COVID-19 Guidance

Guidance and suggestions for transitioning your research online.

My research requires phonetics-quality acoustic recordings. Can I do my data collection online?

Yes! (But not at the high-quality one gets from a proper sound booth.)

Unless you have an appropriate audio recorder in your place of residence and subjects to record are currently co-isolating with you or have their own research-quality microphones, lab-quality acoustic recordings will not be possible.

Instead, it may be possible to:

  • Use online recording tools, such as Zencastr

  • Adapt your research question to be about perception

  • Explore existing corpora of acoustic recordings

    • OSCAAR hosts a number of high-quality corpora of many languages

  • Focus your research on robust acoustic landmarks (e.g., vowel formants) and use moderate-quality recordings

My research requires perception experiments but I don't know what sort of speakers or headphones remote participants are using. Can I calibrate their sound outputs to do acoustic perception tasks?

Yes, mostly.

While it may not be possible to perfectly calibrate headphones remotely, there are ways to conduct 'headphone tests' (e.g. instructions tailored for the Gorilla platform) to ensure your participants headphones are adequate for the task. Contact the Lab Manager to discuss options.

My research requires articulatory recording. Can I still do my data collection?

Unfortunately, no.

However, there are a few online and freely available corpora you can request access to.

Please discuss alternatives with the Lab Manager and your supervisor or colleagues to brainstorm ways to adapt your research question to the available technology.

My research requires reaction time data. Can I collect this over the internet?


Most types of stimulus-response tasks can be implemented online. Check out Digital Resources such as LabVanced or pcIBEX for some ideas, or contact the Lab Manager to discuss options.

I was planning on using the eye-tracker. Are there alternatives?


For eye-tracking while reading, there are a few potential alternatives, including mouse-contingent reading paradigms and self-paced reading, which can be hosted on many different platforms.

For visual world eye-tracking, mouse-tracking is one possibility, although there might be ways to implement coarse-grained eye-tracking through webcams. The platform LabVanced offers a state-of-the-art webcam eye-tracking algorithm that will be able to produce relatively high-quality gaze data, remotely.