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Data saving error: "either the credit reserved for this session has been released..."

URL of experiment:

Description of the problem: A participant completing the above study, in Chrome on Mac, received an error at the very end of the experiment (see screenshot below). Other participants have completed the experiment successfully, and there are plenty of credits assigned to the relevant experiment. I have found reference to the same error in other threads (e.g., here), but no information on the cause or a means of preventing its recurrence. Any help along these lines would be appreciated—the experiment is quite long so losing data after a session is complete is a bit of a nuisance.

Is it possible that they left the experiment and came back the next day? I believe that a participant only had 24 hours to complete the experiment before the credit will be automatically released, and their data cannot be saved.

The thread you link to has a different error message, but here is one with the same.

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That is possible. I see that the error in the thread you’ve linked to is slightly different from the one my participant received (“the credit reserved for this session has been released: results cannot be saved” in the thread you linked to, vs. “either the credit reserved for this session has been released or no credit was previously reserved: results cannot be saved” in my participant’s error and in the thread I linked to), but it seems plausible that these similar error messages could result from a similar cause, or even that the difference simply reflects changes to the error messages over the past six months. I’ll follow up with the participant and see if I can get to the bottom of it—thanks for the suggestion!

Just for the benefit of anyone coming across the same problem in future: It was indeed caused by the participant opening the link, and then not completing the experiment for > 24 hours (in this case, 3 days!).

(This makes me think that it might be worth building some code into my online experiments in future that checks on the execution of each function whether 24 hours has passed since the experiment was opened, and aborts it if so.)

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