Frequently Asked Questions


Overview & Features

What is Labvanced?
Labvanced is a platform for creating and recording professional behavioral experiments. Studies typically run online but can also be downloaded and executed offline.

Who is already using Labvanced?
Over the last 2 years we worked together with over 3000 researchers from all over the world. There are hundreds of studies running on Labvanced in all kinds directions and with various degrees of complexity.

How can I cite Labvanced?
Finger, H., Goeke, C., Diekamp, D., Standvoß, K., & König, P. (2017). LabVanced: a unified JavaScript framework for online studies. In International Conference on Computational Social Science (Cologne).

We are working on two furhter publications at the momennt. We hope that those will be published early 2021.

What are the advantages of Labvanced compared to other experiment platforms?
Labvanced is not the first and probably also not the last platform for creating and running behavioral experiments online. However, we strongly believe that Labvanced is the most powerful and convenient platform. Please visit our feature page to find out for yourself.

Are all experiments which run on Labvanced available in the experiment library?
No, there are many more studies running on Labvanced than are in the experiment library. The experiment library contains mostly experiments from the Labvanced team, which you can use as templates. Although most researchers prefer not to make their study publically available, we highly encourage publishing and sharing studies using the free experiment library.

What is the best way to get started with my experiment on Labvanced?
We suggest that you start by importing a study from the experiment library, which is most similar to the study you want to build. Then simultaneously open the video tutorial page, watch some of the tutorial videos and start editing the experiment according to your needs.

Do I need to understand programming to be able to use Labvanced?
No. Programming is possible, but you can create complex experiments solely by using our graphical Interface. However, understanding of algorithmic structures clearly helps when using the event system to create complex logic.

Which kind of experiments can be created on Labvanced?
Combining the power of visual expressiveness and programmatic power, we are very confident that we support more than 99% of all behavioral experiments. If you are looking for a certain feature, which you need in your study, please visit our feature page.

The experiment I plan to do is very complex. I am not sure whether this can be realized with Labvanced, what shall I do?
If you just started with Labvanced it can sometimes be hard to imagine beforehand how all the details are realized on Labvanced for bigger projects. However, after spending some time with the platform you will see that things will go quicker and quicker. We are quite certain that almost every behavioral study can be realized, but if you have doubts, please contact us via the live chat or using the contact page.

Which stimulus elements can be shown with Labvanced?
Currently Labvanced provides 20 different stimulus elements including, Images, Videos, Audio, Form-Elements, Sortable-Lists, File-Uploads, an Editable Text element and much more.

Can I control who/which devices etc. can take part in my experiment?
Yes. There are various options to control for the demographics of the participants (gender, age, location, first language) and the properties of the participants’ device (mobile, computer, browser, resolution etc.).

Offline Version & Special Features

The computer on which the experiment should be shown does not have internet, can I download and run the study offline?
Yes. Currently the offline version is only available for users who own a Labvanced license (lab/premium), as there are still some (compilation) steps needed, which need to be manually performed by us.

Does Labvanced support 'Real Time Multi User Studies', to investigate game theoretical questions or cooperative/joint decision making?
Yes. During the study creation, you can also customize what each participants should do and see using the System Variable “Role_Id”. Upon, experiment execution subjects have to wait in a lobby, until the right amount of participants are ready to perform the study together. Find an example study here

Does Labvanced support Audio Recordings via Microphone?

Does Labvanced support Webcam-based Eyetracking?

Does Labvanced support Multilingual Studies (Study translated into several languages)?
Yes. You can create your study in your preferred (native) language first. Using the “Translation Menu” you can at any point automatically translate all the texts to many different languages. Of course you can adjust/improve the automatic translation as well. All these different (language) versions of the experiment will be accessible using the same URL, and right in the beginning participants can choose their preferred language.

Security & Data Privacy

How secure is Labvanced?
Our entire website is SSL encrypted, we use a reverse proxy, and several other state of the art security measures to make sure our server and user data are save. Also we backup all data to our own redundant sever/database so that in case of system or hardware failure, no data will be lost.

Does Labvanced save any personalized data of the participants?
We do NOT save any personalized data of the participants (i.e. no IP address, no email, no real name). Email addresses are only requested in case of repeated measures experiments (to remind participants to start a new session), but even then these are not shared with anyone (not even the experimenter).

Is the Labvanced data policy in congruence with latest EU data/privacy regulations (GDPR)?
Yes. We do not save any personalized data from the participants. Also if a participant wants his/her data to be removed from the database the experimenters can do that completely by themselves. All the data is savely stored only on our own servers, which are located in Osnabrueck, Germany.

Where is the data on the Labvanced servers stored?
All data is only stored on our own servers in Osnabrueck, Germany.

Free & Premium Usage

Can I use Labvanced for free, what will be the limitations?
Yes you can use Labvanced completely for free. Experiment creation will be unlimited and without any restrictions as long as you do not use more than 300Mb of storage space. You can also record 10 subjects per month for free. Further recordings will be possible however data access will be restricted for datasets exceeding the quota in the free account.

How much does Labvanced cost in the paid/premium version?
All experiment creation is completely free for everyone, we only change for recording participants. The costs here depend on the license which you want to use There are three types of licenses: A) lab/department, B) premium, C) single study plan. Each of these licenses has different costs, as well as different benefits and features. For more information see our pricing page or contact us via the live chat.

