other useful data from subjects. For instance, many studies include risk preference elicitation for use as a regression control. It is inefficient to collect this information frequently on the same subjects. OSO can collect this information centrally for the entire subject pool. Then, this data can be made available on a per-subject basis, along with basic demographic information.
Eventually, lots of relevant information can be collected from participants to add value to the platform and lower the cost of running experiments. Beyond these value-added services, additional fees may also be used in the future to fund basic research on experimental methodology to help inform best practices.
How will OSO Build the Subject Pool?
At first, OSO will focus on building a pool of university students to mimic the composition of studies conducted at in-person labs. To achieve this, we will ask lab managers to invite their participants to sign up. As an incentive, researchers will pay no fees on payments made to participants from their university. This allows researchers with access to a physical lab to conduct hybrid online/in-person studies.
When will OSO be Ready for Use?
Tentatively, OSO will be ready for use by Fall 2023. An early version of the web app is complete and will be production-ready by Spring 2023. We are currently seeking partners and funding opportunities.
How can I get Involved?
Your feedback and suggestions about OSO are important. If you have any comments or ideas, especially pertaining to funding opportunities, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have experience programming in R (especially using the R Shiny web framework) and want to contribute to development of the app, please e-mail email@example.com.
Who Runs OSO?
OSO was founded and is operated by Greg Leo (firstname.lastname@example.org), an Experimental Economist at Vanderbilt University. The board of directors for OSO Research will be composed of academic economists.