Basic review requirements

In May 2023, we are beginning a reviewing experiment for external studies, in conjunction with the merger of the Children Helping Science and Lookit platforms.

During this period, external studies will be expedited for posting, but must still meet some basic requirements in order to be approved. If you have questions about any of these requirements, please ask them on Slack or email Melissa at

In addition to the requirements listed below, you are also strongly encouraged to review the study guidelines that we use for reviewing Lookit experiments. You are also welcome to give and solicit peer review for your studies on Slack, and we recommend that all studies consider doing this!

Study form

You must provide complete information for each of the fields on the study form, including compensation information and eligibility. Here is a detailed guide to each of the fields on the study form.


You are not required to pay participants - some studies ask for volunteer participants - but you must clearly state what compensation is offered, including any limitations on who can receive compensation.

Terms of use

Your study (including the entire experience that families go through after clicking on the external link) must follow the Terms of Use.

Below are some highlights from these terms that researchers will need to be aware of:

  • All studies must use informed consent procedures, and follow all other requirements for human subjects testing, as required by your institution’s review board. If we cannot find institution and IRB approval information at your link, your study will not be approved.
  • Researchers may not use email addresses or other participant information for any purpose other than conducting that specific study. (In fact, we recommend that you don’t collect email addresses at all, and instead use the Lookit messaging system to contact families!)

Lab contact databases

You cannot use Children Helping Science to link to a page that just collects contact information from families that you plan to recruit to future studies later on. Links posted on Children Helping Science should be to a single, currently-active study.

  • Finally, under these terms we reserve the right to withold study approval for any reason. This rule is in place in case of unanticipated issues with a study where posting would have a substantial chance of creating a negative experience for visiting families or the platform as a whole. We will always contact you to discuss if we believe there is a issue of this kind.