Does Labvanced offer discounts for students?
Yes. we offer a 25% discount for all students. Find more information here.

Temporal & Spatial Precision

How precise is Labvanced? How does Labvanced insure precise presentation of all stimuli?
Labvanced was build with the focus to insure the exact temporal presentation of all stimuli. Hence we pursue a double pre-loading approach: Before the experiment starts we load all external content (images,videos, audio etc.) in the browser cache. Then for each trial we pre-load and pre-render the next trial such that once the trial changes all stimuli are presented instantaneously. As a result, on devices/computer with acceptable internet bandwidth and CPU/RAM, the temporal precision should comparable to lab settings.

How can I be sure that timing measures/stimulus presentation is correct? What does Labvanced do to measure timing precision?
Labvanced runs separate controls of timing precision for each recording. More precisely, we run a test time measurement every 5 seconds during each recording. In the end, we calculate the mean and standard deviation of these values and provide these for each recording. The mean is always positive, as a device never stops before, but occasionally after a desired time and thus sometimes a little too late (due to CPU usage, other lags, etc). This is of course equivalent to the delay in presenting a stimulus on the screen. However, to our understanding, such a constant mean offset can be counteracted post-hoc analytically. On the other hand, a high standard deviation in the control time measurement suggests that the time measurements are generally of different quality, and therefore not really comparable. A high standard deviation is thus a good exclusion criterion of the subject. The median offset of all time measurements is about 20ms, and the median standard deviation of all time measurements is about 12ms (across all subjects and experiments). If values are much higher (2-3 times) than that, it indicates imprecise timing measurements. Furthermore, it is possible to determine the timing precision on a custom basis (e.g. for each trial, frame, or stimulus) using UNIX timestamps in the event system.

What are the options of spatial presentation modes? How precise can stimuli be presented spatially?
There are various modes how stimuli can be presented spatially. The default mode is the zoom mode, which will zoom all content elements until either vertical or horizontal limits are reached. Stimuli can also be fixed to pixels or visual degree. Fixing a stimulus / frame to visual degrees will require a pre-calibration before the start of the experiment by which the physical size of the participants’ computer/ device is measured. Hence depending of the experimenters choice of the display mode, stimuli can be presented with very high (lab comparable) spatial accuracy.

Troubleshooting & Support

My study / task doesn't open. What can I do, can Labvanced fix this?
Yes we can fix this, so don't worry! this usually happens when something was deleted (many times variables or factors) which are still used somewhere. Please contact us via the live chat, telling us the name of your study. Also for more advanced users you can open the developer tab (in google chrome: the three dots on the upper right-->more tools--> developer tools-->console). If you see a red error message you can also send it to us, this way we can fix your problems faster.

Editing the experiment works fine. However, when I start/run the experiment there is a problem. What can I do?
There could be different reasons for this. Many times there is a missing or wrong reference to an object or to a variable in one or more events. Please also make sure that all variables names are unique, because this in another common mistake for errors. Also check for event logic thoroughly, as logic mistakes can are also happening easy on more complex events. If all of this doesn't help. Please contact us via the live chat.

My experiment doesn't behave as I want to, but I cannot figure out why. What can I do?
Of course reading the documentation and watching video tutorials will help a lot. If you still don't get any further please contact us via the live chat.

I have another problem which is not listed here. What shall I do?
Please contact us via the live chat.

I don’t find a suitable example/template study? Can Labvanced provide me with a customized template/prototype for my study?
We always provide a highly customized prototype for users holding a premium or a lab license. However, we also try to provide our best support to everyone else. So please contact us and tell us what you need, at best using our chat support. We will help you as much as we can.

I am stuck with my experiment implementation, can Labvanced help me with the implementation?
Yes. We want that each user of the Labvanced platform can create his/her experiment as fast as possible without problems. Tell us what is your current problem (where you are stuck) and what you are trying to achieve, at best using our chat support.

I think found a bug, where can I report it?
Bugs happen in any software project. We are glad about every bug report and we will start to fix is as soon as possible. Please use either our contact from or the live chat to report the bug

What is the easiest way to get in touch with people from Labvanced?
Please use the live that (the green icon on the lower right).

Programmatic Use & API

My experiment is rather complex. Can I program with Labvanced?
Yes you can. Using the event system you can “visual program” and arbitrary complex logic. In particular, you can use while loops, if-else statements, you can set and read out variables, use timeouts, and much more.

I want to understand more about what is “under the hood” of Labvanced, what can I do?
Most importantly please have a look at the documentation. Keeping the documentation up to date is always a priority, but sometimes it needs some time until a new functionality is well described there. Also try out our video tutorial page in case you like more visual explanations. If you then still have some questions just contact us using the live chat.

Is the Labvanced platform open source, where can I download it?
It’s coming soon. Making something open source is more work than most people think as it requires tones of documentation, cleanups etc. We are working on making all the relevant parts (the experiment execution) of the Labvanced platform open source and freely available within 2018 on Github.

What is the data/file structure of studies created with Labvanced? Can I download the experiment (specification) file?
Labvanced uses the widely accepted and independent JSON format to save the experiments on our server. You can download the JSON file of each experiment on the data view page.

Does Labvanced have an API so that I can program the complete study programmatically instead of using the website editor?
We are working on it. Our final goal is to have a complete JSON based API, by which you can then program your study only using code. The next big step in this direction will be to open source the experiment execution part of Labvanced.