This site contains all the administrative and technical information you need to run an economics experiment at the Stanford Economics Research Laboratory (SERL). Below you see the main steps that you have to go through. But be sure to click all the links for more detailed information on topics such as how to obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB), how to code your experiment, etc., and also to obtain templates of the paperwork you will need to get done.

NEW blanket IRB protocol

If you're running a standard economics experiment with SERL subjects, or online (e.g. on Amazon Mechanical Turk), you don't need to file for IRB. Instead, you are covered by our blanket protocol.
(Note: you must have faculty or department funding.)

The following form defines a standard economics experiment. You must fill it in, and bring it to Susan Taylor.

You must use the following information forms (there's no need to collect subjects' signatures):
Study run at SERL
Study run online

The full text of the blanket protocol is here:
Blanket Protocol Full Text

If you run at SERL, use the following payment form
Payment Receipt

Slides about lab procedures from behavioral lunch, october 3, 2013


1. Getting Started

Get faculty approval. All experiments conducted in the lab require approval from an Economics Department faculty member.

    Get financing

    • Researchers must pay for their own studies. You may try to obtain funding from the department, from SITE, and there are many other organizations (e.g. the Russell Sage Foundation) that will give grants to students

    Get IRB approval.

    • Click here for tips and procedures.

    Email the lab administrator

    • to be added to the list of approved researchers

    • to get a tour of the lab

    Get keys to the lab and the passwords

    • you need keys A30 and A31, as well as card access. Talk to Marilyn at the reception, and bring 20$ deposit in cash.

    • talk to me for the passwords on the computers and the storage box of the computers.

    2. Preparation

    Program and debug your experiment.

    • Click here for instructions on how to obtain and use suitable software.

    • You are responsible for all programming and testing of your experimental software.

    • Sometimes it may be easier to do without computers alltogether and run a paper and pencil experiment.

    Prepare all written materials.

    • Information sheet
    • Payment Receipt. Prior to running the experiment, you must meet with Susan Taylor. Note that for tax reasons, the department will add a surcharge of 42% on the payments to international students. Note that obtaining an advance requires two weeks.

    • Any other paper materials for your experiment.

    Set up your experiment on Sona Systems and invite participants.

    • click here for more info.

    3. Running your experiment

    On the day of the experiment, you are responsible for all materials, set up, and clean up of your experiment. Also:

    • Click here for a list of steps that will help you not to forget anything on the day you are running.

    • Make sure you that you have at least one other person to help you run the experiment.

    • Make sure you have the two physical keys, card access to the lab, and that you know the code for the lockbox in which the computers are stored, as well as the passwords to use the computers.

    • Arrive at least 30 minutes early.