Funding your MTurk Account

To run an MTurk study using the CloudResearch Toolkit, you must a) have money in your MTurk account to pay participants and Amazon MTurk fees or b) be enrolled in Amazon Web Services (AWS) billing. Enrolling in AWS billing allows you to conduct MTurk studies and incur other Amazon charges that are invoiced to you at the end of each month.

Prepayment Model

To fund your MTurk requester account, login to MTurk and select My Account in the upper right corner. On the next page, you can purchase “Prepaid HITs” in whatever amount you wish.

If your MTurk and CloudResearch accounts are linked, the money you place in your MTurk requester account should automatically appear on your CloudResearch account under MTurk Balance. Sometimes it takes the system a few minutes to update after you fund your MTurk account.

Post-payment Model

Enrolling in AWS billing allows you to run studies on MTurk and then pay for them at the end of each month. Turning on AWS billing is simple, but also irreversible. You should be sure you want to opt into post-payment billing before switching your MTurk requester account to AWS billing.

Why isn’t my MTurk balance updating on CloudResearch?

There are a few reasons why this may happen:

  1. Your CloudResearch account may take a few minutes to update after you place money into your MTurk requester account.
  2. If, at some point, you created multiple MTurk requester accounts it is possible that a different MTurk account is linked to your CloudResearch account than the one you just funded. You should check whether the MTurk credentials associated with your CloudResearch account are the same as the credentials associated with the MTurk account you funded. For instructions on how to do this, read "Why is my Turk Balance on CloudResearch Incorrect" section below.
  3. Your MTurk account has not been properly linked to your CloudResearch account. Please follow these instructions to link your accounts.

Why is my MTurk balance on CloudResearch incorrect?

If you see a different balance on your MTurk requester account than what is shown on CloudResearch under your MTurk balance, it is usually because multiple MTurk or CloudResearch accounts have been mixed up. This sometimes happens when labs use a shared MTurk or CloudResearch account or a shared computer and someone has mixed in a personal account. If you or someone else accidentally funded an MTurk requester account that is not the one linked to your CloudResearch account, your balance on CloudResearch will not reflect the amount you believe it should.

To ensure that the MTurk account you funded is in fact the one linked to CloudResearch, go to the profile icon in the header of the main page and click on Mechanical Turk Account. Next, check that the Amazon Account Name, Access Key ID, and Secret Access Key on file with CloudResearch are the same ones associated with the MTurk account you funded. If it is not, you can follow the instructions on screen to enter the correct Amazon Account Name, Access Key ID, and Secret Access Key (i.e., the ones associated with the MTurk account you just funded).

Alternatively, you can request a refund from Mechanical Turk for the recently funded account and then add the funds into the MTurk account that is currently linked to CloudResearch. For a refund from an MTurk account, please contact an MTurk representative.